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Spouses could get nothing if they transfer or destroy joint assets before divorce, top Chinese court rules

China’s Supreme People’s Court – the nation’s highest court – has issued new guidelines for divorce cases saying thata husband or wife could end up with nothing if they transfer, hide, sell or destroy joint property before or during the proceedings, mainland media reports.

A new rule, issued in the past few days, states that a spouse that takes actions including transferring, selling, hiding or destroying shared property, or makes a false claim about debts in order to secure the other person’s valuables, could be awarded less – or even nothing – in the final settlement, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

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The guidelines would more effectively punish wrongdoing that targeted joint assets, and also better protect the legal rights of family members, the report said.

Some Weibo users expressed their support for the new ruling.

One user wrote : “The cost of cheating in marriage is too low in China; this kind of rule should have been established long ago.”

Divorce of celebrities sparks talk about state of modern marriage in China

China’s marriage laws came under the spotlight in August after a celebrity couple, Wang Baoqiang and his wife Ma Rong, hit the headlines when he accused her of cheating on him.

The allegations sparked an outcry and calls for the rights of those people that are wronged in marriages to be better protected.