Cohabitation law in China



POSTED BY iminchina (11 yrs ago)
In Mainland China, can a woman and a man, both of whom have never been married, live together before marriage? The obvious answer seems to be yes, but I have done some 'web research' and have found conflicting statements on this issue. If it matters, in this case I am talking about a male foreigner and a female chinese person living together, neither of whom have ever been married.


tomacer2 (11 yrs ago)
by law, it's prohibited, but in practice, no one cares. You don't need to be concerned at all.

douglaskoh (11 yrs ago)
I have yet to find a piece of law saying cohabitation per se is illegal although most people will think it it. However, neither party should be married to another person. Cohabitation may be taken as bigamy under certain circumstances.

The term illegal cohabitation referred by lawyers does not mean cohabitation is illegal. It means cohabitation is not protected by law as oppose to legal marriage.

tomacer2 (11 yrs ago)
oh come on..that last one can't be true...

douglaskoh (11 yrs ago)
Many years ago the law in China is changed to rule out marriage by staying together. Hence, the only way to get married in China nowadays is to register the marriage.

Bayliner1901 (11 yrs ago)
Common law does not applied in China. Basically, their laws stated that it is illegal to reside together without a marriage certificate. This only applies to the couples that one or the other is of china nationality. If both of you are Americans, you are completely legal...

douglaskoh (11 yrs ago)

Can you please refer to the specific statute that says cohabitation in China is illegal. I have asked many Chinese lawyers in our firm. I have asked the same question in a Chinese lawyers forum. No one is able to produce a piece. It will be great to get hold of such a rule.

My guess is the word illegal cohabitation is used loosely as a phase as opposed to legal marriage. It is just like red devil and white angel. Not all devils are red in colour while angels may all be white.

Bayliner1901 (11 yrs ago)
Simply put, the law in china can be made up and go which ever ways they want. Money plays a major role in deciding the law...

As far as for the rules/guidelines/laws. When you ever at a 4-5 star hotel... Just spend a minute or 2 to check out their policy.

As to living at a resident, trust me... I know a few HK people got arrested for living with another person (chinese nationality) of opposite sex. They all ended up having to pay a huge fine or blackmail money, one paid $30,000 RMB...

Police in China are bad dudes... Smart not to mess around with...

douglaskoh (11 yrs ago)
Money plays a major role in deciding the law?? Money may play a role in influencing some judges but the law is something written in black and white.

In many occasions, we do not know the full facts. For example, the girl may be a prostitute or the couple may be living as husband and wife, or at least 2nd wife. For self-interest, no one will claim that they have done something wrong.

Bayliner1901 (11 yrs ago)
Good luck trying to obtain written law in China. It is often made up at the time of situation occurs... In front of Judges???? Do yo think you will ever get the chance???

douglaskoh (11 yrs ago)
It is just you are not represented by good lawyers. The next time you need a lawyer in China, look for me. I can bet you will have a totally different view.

The police here is quick to jump into wrong doings. Most of the so-called victims in police abuse cases in China are not saints in the first place.

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