1st December 2023 – (Shanghai) Kang Lu (pseudonym), a single child from Shanghai, recently inherited approximately 200 million yuan (RMB) in assets following the tragic car accident that claimed the lives of her parents. However, her joy was short-lived as her husband, immediately after assisting her with the funeral arrangements, filed for divorce on the grounds of “incompatibility” and even demanded a legal division of the inheritance. The news quickly became a hot topic on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China.
Kang Lu (pseudonym) grew up in a financially well-off family and, at the young age of 28, became a manager at a foreign company in Shanghai. Wang Li (pseudonym), on the other hand, worked as a contact person at the hotel where Kang Lu’s company held its annual meeting. The two met and started dating after knowing each other for six months, eventually leading to their marriage.
The plight of Kang Lu, reminiscent of the movie “Gone Girl,” where the male protagonist coveted his wife’s substantial inheritance, has drawn parallels among netizens.
Recently, Kang Lu’s parents tragically passed away in a car accident during a trip. Initially, Wang Li was supportive and stayed by Kang Lu’s side, helping her with the funeral arrangements. However, six months later, when Kang Lu decided to return to work, she received a court summons at her company. The summons stated that Wang Li was filing for divorce on the grounds of “incompatibility” and had even disconnected his phone and moved out of their marital home.
The report highlighted Kang Lu’s deep shock and surprise. She tearfully confided in her lawyer, Tan Fang, saying, “We’ve only been married for a year, and he has always been good to me. We were happy, and we never had any fights. Why would he suddenly want a divorce?”
After conducting an investigation, Tan Fang discovered that Kang Lu’s parents owned nine properties and shops in Shanghai, as well as over 10 million yuan in bank deposits and financial products, totaling approximately 200 million yuan. As Kang Lu was the only child, and her parents had not made a will before their demise, and her grandparents had also passed away, she became the sole legal heir.
Tan Fang explained to Kang Lu that, according to China’s Marriage Law, any property acquired during the course of a marriage is considered joint property owned by both spouses. Therefore, the inheritance she received is considered marital property shared between her and Wang Li. Tan Fang further suggested that this might be the reason why her husband was rushing to get a divorce.
It was only then that Kang Lu realised the situation. Wang Li had studied law during his university years and had a keen interest in related literature. Soon after, Kang Lu received additional legal proceedings from the court, with Wang Li requesting a division of the inheritance left by her parents. Kang Lu was shocked to receive a divorce lawsuit from Wang Li, citing incompatibility. He swiftly moved out of their residence and cut off all contact.
On the day of the court hearing, Kang Lu couldn’t contain her curiosity and asked Wang Li, whom she hadn’t seen for several days, “If there wasn’t so much inheritance involved, would you still want a divorce?” Wang Li coldly replied, “Our relationship had already lost its spark long before your parents passed away.” Kang Lu asked, “Then why do you want to divide the inheritance that my parents left me?” Wang Li responded, “Because of our marriage certificate.”
The incident sparked a heated debate among mainland Chinese commentators, with many criticizing the law for favoring the husband in such cases. Some netizens commented, “Why does personal inheritance become joint property? Is this marriage law discouraging young people from getting married and promoting individualism?” and “If this is true, then this man is despicable and driven by selfishness.” Others advised the woman, “Don’t agree to the divorce! The court should not favor divorce judgments,” and “Investigate the cause of your parents’ car accident!”