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What Do You Do With the House in a Divorce in China? - CFM 101 Series

Mon, 15 Nov 2021
Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌



If you and your spouse need to divide a house at divorce, there are three ways:

(1) one party gets the house and the other gets cash;

(2) both parties get cash;

(3) the two parties share the house on a pro-rata basis.

1. One party gets the house and the other gets cash

If one party wants the house, he/she will have to pay the other cash as appropriate.

For example, if both parties divide the house equally, the party who gets the house shall pay 50% of the market price of the house to the other in cash.

This means that both parties can get 50% of the market price of the house, provided that the party who gets the house pays the other in cash.

Generally, this won’t be a small amount. So, why will one party want the house?

It is usually because he/she still wants to live in the house, or hold the house in order to obtain the return from the future appreciation of the house.

2. Both parties get cash

If neither party wants the house, then they can sell the house for cash.

After that, both parties will equally distribute the income at divorce under general circumstances.

In Way 1 above, the party who gets the house needs to pay a large amount of cash to the other. Under the circumstances where neither party has enough cash, they may choose this way.

3. The two parties share the house on a pro rata basis

If both parties want the house, they can jointly own the house on a pro-rata basis.

For example, if the two parties equally divide the house, then both of them can register themselves as owners of the house with the house registration authority, each holding 50% ownership thereof.

In this case, how to use the house?

If the house is physically dividable according to the said proportion, then both parties can delimit their respective use area of the house.

If the house is not physically dividable for use, then both parties will use the house together and shall not hinder the other party from doing so.

In this case, how to sell the house?

The sale of the house requires mutual consent. After the sale, both parties may distribute the income according to the registered ownership share.




The Cross-border Family Matters 101 Series (‘CFM 101 Series’) provides an introduction to China-related cross-border family matters (marriage and succession), and covers the knowledge essential to cross-border family matter management.


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Do you need support in Cross-Border Family Matters (Marriage and Succession)?

CJO Family's team can provide you with China-based consulting service, including case assessment and management, background check, and debt collection (‘Last Mile’ Service). If you encounter any problems in cross-border family matters, or if you wish to share your story, you can contact our Client Manager Julia Yuan (

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Photo by Bangyu Wang on Unsplash

Contributors: Meng Yu 余萌

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