Current Legal Framework: Adultery in China, Peoples Republic of
At present, cohabitation and adultery are grounds for divorce, but not in and of themselves illegal actions. Michael Palmer writes, "...the 2003 Interpretation also sets limits on the public response to it: in ordinary cases of cohabitation, the courts may not order the cohabitants to cease living together, and it seems that a man and his concubine in a stable relatinships will not be required to terminate their cohabitation unless a complain is made to the court"1.
Article 3 of the General Principles section of Marriage Law states: "Cohabitation of a married person with any third party shall be prohibited"2.
Bigamy is illegal, and as Article 258 of Chinese Criminal states: "Whoever has a spouse and commits bigamy or knowingly marries a person who has a spouse shall be sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment of not more than two years or criminal detention".
- 1. Palmer, Michael. 2007. "Transforming Family Law in Post-Deng China: Marriage, Divorce and Reproduction". China Quarterly.
- 2. Chinese Marriage Law. http://newyork.china-consulate.org/eng/lsqz/laws/t42222.htm