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