Divorcees get 'buffer zone' in E China

By Zhang Jiawei

East China's Jiangsu province is planning to equip its marriage registration offices with "buffer zone" rooms to help divorcing couples to think calmly before making the final decision to end their marriage, according to the provincial civil affairs bureau.

"Our aim of setting up the room is to encourage couples who want to divorce not to make the decision abruptly," Modern Express cited a manager, surnamed Gao, of a marriage registration office in Jianye district in the provincial capital Nanjing as saying.

Two districts have been piloting the scheme in Nanjing, where on average 80 couples get divorced every day, with post-80s couples, born in the 1980s, accounting for 40 per cent of the total.

Some people made the decision just by impulse, the newspaper said, taking the example of a young post-80s couple, who went to the marriage registration office four times to divorce and resume their relation in less than two years after they married.

The rooms are decorated like cozy homes. The walls inside are painted with words intending to arouse good memories for the divorcing couples and encourage them to face life's difficulties together.

"What we want to do is to prevent impulsive divorce decisions, not stop them from divorcing," Gao said.

Gao said they respect people's freedom to marry and divorce, and if the couples made their final decision to break up the registration office can finish the whole procedure in five minutes.

"But if they could walk into the room and think calmly, the relationship may be saved," Gao said.

Gao said some 100 couples, mostly post-80s, dropped the idea to divorce after the marriage registration office's mediation in his district, accounting for 15 to 20 per cent of couples who were finally divorced.

-China Daily/Asia News Network