Marriage and Family

Rethinking the Presumption Rule of Married Couple's Joint Debts in China

Dan Shuhua
School of Law, China Women's University
Collection of Women's Studies 2016-6

Abstract:The presumption rule of married couple's joint debts is Article 24 of Judicial Interpretation II of the Marriage Law. This rule imposes too much non-debtor's burden of proof while it ignores the security of marriage. It overemphasizes the importance of unity of matrimonial property while it ignores the limitation of externalizing marital daily housework. It also overemphasizes formal justice,while it ignores equity as an outcome. Moreover, there are deviations in understanding and applying the rule. To apply the rule correctly, one should pay attention to its status as a presumption rule, non-debtor's opportunities to object should be assured, and standards of proof should be reduced properly. In the long run, the presumption rule of married couple's joint debts should be revised: a debt held by one party of a couple in his or her own name during marriage should be presumed to be their joint debt, unless there are contrary evidence.
Keywords:married couple's joint debts, the presumption rule, burden of proof, marital daily housework

Paper type:Published