An interesting change to Chinese divorce law. Previously, a home purchased by either party before the marriage became marital property when they married, and thus divisible when divorcing. However, with the passage of this new law in August 2011, it appears that the premarital home will revert solely to the original purchaser — according to this article, overwhelmingly the husband. In Hawaii (and other equitable distribution states, which is the majority of the U.S.), the date of divorce equity value of the property stays with the premarital purchaser, but any INCREASE in value would be marital property (again, divisible in a divorce).
This may very well lead to significant changes in future brides’ (as well as current wives’) outlook and planning, as it may leave many of them high and dry in a divorce. Commentators in the article are already referencing marital strife because of the law change. This does seem to be a step backward for gender equity in China, where the communists have always held forth as a strength of their system. I don’t know that the Chinese Supreme Court intended this as “social engineering,” but the effect certainly has that look.