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In which court shall I file for divorce - district court or intermediate court?

  • Time:2021-06-15
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In judicial practice, regardless of the amount of cash value of a divorce case, it is generally placed under the jurisdiction of the People's Court at the District Court level. It is only under specific circumstances that the People's Court, at a higher level, can hear the divorce case. Even cases of family disputes, such as marriage and inheritance, in the first instance, (including those involving foreign elements and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan), are typically under the jurisdiction of the district level of People's Courts. For matters that are complicated and convoluted, the People's Court, at a higher level, may decide on its own to hear it according to the provisions of Article 38 of the Civil Procedure Law. The People's Court, at a lower level, may also report to a higher level of the People's Court.
With the development of the social economy, the types of family property owned by people are more diversified, and the amount of property value of divorce cases is constantly increasing. It could be tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of Chinese yuan. Generally, civil litigation follows the principle that the level of People's Court that is allocated to hear the case depends on the total amount of the cash value. However, according to the "Notice on Adjusting the Standards for Highest People's Courts and Intermediate People's Courts to Jurisdiction, as well as Civil and Commercial Cases of First Instance" published by the Supreme People's Court, the divorce cases shall generally be under the jurisdiction of the district level of People's Courts. In general practice, the level of jurisdiction and power over divorce disputes are usually allocated as follows: a divorce case shall be under the jurisdiction of the People's Court at the district level regardless of the cash amount of the cases, with the exception that People's Court at the higher level may hear some extreme cases, based on the complexity of the case.
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