Dec 082014
 

The Divorce Capital of the World

To most girls, the word “wedding” will have a nice ring to it. ūüėÄ But marriage can be difficult and it doesn’t always last a lifetime. Divorce can often go off without a hitch for some. But for others, it can get¬†quite messy, especially if there’s a lot of money involved. London, England appears to be the top destination for married couples looking to go their separate ways. It¬†is known as the “divorce capital” of the world due to its¬†court system’s “generosity to estranged¬†wives.”

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Sir Chris Hohn is a hedge fund manager in London. Recently his wife, Jamie, decided to leave him and she¬†wanted to take half of their household assets with her because she believed their wealth¬†was created due to¬†their “partnership.” It was a bitter dispute, but in the end she was awarded¬†¬£337 million ($525,000,000 USD). This¬†enormous amount, granted by High Court judge Jennifer Roberts, was the largest ever seen in¬†London’s courts. This settlement dwarfs the previous¬†¬£220 million record, paid in 2011 by a rich Russian oligarch to his ex-wife, and further cements¬†London’s reputation as the best place to get a divorce for non-working spouses. ūüôā

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Mar 112013
 

I’m sure many have heard that divorce can be financially devastating¬†for a couple. But in a country that has over a billion people, couples are divorcing like their future retirement plans depend on it. And in a way, it’s true.¬†China is home to some of the most unaffordable real estate in the world. If you think housing in Vancouver is expensive for a middle class family, think about what life must be like for a middle class family living in Beijing (O_o)

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In order to curb high housing prices the Communist Party of China announced a new tax on property sales last week. It states that owners who sell their non primary residence have to pay 20% tax on any profit they make. To take advantage of a tax loop hole many couples in the country are getting divorced and taking one property each. This way neither of them will have a second home anymore, and neither of their properties will be subject to the new tax. Registration centers in various Chinese districts are reporting thirty to a hundred percent more divorces than normal. Furthermore, the number of people applying for proof that they are now single has gone up multiple folds.

meanwhile in china, divorce to save moneyA 700 sq-ft apartment in a large city goes for about $400,000 USD. But just five years ago the same apartment was only worth about half as much. According to the IMF¬†the average person in China only makes about $6600 USD a year.¬†¬†Imagine if a couple bought a property 5 years ago and can sell it today for a $200,000 profit, wow! If used wisely this windfall could probably fund someone’s entire retirement because relative to income levels that’s the equivalent of someone in Canada or the US winning the lottery!¬† What about any lasting distress or awkwardness for the family after the divorce? Not to worry because The Shanghai Daily mentioned that these same couples were remarrying as soon as one of their homes were sold tax free ūüôā Might be tough for couples with children to explain what a “tax divorce” is to their kids though ūüėÄ

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Random Useless Fact: 

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