Husband and wife sue mistress for 330,000 yuan in “lover’s fees”
May 21, 2009
When the affair’s over, husband and wife sue . . . Mistress required to pay 330,000 yuan “lover’s fee” . . . Court decides that any payment made with a husband and wife’s common property that was not commonly decided is null and void
A married man gets involved with a mistress and gives her more than 300,000 yuan behind his wife’s back. His mistress wants him to leave his wife so she begins harassing her. When the man wanted to break up with his mistress, she appeared at his work and made a scene. After that, the affair was over. The man later reconciled with his wife and the two decided to take the former mistress to court, accusing the mistress of improperly receiving the money and demanding that she return the 300,000-plus yuan.
The situation: 330,000 yuan for the favor of a beautiful woman
Mr. Wu and Mrs. Zhang were married in 1994. At first their relationship was fairly good, but in October of 2004 Mr. Wu met Miss Liu at a friend’s party and the two quickly became lovers.
Their affair lasted until November of 2007. During Mr. Wu and Miss Liu’s three-year love affair, Miss Liu frequently bought clothes and makeup, and used every opportunity to ask Mr. Wu for money. Mr. Wu was so generous, he even bough her a car. Within three years he had altogether given Miss Liu 330,000 yuan.
As time went on, Miss Liu was increasingly dissatisfied with her status as mistress and she many times asked Mr. Wu to divorce his wife. Mr. Wu refused and the two began drifting apart. When Miss Liu began to perceive Mr. Wu’s coldness towards her, she guessed that Mr. Wu was worried about his reputation. Miss Liu ruthlessly decided to expose their affair to his wife and thus initiate their divorce.
To that end, Miss Liu repeatedly called Mrs. Zhang anonymously to insult and harass her. Mr. Wu tried many times without avail to get her to stop, but finally decided to break up with her. At this point Miss Liu realized her status in Mr. Wu’s heart and she furiously went to his office to make a scene and afterwards became the talk of the town.
At the beginning of this year, Mrs. Zhang unexpectedly discovered that Mr. Wu had given Miss Liu more than 300,000 yuan and she decided with her husband to take Miss Liu to court to demand she return the money.
Court Hearing: What was this money Mrs. Zhang: This was common property, my husband had no right to spend it on his own
During the hearing, Mrs. Zhang indicated that the common property between a married couple ought to be used to support the common life of the husband and wife and for the raising of children. However, Mr. Wu took it upon himself to on his own to secretly give the defendant, Miss Liu, an illegitimate relation, 330,000 yuan. This violated the public order and custom and social morality and was extremely harmful to the family. According to the regulations of the marriage law, “neither husband nor wife may make decisions about their common property that would go against the needs of their daily life. Husband and wife should consult on the basis of equality, and arrive at a unanimous decision,” however Miss Liu used her illegitimate relationship with Mr. Wu to repeatedly ask for huge sums of his family property. Without lawful, proper reason to do so, she should immediately return the money.
Miss Liu: Mr. Wu freely gave this to me, it was a gift
Miss Liu argued in court that this 330,000 yuan was given to her by Mr. Wu to help her repay her debts. Furthermore, the marriage law also stipulates that “husband and wife have equal rights with regards to the managing of their common property,” … “When another person has reason to believe, neither husband nor wife should be able to not know, if either husband or wife disagrees, then he or she has reason to contradict the decision, these are not illegal acquisitions that need to be safeguarded against.”
At the same time Miss Liu believed that the court in making its ruling needed to consider the consequences for society. In the economic life of society, there are economic exchanges between people. They cannot all have been approved by the spouse. If court decides that any money spent that one spouse disagrees with must be returned, then this will have serious negative consequences for both social order and social morality.
Because Miss Liu could not produce proof that the money had been spent to repay debts, she further indicated that even if Mr. Wu had not given her the money to repay debts, he still had freely given her the money, that he had acted voluntarily and given her a gift, and that this 330,000 yuan should not have to be returned.
Court: This was improperly received
After the hearing, the court concluded that this case was a dispute over an improper acquisition of property. “Improper acquisition” pointed to a lack of a lawful basis for the acquisition.
The court believed that the beneficiary had the burden of proof for whether the gain had been legally acquired. Although the defendant had stated that Mr. Wu had used the money to repay debts, the defendant had failed to produce adequate proof of this, so the court could not find in her favor.
The plaintiff, Mr. Wu, on many occasions gave the defendant Miss Liu money totaling 330,000 yuan, but while he and his wife were married, this was their common property and his wife had the right to ask for this money to be returned. Chinese law stipulates that “the owners of common property have the rights to and responsibility for this property….while property is commonly held, one party may not make a decision for the property without authorization.” Therefore, the court decided that Mr. Wu’s actions were null and void.
The court recently issued its final judgment: the defendant Miss Liu must return the 330,000 yuan to the plaintiff.