China Allows American Woman Divorce After High-Profile Case

Recently, a Beijing court granted a divorce to an American woman from her Chinese celebrity-entrepreneur husband, following a high-profile case that broadcast the often hidden domestic violence problem in China.

Kim Lee began the case when she posted graphic photos of her injuries that she claimed came from her husband Li Yang on her microblog in 2011. Li Yang is famous for his household name English-teaching schools called “Crazy English.”

The photos that included shots of a bump on her forehead, bruises on her knees and a bleeding ear quickly went viral and generated tens of thousands of postings on Chinese Twitter-like websites, along with many protests and debates on talk shows. Kim Lee unintentionally became a folk hero for many other battered women in China because often times, domestic violence is not discussed. Tradition holds that family conflicts are a private matter in the country. It is also difficult to go public with this information because many people still consider women to be subservient to their husbands.

The divorce was granted on Sunday, Feb. 3 on the grounds of domestic abuse. The court also approved Lee's request for a three-month restraining order against Li, said the official Xinhua News Agency.

Reports show that the court ordered Li to pay his ex-wife 50,000 yuan ($8,000) compensation for her mental anguish along with child support. Lee will have custody of their three daughters and receive properties that are worth over 12 million yuan ($2 million).

The divorce was confirmed on Monday by a woman from the press office of the Chaoyang District People's Court, but she would not share any details.

Lee's lawyer, Qi Lianfeng, was quoted in The China Daily saying the court's acknowledgment of domestic violence will encourage more women “to protect their rights in a legal way.”

The China Daily also reported that Lee would continue to live in China because that is where her children have been educated.

If you have been the victim of domestic violence or are considering filing for divorce for another reason, contact the Roscich & Martel Law Firm in Naperville, IL. These experienced divorce attorneys can help you out of a bad marriage today.

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