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Stepfather asks for money to support his stepchild

A stepfather after a divorce has asked his stepdaughter to repay the money he spent to support him during his college years.

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Artwork: SCMP

This Chinese stepfather, surnamed Tang, from Sichuan province, filed the lawsuit in March this year. Specifically, he asked his wife’s stepchildren to return 35,200 yuan (VND 122 million).

Mr. Tang claimed that he spent this money to pay tuition and living expenses for Liu – his step-son – during the four years of university.

Mr. Tang married Liu’s mother in 2009 when the boy was 10 years old. He and his wife raised the boy for more than 10 years until his wife divorced him last year.

In May, a court in Chongqing rejected Mr. Tang’s petition after ruling that he provided Liu’s support voluntarily.

“Although Mr. Tang was not legally obligated to pay for college because Liu was 18 years old, he did it voluntarily. In China, children are recognized as legal adults when they reach the age of 18, and their parents no longer have to pay for their living expenses,” the judge said.

He also added that the law also stipulates that Mr. Tang’s divorce from his wife does not mean that Mr. Liu will no longer be responsible for providing basic living expenses for his stepfather when he is old. Mr. Tang can completely ask the law to solve it if necessary.

Tang’s lawsuit has sparked controversy on Weibo.

“35,200 yuan is a specific number. Did Mr. Tang record every penny spent on Mr. Liu?” – one commented.

Another asked: “Mr. Liu’s mother has been married to Mr. Tang for more than ten years. Is it reasonable for you to claim damages for the mental damage?”

Some say that Mr. Tang’s actions are like a tantrum after a failed marriage.

If claiming back the other’s stepchild is almost unheard of in China, it’s much more common for fathers to avoid child support. Earlier this year, a court in Henan province ruled that a father must provide 1,000 yuan a month for his daughter after he divorced his wife.

Dang Duong (According to SCMP)

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