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September 4, 2009

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Woman must pay ex-husband's debt

DIVORCEE Zhang Jing must pay back half of the 1.07 million yuan (US$156,000) debt owed by her ex-husband while they were married, the Yangpu District People's Court ordered.
More unfortunately, she found she was pregnant soon after their divorce. Zhang and her husband Shen Jun had been eager for a baby and tried artificial fertilization during the past year.
But, Zhang, who now is burdened with the heavy debt and house loan, has decided to have an abortion.
The court ruled after handling four cases that Zhang and Shen should pay creditors 535,000 yuan because it was their common debt during the marriage, even though she didn't know about it.
Zhang, 34, was introduced to Shen, who is five years her senior, in 2005. Shen was a surgeon in a city-level hospital and looked honest.
Although she didn't love him very much, Zhang believed Shen, as a doctor, must be good-hearted. She soon married Shen at the end of that year urged by their parents because they were both in the thirties.
Married life was calm but Zhang couldn't get pregnant. She agreed to try artificial fertilization in 2007 arranged by her husband.
Zhang couldn't get pregnant after a year and asked to divorce.
She said she felt sorry she could not give Shen a baby.
Shen quickly agreed to the divorce and left their home without taking anything.
Zhang lived alone quietly for a period and began to receive a series of payment reminders. She was surprised to find Shen had owed more than 1 million yuan and had no idea about how he had used the money.
She tried to contact Shen but found his cell phone number had been canceled and he had quit his job at the hospital. Nobody knew where he was.
At the same time she discovered the artificial fertilization had worked and she was pregnant.
Four creditors took Zhang to court early this year since they couldn't find Shen. They showed IOUs from Shen but did not know what Shen used the money for. They said Zhang should cover the debts since they were incurred during the marriage.
The court ruled Zhang should take the responsibility to pay 535,000 yuan now that Shen has disappeared. If Shen showed up again, she could ask him to cover the debt.
Zhang now thinks her ex-husband agreed to the divorce to avoid his debts.


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