he national college entrance exams is an important moment for every high school graduate in China. The lead-up to the gaokao, as the exams are commonly referred to in China, is a period of intense stress not just for students, but also their parents.
Because gaokao scores determine whether a student will be admitted to university, and if so, which college they will attend, parents go to great lengths at making life easier for their kids during this all-important time which has the power to determine their very future.
And for couples experiencing marital problems, this means many of them come to the tacit agreement that they will put up with each other up until the end of the exams so that the divorce would not distract their children from studying.
“We see this happen every year,” says a staff member from a civil affairs bureau in Xiangyang, Hubei which has seen the number of divorce applications go up to more than 300 a month ever since the gaokao ended.
“A couple that came in this morning said they had been wanting to divorce for more than two years and the wife can’t stand another minute.”
Some netizens disagree that holding off on a divorce is of any use. A dysfunctional relationship between the couple who still has to stay under one roof might have a worse impact on the kid, they argue.
“That’s not how it works,” declared one Weibo user. “What happens if the kid needs to retake the exam? Do they get married again?”