Divorce rates are on the rise in China because of social media. (Photo : Getty Images)
The couple who resided in Fuquan had their divorce finalized in a matter of minutes. The civil court finalized the decision via WeChat.
The husband was present in the court while the wife was in Tianjin. They were married in 1989 and has five children.
There was no dispute on financial or custody matters.
Deng Chao, the presiding judge, said that this was a first for the civil court. This was usually the case in urban cities but was uncustomary in remote and smaller towns in China.
"We'll continue to try to hear simple cases via video. But for complicated ones, couples will still be asked to show up in court," Deng said.
The local court intended to continue such practices to speed up processing of simple cases to reduce costs.
However, for some lawyers, using WeChat to litigate cases are not advisable. Chen Wei, from the Yingke Law Firm in Beijing, said, "It could be risky for judges to hear cases this way because it's difficult to verify the proof that couples may offer."
As finalization of divorces gets easier, divorce rates climb and most of them are due to extramarital affairs.
According to a report published by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, divorce rates are on the rise. There were about 4 million couples who divorced in 2014.
There are more than half of couples divorcing over a third party and an expert thinks that it's because of social media.
Liu Mingsheng, an expert in marriage and family law research at China Law Society, said that online platforms like WeChat, Momo and QQ make it easier for people to meet and interact.
He said that these platforms are known as "marriage killers."
"If a housewife uses WeChat day and night it can create incompatibility between the couple and stop them communicating," Liu added.