China grandma sues son and daughter-in-law for $27k in child support, netizens can't pick a side

China grandma sues son and daughter-in-law for $27k in child support, netizens can't pick a side

The grandmother from Sichuan, known only as Wang, had originally sued the couple for 140,000 yuan (S$27,000) in April, alleging that she had borne all the costs of raising their nine-year-old son since he was a baby.

Should grandparents be paid for taking care of their grandchildren? This woman's lawsuit against her own son and daughter-in-law may be over but the jury is still out online.

The grandmother from Sichuan, known only as Wang, had originally sued the couple for 140,000 yuan (S$27,000) in April, alleging that she had borne all the costs of raising their nine-year-old son since he was a baby.

However, Wang only walked away with half the amount after a judge recently ordered the couple to pay her 70,000 yuan, Chinese media reported.

According to Wang, she had been taking care of her grandson single-handedly ever since he was a year old.

She had also paid for the child's living expenses, medical bills, and school fees, wanting to maintain harmony in the family.

Despite her best efforts, Wang's son and daughter-in-law ultimately expressed their wish to divorce in April this year.

Feeling upset, Wang then took them to court and demanded payment for supporting her grandchild.

The judge who presided over the case said on Tuesday (Sept 17) that while it is common for grandparents in rural areas to care for their grandchildren while their sons and daughters are away at work, it is the parent's duty to cover their child's living expenses.

Wang's daughter-in-law, who was not named, said that she was willing to pay Wang the money if it meant that she could get a divorce.

The boy remains in the care of Wang.

The news elicited mixed responses from Chinese netizens.

Some of them supported the grandmother and felt that she should have been awarded more money.

China grandma sues son and daughter-in-law for $27k in child support, netizens can't pick a side
"I support her. The grandma spent her money and effort raising the child for nine years. I feel that this type of emotional labour is worth even more than 140k yuan."
Photo: Screengrab/Weibo
China grandma sues son and daughter-in-law for $27k in child support, netizens can't pick a side
"Even hiring a nanny is not cheap. This grandma's request is quite reasonable."
Photo: Screengrab/Weibo

On the flip side, other netizens felt that grandparents shouldn't be too calculative, especially since many of them often pressure their children to produce a grandchild with the promise that they will care for it.

China grandma sues son and daughter-in-law for $27k in child support, netizens can't pick a side
"You have to consider if (she) told them, 'Just give birth to the baby, I will take care of it.' "
Photo: Screengrab/Weibo
China grandma sues son and daughter-in-law for $27k in child support, netizens can't pick a side
"Don't ever believe it when (grandparents) say 'just give birth and I will raise the child'. You have to be sure that you will be able to care for the child before you have it."
Photo: Screengrab/Weibo
China grandma sues son and daughter-in-law for $27k in child support, netizens can't pick a side
"If (grandparents) won't help out then they should stop rushing us to have children. If they expect to be paid, then they shouldn't expect their daughter-in-law to take care of them for free in their old age. When the son is busy working to support the family and they need the daughter-in-law's help, then they should pay her as well."
Photo: Screengrab/Weibo

However, there may be more to the situation than meets the eye — some netizens questioned the motivation behind the lawsuit, speculating that it was more about the divorce than the child's expenses.

China grandma sues son and daughter-in-law for $27k in child support, netizens can't pick a side
"I understand. I've seen many similar cases. When the daughter-in-law wants a divorce, the son's parents come up with many excuses… They are just trying to dig more money from the daughter-in-law. In the end, the money that they get will still go to their son and grandson."
Photo: Screengrab/Weibo

In fact, a similar case happened in July, when a grandmother sued her divorcing son and daughter-in-law for 288,000 yuan in child support and was awarded 100,000 yuan.

This article was republished with permission from AsiaOne.

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