In Tushan town, Nan'an district, Chongqing city, the local marriage registry showed that 380 couples got married while 285 couples got divorced in May.  In September, 1590 couples got married while 839 couples got married.  Due to the sudden explosion in cases, the marriage registry workers have had to work overtime every day.

What happened here?

In Tushan town, an engineering project required townsfolk to relocate.  An individual town resident is given 135,000 yuan in compensation.  If this citizen gets married to an outsider, another 67,500 yuan is given to the spouse.  If the outsider already has a child, another 67,500 yuan is given to the couple.

The cost of getting a marriage license is 9 yuan.

If an unmarried resident marries an outsider, the total compensation is 135,000 + 67,500 = 200,000 yuan.  If the outsider already has a child, the total compensation increases to 200,000 + 67,500 = 267,600 yuan.

Consider next the case of a married couple both of whom are town residents.  Ordinarily, they get 135,000 + 135,000 = 270,000 yuan in compensation.  Suppose they get divorced and each remarries an outsider.  Their total compensation is 135,000 + 67,500 + 135,000 + 67,500 = 400,000 yuan.  Better yet, they marry outsiders who have children, in which case the total compensation goes up to 535,000 yuan.

Particularly popular are outsiders who can be hired as temporary spouses.  The pay is more like 10,000 yuan while the town resident keeps 57,500 yuan.

Here are some specific cases:

One couple got married at the insistence of the family.  The wife quickly got pregnant and the child came in July, which brought an extra 67,500 yuan.  However, the couple had a personality conflict and they quarreled every day.  Now that the child has arrived, the marriage was over (although the money is still good).

Another couple had been married 26 years.  Their son is works away from home.  They were living a simple, tranquil life.  In April, they were tempted by the relocation money.  So they each married an outsider with the understanding that they will get re-married after they get the money.  But after they got the money, the husband said that he was no longer interested in getting re-married.

A 20-year-old young woman got married to a 40-year-old man.  On the registry, the man was listed as receiving "primary education" while the woman was listed as "a current university student."  The couple is getting a divorce after only a marriage that lasted only 28 days.  The young woman is now a divorcee, which may affect her future marriage prospects.

The most astonishing case is a 52-year-old strong man who carried an 82-year-old woman on his back into the marriage registry.  When the worker asked, "Do the two of you love each other and enter marriage voluntarily?" the woman was incoherent in her response.  This caused the man to be angry and he stormed out with the bride on this back after the process was completed.