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Frontiers of Law in China

Front. Law China    2019, Vol. 14 Issue (2) : 164-192
Filial Support Obligations under Singapore, United States, and Chinese Law: A Comparative Study
YU Lüxue()
School of Law, Peking University, Beijing, China; Associate Professor, School of Law, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
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The increase in aging populations is one of the most important issues facing the world today. This article considers how the legal systems in three jurisdictions — China, Singapore, and the United States — with different legal, political, and ethical regimes, impose and then enforce obligations on adult children to care for their parents. For Singapore, this article considers the content and operation of the Maintenance of Parents Act 1996 and the use of mediation and tribunals for the enforcement of its provisions. For the United States, where more than half the states have some forms of filial support legislation, this article mainly focuses on the experience in Pennsylvania and North and South Dakota and considers cases interpreting the legislation from these states; it also considers the interplay between the legislation and federal social security and healthcare programs. For China, this article mainly considers the obligations imposed by the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (amended in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018) with examples of recent cases decided in 2017 and the encouragement given to children to support their parents through two agreements (the Separation of Family Assets and the Family Support Agreement) and increased inheritance rights under the Law of Succession 1985. China is unusual in imposing a legal obligation on children to visit their elderly parents, and the article considers recent cases on this. Through a comparative approach, this article also assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches in each jurisdiction.

Keywords Maintenance of Parents Act (MPA)      Tribunal for the Maintenance of Parents      federal programs      nursing home fee recovery      Elderly Law      Separation of Family Assets (SFA)      Family Support Agreement (FSA)      obligation to visit     
Issue Date: 08 August 2019
 Cite this article:   
YU Lüxue. Filial Support Obligations under Singapore, United States, and Chinese Law: A Comparative Study[J]. Front. Law China, 2019, 14(2): 164-192.
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