Call your mom—or she’ll see you in court.
That’s the gist of a new law in Shanghai, where officials have made it possible for elderly parents to sue their kids if they don’t call or visit enough.
The law, which goes into effect on May 1st, is very specific about what’s expected of adult children. During their visits, they must provide their aging parents with emotional, financial and spiritual support. Children of parents in nursing homes are required to visit especially often.
Strangely, the law does not stipulate how many visits are required per year.
The punishments, however, are very clear. First strike: Mom and Dad can sue. If their suit is successful, the court can order you to visit. If you don’t, things get worse: your credit score will be damaged, making it hard to open a bank account, get a mortgage or even apply for a library card.
After all that, the logic goes, you’ll be happy to visit your parents.