Accused of domestic violence

I’m an American man married to a Taiwanese woman (with dual U.S. citizenship via our marriage). We were married in the U.S. and have lived in the U.S. for the entirety of our marriage, and our marriage is not registered in Taiwan. Our two young kids enrolled in schools in the U.S.

In the last year or so, our relationship has been deteriorating for reasons I don’t think I need to get into, and my wife’s mental state has been deteriorating in tandem.

Despite all of this, I was excited about our trip to Taiwan for a family wedding and Chinese New Year. This is probably my 8th or 10th time in Taiwan, but I’m not really counting. I enjoy coming here, especially for the food. It was supposed to be a two-week trip, and I thought it would be a nice break from the day-to-day back home.

Well, I’ll try to make a long story short … a few days into our trip, while I went out of the house alone for an hour, my wife took away and hid our kids’ US passports. When I found out I confronted her about this, and argument followed, and she threatened that she wants a divorce and might just want to stay in Taiwan indefinitely and not let the kids return home, and refused to tell me where the passports are. I was absolutely not ok with this and got angry. She screamed, called the Taichung police, accused me of hitting her (I didn’t), and launched into a teary DV victim act. I got scared, grabbed my passport and some cash and took off on foot.

I stayed the night in a hotel and found a lawyer through AIT’s website. Remember, I’m just a tourist here, so I had no idea what my rights are in Taiwan and didn’t want to go to the police by myself. Lawyer came with me to the police station, helped me give a statement (I didn’t know about the Foreign Affairs Police until today … but I don’t think they were present?), and police said have a nice day and happy new year. My wife said I’m not welcome back at the house, so I go back to the hotel and consider just flying home (without my kids) and deal with the custody battle later.

A few hours later, the lawyer informs me that my wife is prosecuting me and had petitioned for a travel ban on my passport and it was issued by the Taichung DA. I’m stuck in Taiwan. I’m accused of the crime of “offense of causing injury” and at some point I’ll have a hearing at the prosecutor’s office.

My question for the group: what can I expect at this hearing? All I really want is for my travel ban to be lifted so I can go home and go back to work. Yes, there are other issues to deal with (like divorcing my wife and getting my kids back to the US) but I have lawyers that I trust working on that already. Due to CNY, I’ve already been in Taiwan longer than planned and my wife cancelled our return flights. Will the prosecutor’s office provide a translator? Do I need to find my own interpreter? would they keep a tourist/foreigner in Taiwan on a travel ban for long?



Please read the threads about divorce here. Search your rights and look into finding allies here. You will need someone, friends family, for support. This is not Kansas. There are support groups. Seek help. This is bad.

Moreover, you cannot leave. Rather, if you want to give a fight for your kids, you must stay. Custody is very hard to get, there is no easy way to say this, but once the kids are in Taiwan there is very little chance to get them out.


I hate to say it but DV is a very touchy subject and in the US a woman can simply accuse a man of DV and with no evidence other than her words, can effectively strip you of rights (and this including your rights to bear arms). US justice isn’t known for being fair or impartial… prosecutors are driven by how many bodies they put in jail, not whether or not misconduct has put an innocent man in jail.

Your only real recourse is… :speak_no_evil: :oncoming_police_car:

The US will NOT honor an extradition request from Taiwan. Any legal battles and the court will almost always side with the local. It’s just how it is… But if your wife is a dual citizen she can cause you a lot of grief in the US as well, especially with all the DV acts where heresay can essentially get your rights stripped at minimum, or jailed.

Right, I know this about the US but that’s not relevant right now. What I’m really asking is about the DV allegation in Taiwan. How do the prosecutors treat that here? What’s the prosecutor interrogation/hearing about?

I appreciate the comments about the custody/kids. My lawyers and I have a plan for that but of course I can’t discuss it in a public forum. Right now my main concern is this criminal allegation and travel ban, and how to make it go away.

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Stay frosty. You have to keep your cool. I know it is hard, but if you want to see your kids, do not play into their hands. That is why support is important.

Under no circumstances sign anything. If they tell you sign and then talk about custody, forget it. Even if you are granted visits, your wife is without legal obligation to comply and there is nothing the law can do for you to help then.


As for the criminal conviction, you have a lawyer, ask him.

But you would show up at the prosecutors and he would ask you questions about the case. From then there would be a series of investigation hearings where they go over the evidence and after that they would decide if they would go ahead and prosecute or not. If no prosecution then you get a statement stating the prosecutor is not seeking an indictment. Otherwise you get an indictment and from there you go and see a judge who would decide on innocence or guilt. The prosecutor does not decide on that.

Make sure your lawyer is with you at the prosecutor hearings. He can hold you with a bail, and you would not be allowed to leave the country in the meantime. When you are on bail you would also have to seek the prosecutor’s permission if you are going to move.

Are there any evidence against you? if there is insufficient evidence the prosecutor will drop the case. I do not know if hearsay is acceptable here, it is probably not. Make sure your lawyer helps the prosecutor see that you have no role in this and that she’s simply lying.

If it turns out she’s lying you can counter sue her and she can go to jail for this.

A post was partly censored because it advocated breaking the law. That doesn’t fly here. Thank you all for your cooperation. :rainbow:

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Your kids have dual citizenship? If not, they are only allowed to stay for 3 months. They are eligible for dual citizen ship as your wife is Taiwanese. I am not sure if she can do it without your consent.

You should go to the AIT and apply for new passports for your kids as the current ones are missing.

A similar case I read about the father was able to start a criminal case for child abduction in the US. This is symbolic and will bar your wife from entering US in the future if convicted, or make her face the consequences for her actions when she returns to US. Taiwan will not extradite their citizens to US to face criminal charges.


All I can say is good luck…this is messed up.


US law requires both parent’s signature to issue passports, and also would have to physically bring the kids to AIT. Not possible right now.

Yes, but I have to get back to the US first. Thats why I need this travel ban and DV allegation to go away quickly!!

I don’t think it’s possible, as their marriage was not registered in Taiwan.

Isn’t the only requirement that the mother needs to be Taiwanese with household registration?

So he also should get in touch with immigration. Stating the mother forces the kids to overstay by hiding the passports an canceling returning flights.


and a document to prove she is their mother.

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If his wife prepared well, she might have the US birth certificates authenticated and ready to go.
Looks like she made a good setup. But this is definitely not the way to divorce having children.


There must be some sort of temporary travel documents they can issue.

What if you travel alone with a kid to Taiwan and the passport gets lost. I doubt you have to fly in your spouse to get travel documents for the kids to return. I am not US citizen, I am just wondering.


Yes, it’s possible but AIT cannot make that decision. A U.S. federal judge can.

However, the point is moot if I cannot physically access the children and if I cannot leave Taiwan myself due to the travel ban issued by the DA.

All you can do is wait for your hearing and tell your side of the story (and with your lawyer present).

Like I said if it turns out that your wife lied to the DA/police she can go to jail for this. It’s actually more serious than the DV charge.

See here:

You can report the passports as stolen / missing and have them replaced here in Taiwan.

Follow the procedures from the link.

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I don’t understand her motivation to block you from leaving Taiwan? Wouldn’t it be easier to do what she’s planned if you’re back in the US?