[Divorce] European want to divorce from Taiwan woman

Hi there,
Finding this internet page,… is a new breath for my problem.

Here is the story and forgive my English, it’s not my mother language.

I knew my wife in Zurich Switzerland. We got married to let her stay longer with me in that country.
After 3 years of coming and going, back and forth … here I am in Taiwan,…feeling like a european trumph to this rich Chinese (or Taiwanese) family.

I came here to save my marriage, … my wife was unhappy in Switzerland and so we decided to open a business (English school) in Taiwan.

I put about NT$ 1 million into this business and today after 6 month running, I still don’t know where my money is …

My father in law is a rich guy … and the idea was that he would help us with this business. My wife told me she had experience but she has no idea of what she’s doing there … as for me, I was in the business in Switzerland trading fruits from all over the world, … I’m here teaching English ,… and I don’t like it …

The problem is that these people are too rich …they don’t care loosing money for the benefit or their daughter small business…
now I lost all that I had, …my independence, my job, …to face a situation I can’t stand anymore. There are many other reasons …that are to lengthy to explain here.

I drink every night to get some sleep and this can’t go on much longer… it is not healthy !!!

Now I want to get out of here,…and restart MY LIFE in Europe.

I have a daughter, she’ll be 4 in April. I cry for her very often, cause I think our lives will continue apart.

What is the law in Taiwan for divorce … and what are my rights and obligations ??
Will I have pay for my child and my wife from Europe ? ( actually they don’t need alimony,…they have money enough for the next 3 generations )
What will happen to my daughter ?

I don’t trust my Chinese/Taiwanese family anymore, …my parents suggest I just come back to Europe and wait !

Thank you very much for your help…


Your situation is similar to mine (be careful what you say - someone might say this section is more suited for the “Open Forum” than for “Divorce Matters”.

Beware of the in-laws - they will band together and back their daughter.

I, too, have a 4-year old daughter and am contimplating divorce.

Alimony is tough but I’d say you will not be obligated to pay while in Europe - but don’t expect her family to speak highly of you or send your daughter for visits.

My suggestion is get your life (and health) back. If your wife wasn’t happy before and she isn’t happy now, then she’ll never be happy. It took me a long time to realize that with my wife.

Best of luck and feel free to write me.

Vince,…that’s nice earing from you,…i read a lot of your posted messages,…and i’d like to get in touch with you,…and know more about your situation…email me
Haaaaa…please can you explain me that alimony thing…don’t understand it in english ! ty

Hartzell,…can you also give a comment and some advice on my message ? that would be nice ty

If both you and your wife desire a divorce it is simple. Taiwan law provides for consensual divorce.

In such cases, as you have a child, the Taiwan court will usually agree to any arrangement you and your wife come to with respect to your child’s custody and support.

Its obvious that your child can stay with only one parent at a time, and that it is best for the child to have some stability.

You might be able to negotiate some substantial reimbursement of the funds you contributed to the business if you agree to an arrangement where 1) your wife would have primary cusody of your child while you retained liberal visitation rights and some reasonable rights regarding decisions over your child’s upbringing and 2) your wife would take over the business for herself.

Such an arrangement could also possibly help to keep both your wife and her family happy and prevent them from poisoning your child’s mind with respect to you.

Hi Tigerman,
How sure is your proposal ?,…'cause i was busy reading the law from my country ( switzerland) and it is expensif and complicated…
Well all you wrote look so easy…now the problem is the language,…how can i be sure that all that will be what i want ?..i’m so scare to sign something that says all things i desagree !!!
How do you know so much ? Are you a lawyer or something ?
The point is …after talking with my wife,…of course she’s not happy with my decision,…but she understand me ( a little bit ),…we allready talk about our daughter,…and we agree she stays here with her mom…but every years she comes on holidays with me one to two months. Also we agree she spend part of her education in europe at my cost.
Now we havent talk about money,…but money is not important for me!..'till the point wich i desagree totaly …i mean i don’t want to pay for my wife and child from europe…most reason 'cause this chinese family has more than enough money…if they want me to pay something,…i will fight and bring my daughter with me…but i understand it will be very hard for her and me…
Anyway,…very nice proposal,…but as i said,…i don’t trust this family 100%…Now regarding swiss law,…i’ll just get separed from her for 2 to 4 years,…that will allow me to live in europe without paying anything …and give me the choice to divorce after this separation time…nearly freely…
But can i get divorce in another country than the one i got married ?
How expensif is it here ?
ok thanks a lot for those informations…they make me feel much better…
Thinking about one more thing,…i’m leaving with my daughter to europe for one month ( in march 04)…i’ll come back…to bring her to her mom,…then i’ll go back alone…can i from europe get divorce in taiwan ?
thanks a lot…

From the mind of a Taiwanese woman, wouldn’t it be better if you just go back to Switzerland and not get a divorce? That would sure save a lot of face, wouldn’t it?

Why is “divorce” so important to you? Why don’t you focus on getting your life back together first?

It sounds like the amount of money you are talking about in “the business” isn’t worth arguing about - whether her family has money or not.

[quote=“fxs69”]Hi Tigerman,
How sure is your proposal ?,…'cause I was busy reading the law from my country ( switzerland) and it is expensif and complicated…[/quote]

If she agrees to the proposal it is very sure.

Hire a lawyer.

A lawyer.

Sounds good so far.

That is your bargaining chip. If money for yourself is not important… you could first demand/request reimbursement for the amount you invested in the business. If they family is reticent to agree to this, then you could perhaps agree that you need not be reimbursed, but neither will you pay any child support (other than for the child’s living and education while visiting you in Europe) and certainly not any alimony.

I know nothing of Swiss law. However, if you leave your wife and child for a substantial period (6 months) and pay nothing and illustrate/demonstrate an intent to abandon them, your wife can sue for divorce under Taiwan law. In such case, she would be the plaintiff and could request much more from the Taiwan court, considering the fact that you have abandoned her and your child. You could lose most rights to visitation, all rights to custody, etc… You’d be in a very disadvantageous position.

[quote=“fxs69”]But can I get divorce in another country than the one I got married ?
How expensif is it here ?[/quote]

Again, I don’t know anything about Swiss law. But, generally, you can get a divorce in most jurisdictions where you legally reside. I don’t know what the financial costs of doing so would be in Switzerland. However, as stated above, by relying on a Swiss divorce, you run the risk of having your wife take the initiative and file for divorce first in Taiwan and gaining an advantage over you. Moreover, even if your wife doesn’t file for divorce in Taiwan, and if you do file for divorce in Switzerland, the Taiwan court will not necessarily recognize or enforce your Swiss divorce, as it may pertain to custody matters.

I would be surprised if your wife would agree to you taking the child out of Taiwan absent a custody agreement with visitation rights outlined in the same. Especially now that you have discussed the possibility/desire for a divorce.

But, yes, you can obtain a divorce in Taiwan even if you are physically not in Tiawan. But I think it would be simpler and better too to take care of all of this in Taiwan.

Reply to Vince,…
dear friend,…i came here,…with the goal to save my marriage…I had a super job in Switzerland making over 65000 Euro a year ( about 200’000 ntd a month)…i gave up everything for her.
Now if she couldn’t stand to live there before,…i don’t think she’ll agree today. …and more after opening her own business.
Those days i got an offer as hotel director in the canary island (spain)…
I’m still young and i can’t just stay here,…doing nothing …and been taken in charge by my wife’s family…i didn’t study and get work experiences to end this way.

Reply to tigerman
Thanks a lot for all your informations,…it’s great to get such infos from here,…i think now the best is to start dealing with my wife,…I will surprise her with all i know now…but let me know more…

  1. the price of such divorce including a lawyer
  2. as a lawyer, can you work for my case ?
  3. Is it posible to be separated legaly ?
    I realize things are so differents…from one continent to another…as my first impression of Taiwan…I’M IN ANOTHER PLANET !!!

[quote=“fxs69”]Thanks a lot for all your informations,…it’s great to get such infos from here,…I think now the best is to start dealing with my wife,…I will surprise her with all I know now…but let me know more…

  1. the price of such divorce including a lawyer

[color=red]Depends on the attorney. My rates are high, and many of our Taiwanese attorneys have even higher rates. More importantly, it depends on how complicated the divorce is. If you and your wife agree to a consensual divorce and to an agreement regarding custody and finances, it could be a simple matter for an attorney to draft the agreement and have the court recognize the same. Conversely, if you and your wife disagree on issues and the divorce has to be settled by the court, costs will be much greater.[/color]

  1. as a lawyer, can you work for my case ?

[color=red]No. I am not a Taiwan lawyer. You need to retain a Taiwan lawyer… preferably one who speaks English proficiently and has family law experience.[/color]

  1. Is it posible to be separated legaly ?

[color=red]Per my understanding of Taiwan law, there is no provision for legal separation. Of course, you and your wife can agree to live separately for the rest of your lives. However, should she desire at some point in time a divorce, she could simply demand that you return to live with her… and if you refuse to do so, she could file a claim for divorce based on your abandonment of her.[/color][/quote]

Dear Tigerman,
Again thanks alot for all the infos and help you are giving me.
And excuse my ignorance of the laws … :blush:
again 1) the price for a consensual divorce…about …in NTD ??
2) How to find such Taiwan lawyer in Taichung ?
3)Let’s imagine i go back to europe,…after an agreement on separation…
the demande of my wife to come back,…MUST BE REGISTRED Right ?
and how much time do i have to come back ?

  1. out of my problems…WHY DO YOU DO ALL THIS ?,…why do you answer me,…advice me,…inform me ???
    What ever is the answer,…i’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do …? nice person you are !!! :wink:

Well, its difficult to estimate. However, I can tell you that at the firm where I work, my rate is US$ 220/hour. Our partners charge at the rate of US$ 250/hour, and our senior partners charge at the rates of US$ 280 - 300/hour.

If its an easy case, we would need to draft the settlement agreement after consulting with you and your wife’s attorney and then take the same to court to have the court record it. I suppose that could take from 5 to 10 hours (at least). Normally, an associate attorney does most of the drafting work and court appearances (at about US$ 180/hour) and senior attorneys just supervise.

There is a pretty good firm in Taichung called the Justus Law Firm. I’ve never dealt with them but I’ve heard that they are good. I think they are listed in the telephone book.

[quote]3)Let’s imagine I go back to Europe,…after an agreement on separation…
the demande of my wife to come back,…MUST BE REGISTRED Right ?
and how much time do I have to come back ?[/quote]

There is very little case law on this, and Taiwan’s law regarding this is quite ambiguous. However, per my understanding, the demand letter would be sent to you and a certified copy of the same would be filed with the court. Then, if after 6 months you still had not returned to the family household (from whence you left), your wife would be able to claim that you had abandoned her and file for a statutory divorce based on that claim.

Why not?

Hi Tigerman,…
I like your " why not "…
Another point concerning my problem…
I have 2 passports and of course I registered my marriage in 3 countries…
Taiwan, Switzerland and Spain…
Now if I got divorce in Taiwan,…how to deal with the rest of the countries ?..is it easy ?

[quote=“fxs69”]I have 2 passports and of course I registered my marriage in 3 countries…
Taiwan, Switzerland and Spain…
Now if I got divorce in Taiwan,…how to deal with the rest of the countries ?..is it easy ?[/quote]

I think that most nations recognize a valid marriage and a valid divorce from other nations. I don’t think you’d need to do anything, really, unless perhaps you later attempted to get married again in either Spain or Switzerland… then you may need to prove that you are not married. You would need to have your divorce decree from Taiwan translated and then at least legalized by the Taiwan court or TECO.

Shouldn’t be a big problem.


You are amazing. Very informative and a great resource for those of us in need.

It is interesting that you say your rates are “high” and then you offer us advice for free. Much appreciated I do say.


Here i am back in Taiwan,…arranging my divorce.
I took contact with the Firm justus Laws in Taichung,…and “cool” they gonna work this out for me for a global charge of NT$ 20’000…wich is much cheaper than what you said…thanks god…
In the other side my wife agrees wich makes things much easier…
We both know that we had to keep a clean and healthy relation between us for the benefits of our daughter…
So i’m in the middle of the procedure…wich looks good.
I just feel sad about my little daughter,…but still i will keep contact with her as soon as possible…
I would like to thank you " Tigerman" for all you advices…it has been a great help for me…
I will post a last message to this forum as the divorce is accomplished.

HI all,
I received a message days ago from a canadian in a similar situation, and i just realized that i didn’t came back to tell you about how my story ended, so here it is.

I prepared a divorce agreement and put all what i wanted, then i asked my wife to sing it and that’s it.

Now i have my daughter during summer vacation in Europe and if i can, i go to Asia for holiday and take my daughter with me. ( Last April i visited VIetnam, i took my daughter with me, and we had a great time.)

I am lucky that my ex-wife understand that my daughter need me also, and we do our best to accomplish with that.

Of course i had a very hard time as i came back home with the pockets empty, no job, and no daughter…but i worked hard, and today all is back to normal…i have a great job, money, good relations with my daughter,…i can slowly start to look for a girl again !

Glad you’re happier now and it’s working out with seeing your daughter. :slight_smile:

fxs69 -
Bless you & your daughter.
Its good to hear things have worked out so well for all of you.
Best of Luck for your future.