Some answers about divorce in Taiwan

This is illegal in Taiwan and would be difficult to pull off. A person can take out life insurance on another person only if they have an insurable interest in the other person (such as in a spouse), and even then, they must still have the consent of the insured person in writing. If they actually did take insurance out on you wihout your consent, it means they falsified your statement and signature, which would be a serious crime.[/quote]

And which would not surprize me a whit, especially as the insurnace was sold by a family member, and a good friend of a family member. It also would have been a “victimless” crime, as if something had happened to me, there would have been on one left to protest![/quote]

Holy cow Housecat, that is SOOOOO scary!!! :astonished:[/quote]
Yes, I was very afraid when I found out, and very angry. And the “family” was very angry that I was angry. Anyway, it’s over now and I don’t believe any such policies exist any longer. But one should really THINK about what it means to get married here![/quote]

I agree…people do need to seriously consider the implications of marriage in Taiwan in case the worst happens. I have a few foreign friends who have gone through divorces in Taiwan and they have been nothing short of nightmarish, and one has been trying to divorce his totally crazy wife for years but she won’t consent unless he ‘buys’ it from her with an outrageous amount that he doesn’t have. :frowning:

This is illegal in Taiwan and would be difficult to pull off. A person can take out life insurance on another person only if they have an insurable interest in the other person (such as in a spouse), and even then, they must still have the consent of the insured person in writing. If they actually did take insurance out on you wihout your consent, it means they falsified your statement and signature, which would be a serious crime.[/quote]

And which would not surprize me a whit, especially as the insurnace was sold by a family member, and a good friend of a family member. It also would have been a “victimless” crime, as if something had happened to me, there would have been on one left to protest![/quote]

No, this would not have been a “victimless” crime! As soon as it happened (the life insurance on you was bought without your knowledge and consent), you were already the victim, even though nothing else happened to you. All you would have had to do would be to report it to the prosecutor (preferably through a reputable law firm, that would ensure there was a record of the complaint), and I can assure you that if such insurance had actually successfully been bought, the purchaser would have a very hard time escaping harsh criminal penalties. This kind of case should be easy to investigate and prosecute, as there would be a record of the insurance with the insurance company.

[Edit: Housecat, you’ve really been through some tough times in the past few years, judging from your posts here. It’s clear you’re strong enough to pull through it all. Hang in there. I think one of the keys to getting through tough times – this is hard-learned in my own experience – is to know when to turn to others, but then to keep turning until you find the “right” others to help (be it it lawyers, doctors, friends, or whatever), who you know, both through your own research (this is most important) and your gut are giving you the real answers for you, rather than the answers that are convenient for them.]

[quote=“housecat”]Indeed, great thread.

When it became painfully clear that my marriage wasn’t going to last, I had several choices of the “ten reasons” to divorce, but my ex had none. And if not for the fact that we had a son, (for which my ex would have fought simply to avoid losing face), I would had an uncontested divorce. As it was, we were living seperatly, and I was already beginning to fear for my saftey, but when his other family members began taking out insurance against my life–without even telling me first–I decided that I had no choice but to leave the island. Other’s thought that paranoid, but when it’s your head with the price tag, well, I beg to differ!!

It’s simply too easy for one foreigner to go missing here, and too hard to follow up that kind of thing from an outside country.

So, when I say that I would never seriously date a Taiwanese again, it’s really not that I’ve become prejusiced against them. I have my reasons.[/quote]

Poor you, Housecat. If I could find a “hug” emoticon, I would give you one.

[quote=“Rotalsnart”]No, this would not have been a “victimless” crime! As soon as it happened (the life insurance on you was bought without your knowledge and consent), you were already the victim, even though nothing else happened to you. All you would have had to do would be to report it to the prosecutor (preferably through a reputable law firm, that would ensure there was a record of the complaint), and I can assure you that if such insurance had actually successfully been bought, the purchaser would have a very hard time escaping harsh criminal penalties. This kind of case should be easy to investigate and prosecute, as there would be a record of the insurance with the insurance company.

[Edit: Housecat, you’ve really been through some tough times in the past few years, judging from your posts here. It’s clear you’re strong enough to pull through it all. Hang in there. I think one of the keys to getting through tough times – this is hard-learned in my own experience – is to know when to turn to others, but then to keep turning until you find the “right” others to help (be it it lawyers, doctors, friends, or whatever), who you know, both through your own research (this is most important) and your gut are giving you the real answers for you, rather than the answers that are convenient for them.][/quote]

Rotalsnart, thanks, but I meant if I were no longer alive, and was being sarcastic that there would have been no victim.

And thanks to others for your concern kind thoughts. I didn’t want to take thread off topic, just to say that–really–there are things to think about that you can’t even imagine! LOOK before you leap! (I’m nice and divorced now.)

Hi

I divorced a local nurt case in Kaohsiung last May, although it was contested-from her, things did come together. If it’s any help I’m happy to give the details of the Lawyer. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to display them here. The cost was NT$ 50 000, and the whole thing two two weeks from the date of submission. I’m no expert, but I’m happy to give any info which might be helpful.

I’d like to hear more details of your case: on what grounds were you able to divorce her? What standard of evidence was required to satisfy the court?

Hi, I divorced her on the grounds of ‘no sexual congress’. As well as being a nut-case, she became a Bhuddhist extremist, and that’s what I had to set out in my 'Personal Statement. I was told that in order to divorce her, I had to be able to show that we’d be living apart for a year; In addition I had to write a long-ish personal statement for the court. The lawyer told me that normally, one party had to be able to positively show that the other party was guilty of something, but not in the case of ‘no sexual congress’ (his words, not mine). The ‘evidence’ was my personal statement, and having to answer some rather embarassing questions during mediation, such as ‘when was the last time you had sex with your wife?’. The session was superintended by a female judge and a clerk, and it took three hours. The court costs were NT$ 3000, which I got back, and as I said the Lawyer was NT$50 000. Quite steep, I agree, but he got the job done and kept it away from a full court hearing. According to him, that would have lead to a nightmarish situation in which a High Court Judge would have dismissed the case back into mediation, which would fail, and then be returned to court, and so on.
Like I said, I’m more than happy to give more details if anyone wants to know. Oh by the way. I used the free consulatation service with a Lawyer at Kaohsiung Social Services, too. You get half an hour with a Lawyer and Translator on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, people also use it for work related issues; useful for scaring employers if the need arises!

It sounds like a bargain to me.

I’m just surprised that she didn’t attempt to sleep with you in order to destroy your entire rationale behind suing for divorce, since she was contesting the divorce in the first place. I guess that she wasn’t willing to do that though.

Just one question: when you said “I had to be able to show that we’d be living apart for a year”, how do you prove that? Or did you mean “I had to be able to show that we’d been living apart for a year”?

Thanks for your contribution to this thread!

Really excellent thread Northcoast. :bravo:

Touch wood: Fortunately I need to know very little about divorce, but I have a stupid question while I’m here……and hopefully someone will know.

Which divorce laws would apply to a married couple (living in Taiwan) that had got married outside Taiwan? For example, marrying a Taiwanese partner back in your home country, or perhaps while away on holiday somewhere (but not in Taiwan).

Would this couple be tied to Taiwan’s divorce laws while living in Taiwan, or would there be any allowances /options / provisions for the divorce law of the country they got married in?

Bonus question: What if the couple had seperated and were living in different countries…which law would take precedent then?

I’ll take a stab at answering your questions. However, I must confess that I’ve never had any real life experience with this situation, so I’m answering based on basic divorce laws of the United States. If anyone else wants to chime in here, please feel free to lend a hand! :bow:

[quote=“BlackAdder”]Which divorce laws would apply to a married couple (living in Taiwan) that had got married outside Taiwan? For example, marrying a Taiwanese partner back in your home country, or perhaps while away on holiday somewhere (but not in Taiwan).[/quote]If you are residing in Taiwan and decide to divorce in Taiwan, then the divorce laws in Taiwan would apply. However, if you were legally residing in Taiwan and decided to return to your home country to divorce, then the divorce laws in your home country would apply. Basically, you need to follow the relevant laws of whichever country that you decide to get divorced.

[quote=“BlackAdder”]Would this couple be tied to Taiwan’s divorce laws while living in Taiwan, or would there be any allowances /options / provisions for the divorce law of the country they got married in?[/quote]The couple would be subject to the divorce laws of the country in which they decide to divorce. There are no provisions for Taiwan to follow other countries’ divorce laws based on the nationalties of either of the two individuals who are divorcing. Do you think an American court would take any Taiwan divorce laws into consideration when rendering a decision on a divorce petition? If you were a Sunni Muslim and you used the triple talaq method of divorce by telling your spouse three times, أنت طالق أنت طالق أنت طالق (“I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you”), do you believe any other country would accept that as a valid divorce as it is in some countries? :loco:

[quote=“BlackAdder”]Bonus question: What if the couple had seperated and were living in different countries…which law would take precedent then?[/quote]Niether, both, one or the other. This is a really loaded question. Why? Let’s take the US for example. America is not simply one country, it’s more like 50 little countries (states) which cooperate together under a federal system. All 50 states of the United States have different requirements for residency as it pertains to divorcing. For Hawaii, no divorce will be granted for any cause unless domiciled or having been physically present in the State for a continuous period of at least six months prior to filing for the divorce. So, in this case, the two parties wouldn’t be able to divorce in Hawaii. If they wanted to get divorced, Taiwan would be the way to go because there is no residency requirement in order to get divorced. The spouse who is residing outside of Taiwan would simply need to return to Taiwan on a visitor’s visa for a couple days and get it done. Let’s look at the State of Nevada,you know VEGAS!!! The law requires established residency of 6 weeks in order to file a complaint for divorce. Easier, but still a month and a half of residency is required just to get divorced.

As you can see, it gets complicated for divorce in the United States. You can legally file for and successfully get divorced in ANY state within the United States, but you have to follow the specific divorce laws of the respective state for which you are divorcing to include requirements for residency.

So, back to your hypothetical question. Which country is the foreigner from? Where is the foreigner residing right now? Where is the Taiwanese spouse residing right now? Does the Taiwanese spouse also hold citizenship from the country where the marriage took place in addition to Taiwanese citizenship? Has the marriage been registered in Taiwan? Is it a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce?

[quote=“Interpol”][color=#FF0000]I divorced her on the grounds of ‘no sexual congress’.[/color] The lawyer told me that normally, one party had to be able to positively show that the other party was guilty of something, [color=#FF0000]but not in the case of ‘no sexual congress’[/color]. The [color=#FF0000]‘evidence’ [/color]was my personal statement, and having to answer some rather embarassing questions during mediation, such as [color=#FF0000]‘when was the last time you had sex with your wife?’[/color].[/quote]Thank you for sharing your experience with us. However, I’ve got a couple questions I wish you would shed some light on.

When someone attempts to divorce their spouse based on adultery, they are required to have proof positive evidence of the adultery. ie. Videos or photographs taken during the act, or a child which resulted from the allegation of adultery. However, in your case, the only evidence you had to prove “no sexual congress” was your personal written statement and the requirement to answer questions during mediation about the last time you had sex with your wife. That’s sounds absolutely bat shit crazy! I mean, why should they believe what you said? You could have been lying for all they knew. I know it’s not really possible to show a video or some photographs of you NOT having sex with your wife as evidence, but it’s a little disturbing that they accepted your written statement and your oral statement as evidentiary statements of fact! :astonished:

The only way I can see that this possibly worked was that during the mediation session your wife publicly admitted and confirmed your allegation of not having sex with you and that’s how you were able to win a divorce based on on the grounds of ‘no sexual congress’. Is this correct? :ponder:

What would have happened if you had made your written allegation of no sex and your oral allegation during the mediation sessions of no sex, but your wife refuted it all and said you both had sex every single day, all the time, she loves sex with you and that you were lying just to win a divorce so you could run off and be with another woman! Then, how could your statements have been considered ‘evidence’ and won you a divorce?

A few more questions, if you don’t mind.[quote=“Interpol”]Like I said, I’m more than happy to give more details if anyone wants to know.[/quote]

  1. You didn’t have to “buy” the divorce from your wife? You were awarded your contested divorce based on ‘no sexual congress’ and you only had to pay attorney and court fees?

  2. Why wasn’t your wife willing to grant you an uncontested divorce? What did she want?

  3. What was her angle in not agreeing to your request for divorce?

  4. Was there anything you could have given her or said to her that would have made her agree to a divorce?

  5. What was the final disposition of marital assets upon divorce? 50/50? House? Car? Business? Kids? Money?

  6. What was your visa status at the time you got divorced? JFRV/APRC/employment based ARC

Hi

I’ll try to shed a little more light on what happened, one thing I ought to add though is that I don’t speak very good Chinese, and the discourse was at very-high-speed Chinese, so I couldn’t understand who said what. I don’t know why she would have agreed to divorce on the ground of ‘no congress’, because, as has been said, she need not have: no way of proving one way or the other. Still, the lawyer maintained that the claim was valid through the medium of a personal statement. Naturally, I’ve speculated too, but I just don’t know, and his English is not precise enough to explain it clearly.

I was advised to give up my right to the property, its contents and the car when we agreed the terms. She initially insisted on me paying NT$ 35 000 a month, I was told the Judge rejected that on the grounds that is was unreasonable since I had agreed to give up my claim to 50%.

I’m still happy to answer any more questions. In addition, if any of you are in the vicinity of Love River, Kaohsiung, during week day nights, I could give you the Lawyers details. I have a few beers with some mates down there from 9 till about 10:30.

Oh yeah I forgot to mention, I had been on a marriage ARC, got it extended for a month after the divorce and then switched to an APRC as I’d reached the 5 year point. The extension was tricky, but doable if you’re elligable for an APRC, otherwise you need to leave in 7 days-according to ‘them’

[quote=“Interpol”]I don’t know why she would have agreed to divorce on the ground of ‘no congress’, because, as has been said, she need not have: no way of proving one way or the other. Still, the lawyer maintained that the claim was valid through the medium of a personal statement. Naturally, I’ve speculated too, but I just don’t know, and his English is not precise enough to explain it clearly.[/quote]Still unclear. Your ex-wife [color=#FF0000]did [/color]admit to or [color=#FF0000]did not [/color]admit to the “no sexual congress” claim you made against her during the mediation session?

[quote=“Interpol”]I was advised to give up my right to the property, its contents and the car[/quote]Who advised this? Your attorney? Why would anyone advise you to give up 50% of what’s legally and rightfully yours? Perhaps your ex-wife’s lawyer recommended this?

[quote=“Interpol”]when we [color=#FF0000]agreed [/color] on the terms.[/quote]So, this would indicate that she willingly signed the divorce. If so, then that would be an uncontested divorce. In the end, a deal was concocted to her satisfaction that she felt she could live with and she voluntarily agreed to it.

[quote=“Interpol”]She initially insisted on me paying NT$ 35,000 a month, [color=#FF0000]I was told[/color] the Judge rejected that on the grounds that is was unreasonable since I had agreed to give up my claim to 50%.[/quote]So, you were led to believe that if you had insisted on your legal claim to 50% of the marital assets, the judge would have ruled for you to pay alimony to your ex-wife to the tune of $35,000/month? Who told you this, the judge? You actually heard the judge say this? How many years would you have had to pay this alimony had it been ruled? Under what circumstances would a judge have any reason to order you to pay $35,000/month in alimony to your ex-wife? Why would you have “owed” her anything for a failed marriage? Couldn’t you have demanded that she pay you $35,000/month in alimony? It feels like you were pressured or threatened.

Here’s the summary of your situation as best as I can tell.

  1. You wanted to divorce, but your ex-wife initially refused to agree to a divorce.

  2. You got a lawyer and filed a motion of “no sexual congress” against your ex-wife in an attempt to win a contested divorce.

  3. You went to a mediation session and either your ex-wife admitted to the charge of “no sexual congress” or she denied it.

  4. You voluntarily gave up your legal rights to 50% of your marital assets in exchange for avoiding the threat of the possibility of paying $35,000/month in alimony to your ex-wife.

  5. Your ex-wife was satisfied with this arrangement and she voluntarily signed the divorce. The judge, in fact, did not actually rule against your ex-wife and grant you a contested divorce against her.

Basically, you hired an attorney to sue your ex-wife for a contested divorce, but ended up buying an uncontested divorce from your ex-wife by paying her off with 50% of your legal and rightful interest in the house, household goods, and the car. You paid a lawyer to haggle a deal out for you so your wife would agree to sign the divorce.

For me, winning a contested divorce would consist of:

  1. You sued your ex-wife for a divorce.

  2. Your ex-wife never agreed to the divorce, no matter the terms and refused to sign it.

  3. Regardless, the judge ruled in your favor, granting you a divorce AGAINST her wishes, and ordered that you were also entitled to a minimum of 50% interest in the house, household goods, and the car as she was led kicking and screaming from the court room yelling, “Unfair, unfair, I DON’T want a divorce!”

The law can often be seen as an effort to put order to the messy facts of human life. Most good lawyers understand that there is a long distance between one’s official legal “rights” and what they are actually going to get, and the Taiwan legal system often is not good at addressing the issues of past wrongs. Thus, people who want to use the law to fix up something that went bad in the past should keep in mind that most judges here do not embrace an American-style system of “pre-trial discovery” regarding facts and documents and that the system here does not embrace any real punishments against parties who make false testimony or provide false documents in a case. Take all that as a bit of background for the other immutable fact at play here – divorce is one of the messiest areas of law. Divorce is also the area of law most likely to involve intense personal feelings and, thus, a lack of rationality that tends to massive increase the legal costs.

When I was in law school, an adjunct professor talking about divorce said: “Clients will come to you and talk about ‘winning’ at divorce. They want to ‘win’. They’re not going to. They’re already losers, not in the sense that they’re deficient people, but divorce is a matter of trying to make the best out of a bad situation. They have lost a marriage that started out of better hopes and dreams.”

And so there are real limits to what a lawyer can do in a situation whereby a couple does not want to get divorced – Taiwan has some fairly tight restrictions that actually mirror the sort that many of the American states had right up until there was a movement towards no-fault divorce in the 1970s. And thus if a person here wants to get a divorce from a spouse who is angry, crazy, emotional or whatever, they are going to basically have to find a way to buy their way out of it at exorbitant cost. Or sometimes they simply cannot. What money would be necessary to solve the heartbreak, anger and insecurities of a failed marriage? One might as well ask how much a person would be willing to accept to have their arm removed at the elbow – there’s no good number.

That said, lawyers have a lot of things they can do when children are involved – if there are children involved and the client is willing to listen a bit there are a lot of things that can be done to resolve even awful custody or visitation situations. Some of the worst situations I’ve seen have involved extra factors where foreigner fathers have torpedoed their chances for success:

  • Clients who don’t cooperate with their counsel on factual information or who show up to hearings in a manner that appears disrespectful are going to have serious problems. Dads who show up to hearings inebriated, hungover, dressed inappropriately, etc. are a problem, as are the ones who can’t control their emotions (and, admittedly, custody hearings and divorces are full of emotions) so as to yell at court personnel or judges. Dads who fail to disclose embarrassing information until it’s too late.

  • Clients who do illegal stuff and get caught out at it by their spouse. There’s nothing to complicate a visitation/custody matter like having an arrest warrant out for some stupid thing that was done.

  • Clients who don’t address the dumb illegal stuff they did. So you socked your wife’s new boyfriend in the nose? Hiding in Hong Kong or Singapore and avoiding Taiwan is not going to help you see your kids faster. Man up and go defend yourself or suck up your pride and settle with the bastard.

  • Adding insult to injury – people in the midst of a divorce often dump gasoline onto existing fires. Gratuitous angry or mean crap against one’s ex, well none of this helps with the judges here.

  • Not all lawyers are created equal, and not all specialize in this area of law. I’ve got a colleague who practices regularly in this field who has a master’s in family law from the UK and cares about the issues intently with good results. Feiren has mentioned another whom he recommends highly. But grabbing a random lawyer out of the telephone book is not going to get you much – and the local practitioners generally don’t turn anything away even if they don’t have the foggiest clue. Telecoms law? Sure! Bankruptcy? No problem! Complex multinational divorce? Absolutely! Given how hard the local bar exam is to pass and the relatively low flat-fee costs of obtaining legal representation, there’s apparently a prevailing belief among local lawyers that there’s nothing that they can’t do.

  • Clients who don’t pay tend not to get very good results from local lawyers … or from any lawyers for that matter. Some of these cases require extraordinary efforts to overcome the foreigner versus local dynamic and to cover the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink sorts of arguments that will be put out by an angry local parent and her counsel. Add in that some of these situations will involve legislators, media attention, etc. that just hypes things up. There was a rather famous case a few years ago where the dad did not pay any of his legal bills and every law firm in town knew about it. When he tried to shop his case around to the potential second group of suckers whom he wouldn’t pay, he kept faxing 200-page piles of documents to my office and demanding my instant feedback while disregarding the retainer note we’d sent weeks earlier. I didn’t take on that case, the dad lost, and he proclaimed the Taiwan courts to be corrupt.

This is just a bit of a stream of consciousness flow here. Lawyers have a time and place, but there are limitations as to what the laws here will allow. Several of the situations described by Northcoast Surfer involve attempts by foreigners to hire local counsel despite in a quixotic attempt to change local law despite clear code provisions to the contrary – bound to be a huge waste of money. My general experience has been that the courts here have been willing to try to reach a competent result. But if a foreigner plays into every negative stereotype, gets crappy and/or ambivalent local counsel, etc., they will lose.

Hi, some short questions?
I got married in Taiwan, (in the court), we moved later to a Scandinavian country, my home country and our marriage got registered here.
My wife became a local citicen, as well as keeping her Taiwanese citicenship. We are currently residing in in Scandinavia and have no children under 18. I know I can get a divorce here in Sweden but what will my legal status be in Taiwan? There is a chance that she will not agree, is then the marriage still valid in Taiwan and do I risk any legal proceedings if I visit Taiwan again? My visits would only be shorter business trips. Do I have to go through the agony of a Taiwaneese divorce+
regards

I think it only has to be valid in one country to be valid in all countries. You can probably register it (once issued in your home country) with the household office here to make sure though. Maybe someone can confirm this?

It is not as if they will detain you here for getting divorced, IE normally they would kick you out if you are here on a JFRV and you got divorced.

If you were here on a shortish visit, you may want to bring a legalized divorce agreement and have it registered here, however if you live in Scandinavia, and you don’t plan to come back here to live, then why bother?

I took a Taiwanese divorce agreement back to a Scandinavian country, and they registered there at the local population registry, it took 5 minutes. The date of the divorce as recorded back home was not the date I gave it to them, it was the date the Taiwanese authorities registered the divorce.

My understanding is that a foreign divorce of a Taiwanese marriage needs to be ratified by a Taiwanese court before it is considered effective. If the divorce is uncontested then this process is trivial - in fact it’s probably easier to just go to the household registration office and get divorced again.

However, if the divorce is contested, getting a foreign divorce recognized in Taiwan is almost as difficult as getting a contested divorce pushed through the court here. In fact, it would be just like getting divorced all over again. (Source: legal counsel obtained when seeking my own divorce; I was considering going back to the UK and getting a divorce there).

Will you face any legal proceedings here if you enter the country? That all depends on whether or not your soon-to-be ex-wife has gone batshit insane and filed a suit against you.

Hi again
Thank you for your answers.
I draw the conclusion that I can get a divorce in Scandinavia, since the marriage is registered here and my wife now have dual citicenship.
The final divorce papers here will not show if the divorce is contested or not, so I guess I can register the divorce in Taiwan as well.
I was just afraid that my wife will make trouble in Taiwan just the same, and wonder if I get “wanted” in Taiwan if i enter. I will not live in Taiwan but enter on four week, visa free conditions, on shorter business trips.
Hey, I just found out, it doesn’t matter, my wife has no case if I enter Taiwan, we are still married (in Taiwan) so whats the deal?
The only thing should be if I remarry (fat chance) and in that case I’ll do that in Scandinavia.
Problem solved, but Thank you all for your inputs.
Regards from never remarry, get a dog (bitch?) or a parakeet instead, for company.

The only complication I can see is that you remarry, and take your new wife to Taiwan for a visit, and your ex knows about it.

She can then do you for unfaithfulness, which carries a prison sentence.

That said, I think that the local legal system would shy away from a case, where you are able to show a valid divorce. Would make for awful press coverage worldwide.

Short of that, what would she be able to do?

Neither marriage nor divorce is a crime after all.

Also, if you really came to Taiwan on business, why tell your ex?