What to do if spouse is missing for years?


In theory, everyone must file. If you make less than 30k you still file but do not pay. If something was deducted, you get the money back.

How about NHI? That is mandatory payment. Does not matter if you do not use it, they still want their money…unless you can prove you are unemployed.

If you are unemployed the government gives you assistance. You have to prove you went on job interviews at least every 3 months, though.


Sounds like I am in some real trouble…I had no idea. This means I can’t even go to the legal aid foundation? I really can’t afford to pay these lawyers…Now I feel at more of a loss then when I started. Maybe I really should run off? Right now I just really want to go home but wanted to get this solved first.


Did you visit new immigrant center or something like that in your area? They might also provide some help or consultant for you (foreign spouse of a citizen).


Solve it. It is not your fault not to know these things.

Legal aid is for all who need it. That the current advisors have not checked the basics is worrisome.


They have the right to refuse a case under certain circumstances, like if you insult them or want to sue the Foundation itself.

You can get a consultation (with an appointment) without proving your income & assets, but to apply for full service you need those blue papers from the tax office, with at least your own name on them.


For reference:


Unofficial translation: being in a continuing situation of one party among the husband and wife having abandoned the other party in bad faith.


I don’t see a problem in the wording of Subpar. 9 (lack of clarity of life or death having exceeded three years). Where you might have a problem is the wording of the start of the paragraph:


You request a divorce from the court, instead of performing the divorce yourself and later getting it validated (the way you would when quitting a job). So as I see it, she could indeed show up in court and reset the clock. Don’t take my word for it of course.

Par. 2 is worth looking into:

Either the husband or the wife may petition for a juridical decree of divorce upon the occurrence of any gross event other than that set forth in the preceding paragraph that renders it difficult to maintain the marriage, except if either the husband or the wife is responsible for the event, only the other party may petition for the divorce.

That condition again is 重大事由,難以維持婚姻. It’s not 不可抗力 like an earthquake, but exactly what qualifies as 重大 is hard to say. I would expect a good lawyer to know of some precedents or spend some time looking for them.


So you would agree with the lawyer that I probably can’t use number 5? Me telling her to leave in an argument would put me at fault which is not qualifying for her leaving in bad faith, right?

This is what I thought as well. It’s hard to keep saying I don’t know if shes’s alive or dead if she shows up in court in front of me.

Well, I’d say it’s definitely difficult to maintain a marriage when one party refuses to come out of hiding for years. But I don’t know; sounds like I don’t have much of a chance of winning this case…


Just because she can do something, that doesn’t mean she will.

If I were you, I would quietly go around asking other lawyers for their opinions, and I would also look into moving back to the US and getting a divorce there.


My wife says you can sue for divorce if the other person is failing to do their marriage duties. To be blunt, no sex. She says she knows of at least 3 people who have done this and were awarded the divorce. Personally, I think you are worrying too much. Just sue for divorce on the grounds she has been missing for 3+ years and is failing to meet her obligations as a wife. If you don’t get awarded the divorce, you are in no different situation than you are now and can then decide if you want to do something else.

Also, the court will send a summons to her last known / reported address which would be the address on her household registration. If she is no longer at that address, then she won’t get the summons and therefore won’t be showing up to court. She will also get fined for lying about her household registration. That’s a no no here.


Wow thank you so much! I didn’t know I could sue for that. Well I guess that will probably get things moving. I’m surprised (well not really) that my lawyer didn’t suggest this in the first place and was planning to go with the alive or dead nonsense. I will definitely mention this to the lawyer I’m going to see at laf on Friday (earliest appointment they could make for me) . In the meantime, hopefully I can get my household registration and tax records. I highly suspect my wife isn’t living at her household registration address but her family is. If they have no contact with her like I suspect, could get her on that too. Especially if she’s a no-show.


Does anyone have the law where it says you can do this? Just in case I need something to back it up to avoid any misunderstandings/unclarity between me and the lawyer.
I’m asking this because the lawyer I talked to so far, only painted a grim picture and made it sound near impossible to get out of this without meeting one of the 10 points. He also made it clear that this could take months to years to complete. I’m pretty sure he was leeching me but in order to avoid that with my next lawyer. Could someone please share with me the exact law that is used to sue for this neglect of marriage duties or sex.


you can sue for divorce if the other person is failing to do their marriage duties. To be blunt, no sex

According to this Chinese article, this cannot be a reason.


This looks like more of an opinion rather than whether or not people can do it. Unless I am mistaking.
Maybe it’s real but still doesn’t explain how those 3 people did it. Well I’m at a loss. Do I have any hope of getting my life back? I have been alone and single for the past 4 years. I can’t legally get into a relationship at all. I can’t even see my own wife. I have to go around telling people I am married then have the awkward conversation that I actually don’t know where she is when they ask. I really don’t want to live like this anymore.


Continue to look for a lawyer who would take your case. See the lawyer at laf on friday. Don’t give up to sue. The marriage has been broken for eyes of rational people. A good lawyer should find a way.


The question is: how does one find a good lawyer here? My current lawyer isn’t being upfront and honest with me and obviously trying to extend time and pay by adding unnecessary processes.
With laf, would I have a lower chance of getting paired with a lawyer trying to extend the time to make more money? As in; since laf would be funding it, maybe they would see to it that it didn’t end up costing more than necessary?


Well…that Apple Daily article said this:


That should work.


This is essentially saying she could make it seem like I kicked her out and am trying to make it look like she doesn’t want to come back. In my defense, I have asked for her back and was ignored every time. Good thing is I have proof of this.


Based off of the article, it seems more like someones opinion than actual facts but I could be wrong. Regardless, I am curious how these 3 people managed to pull it off. Maybe there’s hope. I realize that the best way to get answers is through an actual lawyer but I really appreciate everyone’s help so far. At least it has guided me in finding a way to deal with this. If anyone has any further information that could help me in my case, I would greatly appreciate it.


According to the Supreme Court in 2005:

Summary: (1) a situation that would make anyone (everyone) lose hope for the marriage constitutes a 重大事由, (2) if both parties are at fault, only the one who is less at fault can request a divorce, and (3) (in that particular case) the spouse who left due to an argument and stayed away for 2 years is more at fault.

The facts of the case are unclear because the lower court decisions are subject to a publication ban, and this being Taiwan there is no stare decisis anyway, but it’s a start.

(Quoted from http://jirs.judicial.gov.tw/)


Thanks. Does anyone know if laf randomly assigns lawyers or can they be selected? Also, do they monitor the case to make sure the lawyer isn’t wasting time and trying to leech extra money? I would think if they are paying for it, they might care how much it costs but I don’t know.