My wife locked me out and refuse to let me see my baby

Procedures, processes, and the legal basis for divorce in Taiwan, including all related problems and pitfalls, child custody, alimony payments, abandonment, extra-marital affairs, and other complications...
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My wife locked me out and refuse to let me see my baby

Postby karmaGfa » 07 Oct 2007, 01:27

When I returned home Friday evening, I found the door looked from inside, nobody answering the phone, nobody answering when I knocked the door. Inside, I could hear the sound of the TV. My wife just decided that I was "out", as she told me in a email she sent to me 1 week ago.

After a few hours of waiting in front of the door, while I was knocking the door sometime to remind her that I was still there, I finally called the police with the hope that they could help me to arrange the situation. They came, but they refused to help. Then I insisted and told them that I wanted to see my baby which was inside the apartment, and that my wife should not be able to stop me to see her (a cute little girl that smile when she sees her father singing Hakka songs for her).

The police finally came to the floor where we are living and tried to talk to my wife. Without opening the door, she told them that she doesn't want to let me in and that I was disturbing her by knocking the door. She said that the house was in *her* name, so I have no right to go home (we are paying it together, and the starting money to buy it came 100% from me .. but that's true that it is her name and not mine, since I am a foreigner and she is a local). I told the police about that, and she told them that I am a liar and that they cannot trust me. She then indicated them the apartment of a neighbor that would tell them how bad I am (it seems that it was planned in advance). The neighbor shown up (a guy that I almost never see and that is probably not often home - the husband of the nani that help us to take care of the baby when my wife and me are both working), then told them that I am the kind of guy that abandon my family at home. Then the police just left and told me that it is my problem, not their. They told me that I should leave.

I insisted to stay and repeated them that I wanted to see my baby and there was no way I would leave without. I could not sleep well during many night because I miss her too much. I need to see her.

So they left and I staid in front of the door, waiting ... waiting ... then I decided to open the door by myself. As the police said, that's my problem, so I had to find a solution by myself, even if I don't like it, I had no choice. The lock was a small one inside the apartment, it just took me a few seconds to force it.

Once inside, my wife panicked, she was thinking I wanted to kidnap the baby. She wanted to escape with her. I told her to cool down, that I won't do such a thing and to not worry for the door, that it was just a small lock to replace. I tried my best to make her calm down, and I explained her that I wanted to find some solutions to the problems of our couple, which is mainly based in this stupid apartment that doesn't fit our needs: 1 big room for everything, no privacy, and far away in the mountain - only convenient for her and not for me that have to work on the other side of the city. She started to relax as she understood that I was not the bad guy she imagined I was (girls think too much when you leave them alone too long).

I told her I wanted to buy a bigger apartment more near to the city where we can all have our own room. She was listening but was still half scared half angry. She said she doesn't trust me, that I already broke her heart, then she suddently started to yell at me, I saw her 'crazy crisis' symptoms starting again, her scream shocked the baby that started to cry, then she started to punch me, again and again .. and what had to happen one day happened this night: she finally sent me a huge punch in the face, leaving me half K.O.

The neighbor came to see what happened, I was bleeding all around my mouth, I took my bag and left to go call the police again. They came, called an ambulance, I was sent to the closest hospital, etc..

In the hospital, the doctor saw lacerations of my 2 lips on the left side, then closed the injury with a medical line. My face is now deformed (I hope it is only temporally) and it still hurt. Today (Saturday) I went back to the hospital to do more checks and finished my day in the police office with a friend that helped me to translate. This is not the first time she beat me but it is the first time that there is enough damage to report it to the police. I decided to sue her for what she did and to ask the divorce. I just can't stand to be beaten each time she loses control of herself.

I still want to see my baby, I feel really sad to not see her. What can I do to force her to let me see my baby? Am I supposed to wait until the divorce is finished in order to see her (the baby)?

I cannot wait, I need to see her. What can I do if I go back home and I see that all the locks (included the heavy ones) has been changed and that she still don't let me in? Is there any papers I should fill to let me see her (the baby)?

In my situation, am I "allowed" to go to *her* apartment and ask her again to let me see the baby?

She is just using the strength and radical actions to decide for my baby and me and I don't feel this is legal. Is it legal for me to force any eventual brand new lock on the door if tomorrow I decide to go there to see my baby and she still refuse to open the door?

Help me please, I am so confused about all of this. What can I do?
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Postby housecat » 07 Oct 2007, 10:16

Man, I hope all goes well with you. I was in a similar situation, but I'm a woman, and I left Taiwan with our son. I don't know how to answer your questions, but wish you good luck.
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Postby Mother Theresa » 07 Oct 2007, 16:51

Good luck. Maybe (or maybe not) it's hopeless between you and your wife, but I hope you can calmly, carefully, without scaring or intimidating her, explain to her that, regardless of how the two of you feel about each other, you love your daughter and believe the two of you should try as hard as possible not to yell, argue or fight in front of the child, or to badmouth each other in front of the child, and even if you end up separating/divorcing, to try to pretend in front of the child that your relationship is not strained and you don't hate each other. Obviously it will be difficult, but the child IS both of yours and the mature, responsible thing will be to at least try to be decent parents for the child, regardless of how much you might hate each other. Sounds like she'll need time to accept such a notion, but you should calmly tell her that's how you feel and then back off to let her consider it, before contacting her again to see if she agrees and how you'll work it out. After that you can see if the relationship between the two of you is salvageable, but the number concern for both of you should be to avoid being assholes in front of the child.
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Postby pg171 » 14 Jul 2008, 00:51

My heart goes out to you, reminds me of my situation, but maybe worse. What is the latest ?

It's an uphill battle all the way for foreigners wishing to divorce and claim child custody in TW- I know because I have been go through hell for the last three years with a TW woman who refuses of divorce me and has regularly denied me access to our wonderful son (now two years old) in order to force me to get back together with her. The facts are as follows:

1. It's very difficult to find a lawyer who is willing to assist, firstly because most lawyers do not have sufficient English and secondly because a lot of work is involved translating the evidence (e-mails etc) into English for the court (hen mafan !).

I have finally found a decent lawyer and will be happy to recommend them if things turn out well for me.

2. Even if you sign a separation (not legally recognised in TW anyway) or divorce agreement, this is not enforceable until the matter goes to court. This means that if your spouse stops you seeing your child, and you go to the police with a copy of your agreement, they can and will do absolutely nothing.

3. It takes 3-6 months for a divorce and custody case to get to court. If the court does not grant divorce (there are very strict rules which in theory would make it very difficult for one party to divorce if the other does not want to- although I am told that judges may be taking a more common sense approach now), then custody cannot be granted.

So possession is 9/10 ths of the law. If your spouse is determined not to let you see your child, especially if they are Taiwanese and being supported by their family who will stand by them however irrational/ unstable/ vindictive they are, it can be a heartbreaking situation.


4. Until divorce you have de facto 50/50 custody of the child, and therefore have a right to leave the country with the child. However any child that enters the country on a TW passport can only leave on that passport. If the TW spouse holds the passport and refuses to give it to the foreign spouse (extremely likely when a marriage breaks down) then there is no legal way to leave the country with the child.

5. Are judges here prejudiced against foreigners ? I have no idea. My lawyer tells me no. My heart and mind tell me yes. Taiwanese people are superficially reverent and extremely polite to us, but I feel that underneath they don't really trust us. I guess the real test of that will be in my divorce case, when it eventually gets to court ....
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Postby bababa » 14 Jul 2008, 07:37

Don't try to leave Taiwan with the child - your wife thinks you want to kidnap her; I wouldn't advise doing just that.
You kicked in her door. She has a right to be scared. As well, she can claim self-defense for the injuries she inflicted on you. If someone breaks down your door, it's OK to punch them in the face.
Follow the advice of Mother Teresa - try not to fight, argue or yell in front of the baby, and try to calmly explain to your wife why you two should be calm in front of the child.
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Postby karmaGfa » 14 Jul 2008, 09:35

pg171 wrote:My heart goes out to you, reminds me of my situation, but maybe worse. What is the latest ?


My wife and me went to the court for a first earing. She said the judge that she doesn't remember she punched me and that she didn't know why I got hurt so badly. I partially trust that she doesn't remember what she did, but the judge didn't think that I magically got hurt, so my wife was clearly in trouble.

Since I still had no way to access my daughter and since it seemed so difficult to enforce my basic rights of access to my daughter, I decided to withdraw the case and to hope for my wife to become more reasonable. My wife then gradually changed to let me see my daughter again and my wounds almost totally disappeared.

This happened last year. This year, another problem happened. See got angry for a stupid reason, took my keys away and then threated me to be violent again if I don't leave her place. I was carrying the baby, so I choosed to not let her become out of control again - who knows what can happen - and I left. The day after, she still refused to give me my keys back, so 2 weeks later I went to the police and filled a complaint for domestic violence. To kick someone out and/or stop him seeing their kids is a kind of violence. Also, I've learn what is the correct way to deal with the door's problem: wait until she is not there, and call a locksmith to open the door. Nobody can legally stop you, no neighbors, not the building's gardian, and not even the police: The home of your kids is also your home as long as you are married. If you are gonna try that, keep the cellphone number of your lawyer on you, in case the police try to stop you: The police doesn't know the law, but will trust what your lawyer says. You even have the right to destroy the door to enter if you want, as long as you can show that you had no other choice (i.e. in my case, I had the police to come to my appartment first to talk to my wife, and she verbally refused to let me in. After what, they left me there all alone, even asking me to leave - remember that they have no right to ask you to leave, this is your home). I recommend to use the help of a locksmith instead, that's more clean and doesn't involve anything that could be interpreted as domestic violence.

My wife finally gave me the keys back after 1 month and half, but I didn't withdraw the case yet, just in case she does it again. The case is not yet in the court and I may choose to withdraw it later.

pg171 wrote:It's an uphill battle all the way for foreigners wishing to divorce and claim child custody in TW- I know because I have been go through hell for the last three years with a TW woman who refuses of divorce me and has regularly denied me access to our wonderful son (now two years old) in order to force me to get back together with her. The facts are as follows:

1. It's very difficult to find a lawyer who is willing to assist, firstly because most lawyers do not have sufficient English and secondly because a lot of work is involved translating the evidence (e-mails etc) into English for the court (hen mafan !).


Emails are not evidence at all. The best is to have witnesses, Taiwanese ones if possible. Bring some friends overthere next time you talk to her.

I have finally found a decent lawyer and will be happy to recommend them if things turn out well for me.

2. Even if you sign a separation (not legally recognised in TW anyway) or divorce agreement, this is not enforceable until the matter goes to court. This means that if your spouse stops you seeing your child, and you go to the police with a copy of your agreement, they can and will do absolutely nothing.

3. It takes 3-6 months for a divorce and custody case to get to court. If the court does not grant divorce (there are very strict rules which in theory would make it very difficult for one party to divorce if the other does not want to- although I am told that judges may be taking a more common sense approach now), then custody cannot be granted.


Did you left her or did she stop you from going home? That's 2 totally different stories.

pg171 wrote:So possession is 9/10 ths of the law. If your spouse is determined not to let you see your child, especially if they are Taiwanese and being supported by their family who will stand by them however irrational/ unstable/ vindictive they are, it can be a heartbreaking situation.


The family support doesn't count when you are still married. Just be strong in your mind, and go back overthere. Do not use violence if someone stop you from going home, just be patient and go back everydays. Wait until they have enough to play the stupid block game with you. It worked for me against my wife.

4. Until divorce you have de facto 50/50 custody of the child, and therefore have a right to leave the country with the child. However any child that enters the country on a TW passport can only leave on that passport. If the TW spouse holds the passport and refuses to give it to the foreign spouse (extremely likely when a marriage breaks down) then there is no legal way to leave the country with the child.


To discreetly steal the Taiwanese passport from its secret place is 100% legal, you are his father. How do you think I did when I needed some papers? :)

You need to learn that you can do a lot more than what you thing, without your wife been able to do anything about that. No law protect your from what your wife is doing? well ... that's the same in the other direction.

I still recommend you to consult a lawyer before taking any action that would let your wife complaint about in front of a court, just to make sure that you have the right to do so.

5. Are judges here prejudiced against foreigners ? I have no idea. My lawyer tells me no. My heart and mind tell me yes. Taiwanese people are superficially reverent and extremely polite to us, but I feel that underneath they don't really trust us. I guess the real test of that will be in my divorce case, when it eventually gets to court ....


Good luck. Be strong.
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Postby pg171 » 16 Jul 2008, 13:21

Well, it's good news you have access to your child again, there is nothing worse that not being able to see your child, I know because my wife stopped me for such a long time.

I have him with me now (I needed to lie to her and tell her that our marriage could work again, in order to see him) and refuse to give him back to my wife unless she can give me a 100% guarantee (in terms of a substantial financial bond) that she will never stop me seeing him again.

I am filing a protection order against her (on the basis that she threatened to kill our son, which I hear is not uncommon for Taiwanese women who are faced with a broken marriage), this will go to court on 30th July, I have no idea if this will be successful. She says she will also file a protection order against me.

We are separated (even though separation does not legally exist here) and live in different houses. I would never have access to her house in order to try to obtain our son's Taiwanese passport. Just like, she could ask me to open my door to her, but if I refuse the police would not assist her.

Good luck to you too and I hope your story has a happy ending :-)
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Re: My wife locked me out and refuse to let me see my baby

Postby vmcguire » 06 Aug 2009, 23:09

My wife locked me out and that was what made our divorce possible. Before that she had refused to divorce but once she locked me out she knew (in court) she didn't stand a chance. My attorney had told me not to leave - that she'd use that against me. She told me to stay until she locked me out (which she did) and then he sent her an official letter telling her that she'd locked me out (this I was going to use in court as proof but ended up not having to).

If someone is looking to get a divorce, getting locked out is the best way to do so.
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Re: My wife locked me out and refuse to let me see my baby

Postby See My Wife » 07 Jan 2010, 02:32

My wife left me and our son for weeks. No letter, no phone call, nothing! I filled out a missing persons report and the police grilled me about me possibly having killed my wife. They asked child services to take custody of my son. They didn't since there was no proof of any wrong doing on my part. Then my wife came back and locked me out of my own house. When I called the police they told me to get a hotel. I don't have money to get a hotel!

Divorce sucks and it is totally geared towards giving her everything she wants. I had no money to get a good attorney and she basically got everything including my son and our house. Now I get visitation with him twice a month. I thought having a father figure in your life was supposed to be important, but I guess that is only true if you have oodles of cash to give to his mother and attorneys.

BTW, I had to pay for her higher priced attorney too!
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Re: My wife locked me out and refuse to let me see my baby

Postby divea » 07 Jan 2010, 09:10

I s this really that common elsewhere too? or is it Taiwanese?? To lock your spouse out or hold the child ransom?? I know it won't be tolerated in India. If a woman/guy locks herself in with an infant and/or disappears they are the guilty ones for isolating the child. This SEEMS to be the modus operandi for divorce here.

Here is my question to the locked ot spouses, one fella says he knew it was coming, what about the others??? Do you have an inkling?? have you been told to stay away???(not that that is right).

Another thing, aren't kids supposed to be off limits during a fight. ANd if they are going through a tumultuous relationship, don't you establish a boundary which says, you will not mess with the child. Again, I may sound like I am prying but I do seek to understand how a relationship can deteriorate to such a level assuming there is no abuse involved. Or is it pure immaturity and selfishness on the part of the lockee (the person who is in) to deny the child the love of the other parent?????

How does the Taiwanese family react to this, do they support this locking yourself in histrionics thingy????? again, is it de rigeur here???
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