Legal status, foreign/Taiwanese divorce

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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Legal status, foreign/Taiwanese divorce

Postby LFC » 19 Sep 2008, 14:20

I'm considering a divorce. I'm from Europe, a Scandinavian country, I married in Taiwan, in the court with a Taiwanese woman and we received a marriage certificate duly stamped by the Court of Kaohsiung, or something like that. After a while we moved back to Scandinavia and our marriage were registered in my country. My wife later became a citizen and has now dual citizen ship. We have one son, 24 years old and living in Scandinavia with only a Scandinavian citizenship, so he will not be a part of the divorce. This is the fourth period that we are living in Taiwan, totally 9 years during our marriage and we will soon move back to Scandinavia again and I want to file a divorce in my home country since the marriage is also registered there. I have checked and I can do that.The divorce will be a fact after six months even if my wife doesn't agree to the divorce. It is enough that one person want a divorce and I don't have to give any reasons like adultery or such. The only thing is that we split all our assets, which we have in Scandinavia not in Taiwan and I'm comfortable with that after 25 years of marriage.
But, what happens with the Taiwanese part of the marriage? Is the Scandinavian divorce valid in Taiwan? Can I just return to Taiwan and show the court the legal documents and nullifie the marriage or are we still considered to be married in Taiwan? My wife will probably disagree to the divorce in Scandinavia, but can't stop it. She will move back to Taiwan and she will probably want a divorce in Taiwan so that she can fight me in the court and take me to the cleaners.

So, legally I will be considered divorced in Scandinavia and the rest of the world. I can even remarry.
1. Will the Scandinavian divorce papers overrule a possible lawsuit from my wife, since I am a foreign citizen?
2. Will the Taiwanese laws goveren the divorce if my wife sue me, regardless of the Scandinavian divorce and the fact that the assets already are split 50/50?
3. Is there any border control that shows that you are being "wanted" or involved in a lawsuit, meaning can I enter Taiwan and keep away from my future ex without problem, even if she sued me?
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Re: Legal status, foreign/Taiwanese divorce

Postby Mr He » 25 Feb 2009, 22:46

LFC wrote:
But, what happens with the Taiwanese part of the marriage? Is the Scandinavian divorce valid in Taiwan? Can I just return to Taiwan and show the court the legal documents and nullifie the marriage or are we still considered to be married in Taiwan?


I would take them to my ex. wife's household registration office. Note, you might want to get them properly notarized and legalized, IE so the Taiwan office in your country has stamped them. Getting them translated into Chinese by a court registered translator is also a good idea. That should work. However that said, a divorce from a Scandinavian country is valid here, just as a Taiwanese divorce is valid in Scandinavia. (I have divorced here, and well, the Danish authorities took it at face value).

LFC wrote: My wife will probably disagree to the divorce in Scandinavia, but can't stop it. She will move back to Taiwan and she will probably want a divorce in Taiwan so that she can fight me in the court and take me to the cleaners.


First of all, where are your assets? Scandinavia or Taiwan? If the first is the case, then good luck to her, no matter what the outcome. Alimony as such is not a very widely applied concept here, child support is, however with a 24 year old son, no worries there.

Secondly, if you are living in Scandinavia, you are both citizens and it takes place there - oh well - tough luck for her. It will be recognized here, and that should be the end of it.

She could try to conceal the fact that you have indeed been divorced, however if found out, she would be the one with a problem, as lying to court is a criminal offense here.

Moreover, in order to be divorced by court order, she will need to prove cruelty, adultery, that you suffer from mental disease etc., and the court will want to see proof. (Note adultery abroad does not count, nor would adultery after the Scandinavian divorce has been obtained.) If not, she can't get divorced unless you willingly sign a divorce agreement.

LFC wrote: So, legally I will be considered divorced in Scandinavia and the rest of the world. I can even remarry.
1. Will the Scandinavian divorce papers overrule a possible lawsuit from my wife, since I am a foreign citizen?


A valid divorce will overrule a lawsuit, especially if the divorce and the sharing of assets took place overseas, where you are both citizens. It goes without saying that if the assets are overseas, a Taiwanese court will have a hard time collecting in the unlikely case that they even want to touch this, and that she actually wins something.

LFC wrote: 2. Will the Taiwanese laws goveren the divorce if my wife sue me, regardless of the Scandinavian divorce and the fact that the assets already are split 50/50?


Assets are supposed to be split 50/50 here too, however in practice it seems that the male side gets more. If you return to Taiwan, you live here, and you bring your assets in, then having proof of the assets being split may help, however again, a divorce is final, as it were, so odds would be that she would merely have to submit proof to the household registry that she has been divorced.

LFC wrote: 3. Is there any border control that shows that you are being "wanted" or involved in a lawsuit, meaning can I enter Taiwan and keep away from my future ex without problem, even if she sued me?


There is such a system. That said, a judge will have to order that you are barred from leaving. I think that a doubtful lawsuit being lodged by a spiteful ex. wife won't be a good enough excuse, especially as you will get your rep. office on the case, and hopefully a decent lawyer on it too. That said, I do not think that she would have any luck in even trying to lodge a lawsuit.

That said, I would think that a divorce settlement which you can show is fair, would moest likely preclude any action being taken by Taiwanese courts. I consider it doubtful that the local courts would even touch this, especially if the divorce took place in a jurisdiction where you both are citizens. If you were able to show that she got 50% - harder for her still. Most likely if brought it would be thrown out due to:

1. The court having no jurisdiction.
2. The claim being frivolous.

Bear in mind that you haven't broken the law.
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