pgdaddy wrote:Regarding Mr Eiger's comments about possible recourses for the foreign non-custodial parents. Firstly, even if you can locate your child, the enforcement court will likely do nothing. With the provisional visitation order, I knew exactly where my wife and son were living, and informed the court of this- I just didn't know where he was being looked after during the day. So common sense would seem to indicate that enforcement should take place at her house in the evening or weekends, right ? But the court insisted that enforcement should take place in "office hours". The judge went to her office, asked her where our son was being looked after during the daytime- she refused, and the court took no further action apart from applying the minimum fine- 30,000 NT for not letting me see, or have any contact with my son for one year.
Did the court want to fail, so as to avoid the "inconvenience" and loss of face to all involved from going to my ex's house and taking my son away against her and her family's will ? Maybe.
It's my understanding from your posts that you had some serious problems with getting accurate information on the actual daytime location of your son. The "office hours" way of handling things is not merely how courts deal with children, it's also how they handle the attachment of assets and a whole range of things. I hate to say it, but getting judges who often have very heavy docket schedules to work overtime and very proactively on your case is not easy in a lot of countries. As I indicated above, it is really too bad, but it basically is necessary to "gift wrap" case matters for officials here.
pgdaddy wrote:As for the option of filing criminal charges. Well I have heard several lawyers mention this option. What I would like to know is, can any lawyers give examples from their own personal experience where the foreign non custodial parent has successfully filed criminal charges against the Taiwanese custodial parent for breech of visitation rights ? As you can see from my story, I have heard enough BS from lawyers to last a lifetime. If I had to go through this nightmare again I would only hire a lawyer with proven success in similar cases to mine.
Well, all I can say is that having exhausted your options with this judge to do more than a TWD 30,000 fine, it’s good to hear that many lawyers have suggested that you consider taking action under Taiwan’s criminal laws. Then use that as a starting point for triangulating in on the right next legal thing to consider. Keeping in mind the relative rarity of your situation, the relatively small number of lawyers spending time on forumosa.com, it may be hard to find someone who can immediately say “Yes, I’ve done exactly that.“ Most divorce and custody cases are highly fact- and situation-specific, and so it already is not the same as an ultra-common matter like setting up a local corporate entity, filing a trademark, going with the police to seize counterfeit goods. Here, the psychology of the ex is paramount – essentially you need to either ramp up the law to the point where the hurt put on her makes her realize she’s got to stop this horseshit, or else you have to find another way to reach an accomodation with her. Some of these situations are a bit like bespoke tailoring – there’s not really a cookie-cutter way to figure out how to un-fury or un-spite an ex who doesn’t want to comply. Maybe your non-lawyer alternatives would involve a trusted intermediary, or you may have contacts with the local police who sometimes (if you know them) will step in to counsel a bit of reason (although foreigners often chafe at the frequent requests by police for people to settle up disputes on the spot for minor compensation, there is some value sometimes to being able to move swiftly along with one’s life), or perhaps you can take the money you would have spent on lawyers and investigators and spend it to buy time with your kid. Non-lawyer alternatives don’t always feel great in the “I’ve been vindicated by the system!“ sort of way, but they do decrease the stress in your life and often allow you to see your kid.
pgdaddy wrote:As things stand, and other Forumosans will back me up on this one, the harsh reality for the foreign parent is that, except in extreme cases such as Taipei Sean, no lawyer can help, and the court system will certainly not help. The only hope is for the Taiwanese parent to start to think in a non-Taiwanese way, and realise that it is in the child's best interest to maintain contact with both parents.
Well, the court system will not help if you don’t take it to the next level. However forumosa.com is often full of stories supporting the notion that dispute-resolution (be it bosses, neighbors, in-laws, spouses, etc.) often works better when us foreigners can put ourselves into the Taiwanese shoes to understand where they’re coming from. (I’ve tried to help you understand in my earlier post a bit about how some court officials will look at your case and the scope of their responsibilties, but you of course have a much better sense of where your ex is coming from.) I’ve spent my own fair share of time bringing around Taiwanese persons (willing and unwilling persons, at that) to understand the foreigner/international perspective, and I have to say that it is rare/impossible for a person to do it on their own without a bit of guidance.
Your situation seems just heart-breaking, and so I hope you will hang in there and find a solution for this problem. My best wishes for you in these very hard times.