jazzbass2 wrote:Hi all - basically my situation is - divorce looming - I'm a british citizen and my wife is Taiwanese and holds a british passport having married in the UK - my kids have dual nationality (born in UK).
I hold an ARC through marriage.
We are currently buying property in Taiwan in her name - mortgage paid for the last 5 years (joint payments).
My wife wants me to sign a uncontested divorce document which now I am refusing to do as I don't know what I'm signing or the consequences if I do, so if anyone has any solid info on this matter then please let me know.
I do not want to leave Taiwan having built a life here but have no solid info on the outcome of divorce over here - any information appreciated
First and foremost. You must keep a cool head and demeanor whilst dealing with your wife over the issue of divorce. Unfortunately the cards are already stacked against you because your wife is a Taiwanese and you are a foreigner. This is just the reality of Taiwan. Therefore, you should go out of your way to be agreeable with her and try your best not to antagonize her under any circumstances. This will be very hard for you to do, but you must try your best.
Under most circumstances your wife can't divorce you without your permission and you can't divorce her without her permission. As long as your wife doesn't have ironclad proof that you have committed adultery, physically beaten her up, or abandoned her physically and financially, there is very little she can do to force you to divorce her. So, keep a cool head and don't do anything that could compromise your position.
Calmly tell your wife that you are more than happy to sign the divorce papers and end your marriage once she assists you in finalizing your immigration status here in Taiwan. That would mean she needs to assist you in getting your status changed from JFRV marriage ARC to APRC (permanent resident). Unfortunately, history has shown us that most Taiwanese women do not want their former husbands to remain in Taiwan after the divorce and they will go out of their way to try to force you out of Taiwan. If this is not the case with your wife, then that's a bonus for you. However, if she is not receptive to assisting you adjudicate your immigration status from JFRV to APRC you will need to be tough with her. By "being tough" I don't mean to be verbally or physically abusive. You just calmly tell her that if she refuses to help you that you will NEVER agree to divorcing and you will NEVER agree to leave the house, EVER. She can move out if she so wishes, but you shouldn't move out of your house until you have your APRC in hand! She will never be able to force you to divorce her or even move out if your name appears on the household registration. You are married to her and you have a legal right to live in your house as long as you are her spouse. Even if she were able to somehow get you deported from Taiwan, she still can't divorce you unless you agree to it. Remember, very calm, but firm.
To qualify for APRC status, you need to have lived in Taiwan for the past 5 years with an ARC (without a break in status) and have stayed at least 183 days for each of those 5 years. You also need to have made at least $420,000 NTD in reportable income for the 2009 tax year and filed a tax form which shows this minimum. Can you meet the basic requirements for an APRC? If you have no reported income you can still get the APRC by showing at least $5 million NTD in cash and/or assets. To qualify this way you can show your apartment as well as your wife's cash and assets, too. It's a little bit more of a hassle, but definitely doable. But, the minimum annual income is the easiest way to do it and anyone can do it. The problem usually is that the income is usually massively underreported or not reported at all.
What is the current expiration date of your JFRV ARC? When do you have to renew it again? If you're getting close to the renewal date, I recommend that you opt for having it renewed for at least 2 years versus just one more additional year. That will give you more time to get things taken care of regarding applying for the APRC. If it were me, I would renew the JFRV ARC for three years just to be on the safe side.
Regarding the children. They were born in the UK, but have dual UK and Taiwan citizenship. Here's a very important question. How did they come to Taiwan, via their UK passports or their Taiwan passports? If you say Taiwan passports, you have very little chance of ever getting your children to be able to leave Taiwan if your wife won't agree to it. I'm not a duty expert on children and custody issues, but I will say that you could contact Forumosan member pgdaddy
and he'll be able to give you more information that you would care to stomach regarding divorce and custody battles over children. He also has some excellent information regarding retaining an attorney and the pitfalls that you should avoid whilst embarking on this extremely expensive endeavor which most likely will leave you with very unsatisfying and/or mixed results.
Tell your wife anything she wants to hear in order to get her to cooperate with you in you applying for the APRC. Once you have it in hand, you can change your mind about the apartment, financial considerations, and the custody of your children later.I see that you've posted exactly the same thing back on June 16, 2009.
So this issue has been going on for nearly a year? Have you been able to make ANY progress at all in the past 10 months regarding your situation?
This is all the advice I have to offer based on your initial posting. I wish you good luck and also remind you to keep as calm and non-threatening as possible no matter how your wife treats you during this extremely difficult time.