Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

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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Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby HeiLung » 14 Aug 2010, 20:14

There have been a few topics like this on this website, but none have received any answer.

I was married in the state of Virginia to my Taiwanese ex-wife. After moving to Taiwan and living together in Taipei for 7 years, we obtained a divorce here a few years ago based on mutual consent by executing a standard form, witnessed divorce agreement and filing that at her household registration office.

I'd like now to proceed to have that divorce recognized in Virginia. Based on my research, and information posted, among other places, on the US Dept. of State's website, generally it should not be a problem in any state to have a divorce recognized based on the principle of comity, provided one of the parties to it was domiciled in the foreign country at the time and both parties had valid notice. Clearly neither is an issue in my case.

The problem is how to proceed forward. The fees I have been quoted by Virginia attorneys to handle this have been outrageous. I'd like to do it myself if possible. Unfortunately, the VA Attorney General does not provide any legal assistance, and I have yet to find a reliable self-help source to assist me in accomplishing this.

There must be plenty of people living in Taiwan who had been married in the US, divorced here, and then had the Taiwan divorce recognized back in the US. If you are such a person, or know such a person, or otherwise know what must be done in any state in the US, I'd be much obliged for your help.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby HeiLung » 23 Aug 2010, 10:28

Can anyone recommend another forum or information source that might provide the information and/or guidance I have requested?
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby Jive Turkey » 23 Aug 2010, 10:43

It sounds to me like this should be simple considering the details of your situation. My dad, who definitely does not specialize in "international" divorce or custody law has handled this for somebody in Tennessee. How did you get quotes from VA lawyers? Did you do it in Virginia, or was it long distance/by e-mail? Some lawyers who get any notion that they are providing services to "expats" seem to think that this should immediately jack the fees up. I suspect that any family lawyer should be able to handle this.
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby HeiLung » 27 Aug 2010, 17:49

I live in Taipei, so of course I did not travel to Virginia to ask these questions.

The VA divorce attorney said only a divorce that is the decree of a foreign court can be recognized by a Virginia court. Since my Taiwan divorce was performed without court involvement, the attorney said she did not think it could be recognized in Virginia. I think she is wrong. But that is neither here nor there.
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby HeiLung » 28 Aug 2010, 10:58

I contacted another attorney, who does not practice divorce law but is apparently an expert in the domestication of foreign judgments in the state of Virginia. He was even more certain than the divorce attorney that the divorce could not be recognized in Virginia since it was not a decree or order of a Taiwan court.

I have contacted a large D.C. firm, and they are looking into it. But that is exactly the kind of firm I had hoped to avoid due to cost.
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby SuchAFob » 22 Jan 2011, 23:46

Anyone have this experience with marriages that were in Taiwan?
I was married in Taiwan and I'm coming back this week to get divorced. We are not going to do a court divorce because it's amicable and agreed. What do I do in this case to have the US recognize that the marriage is dissolved so I can get an American marriage license?
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby housecat » 23 Jan 2011, 00:00

I was married first in Taiwan and then in the States (AR). Because at the time the Taiwanese would recognize my ex as married to me, but not me as married to him (they didn't assume authority to marry a foreigner :roll: ), this was necessary for me to get residency here based on my marriage.

While I was "home" in the States, my ex divorced me here. He claimed abandonment, but I didn't care what he claimed and didn't contest. However, this meant he had to do this through the court.

When I asked, I was told in AR that I should have the US marriage disolved, as well, or that it perhaps was never valid as we were already married when we married in the States and AR recognized our foreign marriage.

Anyway, I didn't have the funds to do it, though it would have been fairly cheap, as legal stuff goes. It should also have been fairly easy, as well--just provide the marriage certificate from the Taiwanese wedding, showing we were already married before we married in AR, the divorce decree (he had to go to court for this, so I had that), and the AR certificate with a petition to disolve or annul the AR marriage.

Again--I didn't actually go through this process.
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby Yoman Prince » 20 Feb 2012, 22:56

SuchAFob wrote:Anyone have this experience with marriages that were in Taiwan?
I was married in Taiwan and I'm coming back this week to get divorced. We are not going to do a court divorce because it's amicable and agreed. What do I do in this case to have the US recognize that the marriage is dissolved so I can get an American marriage license?


I have a question related to this as well. I too was married in Taiwan (I am Canadian and he is Taiwanese) and just came back for a divorce. The divorce here is done. Now I am wondering if I have to do anything when I get back to Canada. I know our marriage is not registered there, so I am wondering if the divorce needs to be registered in Canada. I guess I just want to be sure this is all done. :(
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby tommy525 » 21 Feb 2012, 00:40

When I got divorced (married and divorced in TW) I stapled the divorce document to my marriage certificate and that is that. And on my tax forms I put SINGLE . Never been questioned.

The divorce document is a legal document accepted by TW govt.

IF the marriage is considered legal, then the divorce is as well. But I don't know if you were married in the USA, how that would affect the situation. If it was me, I guess I would just consider myself divorced and proceed accordingly. If asked for documentation say you have a certificate proving the such and show it when needed.

But of course, lawyers need to make a living so its good to get legal advice pertaining to your particular circumstance.
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Re: Recognition of Taiwan Divorce in the U.S.

Postby Satellite TV » 22 Feb 2012, 02:16

housecat wrote:I was married first in Taiwan and then in the States (AR). Because at the time the Taiwanese would recognize my ex as married to me, but not me as married to him (they didn't assume authority to marry a foreigner :roll: ), this was necessary for me to get residency here based on my marriage..


Since when? I got married here without needing to be married again to the same person in another country. All marriages conducted in a court here are recognized here and yes they do marry foreigners to Taiwanese.
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