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Marriage and household registration questions

Procedures, processes, JFRV, potential documentation difficulties, whether to get married in Taiwan or overseas, as well as 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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Marriage and household registration questions

Postby Rotalsnart » 03 Apr 2012, 13:02

I've searched and found some discussion of this topic but no authoritative answers, so hoping someone can help. I'm planning to marry my Taiwanese girlfriend (fiance) in Taiwan. I understand that after notarizing our marriage, we need to have my name added to her household registration to make the marriage legally effective. Her household registration is currently with her family's household. It seems to me that we have two options:

1) add me to her family's household registration as her spouse.

2) have her move her household registration to our apartment, and have me added to her household registration as her spouse.

I have an APRC already, so this will not have any relevance to my visa status.

My questions are:

Are there any legal advantages or disadvantages, whether to my fiance, or me, or both of us together, of choosing option (1) or option (2) above, such as in terms of inheritance issues or tax issues?

and

If she moves her household registration to our apartment and we add my name, will it be necessary to designate a "head of household" and would that necessarily be her (as I'm not an ROC citizen) or could I still be listed as "head of household" in my status as her spouse? By the way, I'm in favor of general equality between the sexes and would just as soon neither of us be "head of household," but I think that one must be designated, correct? Are there any legal benefits (or liabilities) of being or not being "head of household"?
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 03 Apr 2012, 21:43

Rotalsnart wrote:I've searched and found some discussion of this topic but no authoritative answers, so hoping someone can help. I'm planning to marry my Taiwanese girlfriend (fiance) in Taiwan. I understand that after notarizing our marriage, we need to have my name added to her household registration to make the marriage legally effective. Her household registration is currently with her family's household. It seems to me that we have two options:

1) add me to her family's household registration as her spouse.

2) have her move her household registration to our apartment, and have me added to her household registration as her spouse.

I have an APRC already, so this will not have any relevance to my visa status.

My questions are:

Are there any legal advantages or disadvantages, whether to my fiance, or me, or both of us together, of choosing option (1) or option (2) above, such as in terms of inheritance issues or tax issues?

and

If she moves her household registration to our apartment and we add my name, will it be necessary to designate a "head of household" and would that necessarily be her (as I'm not an ROC citizen) or could I still be listed as "head of household" in my status as her spouse? By the way, I'm in favor of general equality between the sexes and would just as soon neither of us be "head of household," but I think that one must be designated, correct? Are there any legal benefits (or liabilities) of being or not being "head of household"?



All I know is the second one. The 'head of household' is, I think, legally the owner of the house. And you can't be listed as head of household as you can't register as a separate entity, you can only be registered as her spouse (i.e. my name is on my husband's HR as his spouse, but I'm not listed as a separate person on it - whereas both of his parents are both listed as individuals and listed as each others' spouses).
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby Rotalsnart » 04 Apr 2012, 14:47

Thanks for your reply Tsuki. So I'm destined to be a legal appendage to my future wife. :roll: I guess that's more or less what I expected to hear. :lol:

Anyone else have any thoughts on the inheritance / tax issues, if any, of options (1) versus (2) in my original post?
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby Hartzell » 04 Apr 2012, 16:07

I know that in the "previous to 2000" era, when children of a male foreign spouse and local Taiwanese woman did not obtain ROC nationality by birth, there was one family with the husband from some European country, the Taiwanese wife, and four kids. They lived on Sanmin Road in Taichung.

On the Taiwanese wife's Household Registration, the European husband was listed as spouse, and the four kids (being foreigners) were not listed. This amounted to saying that the Taiwanese wife lived "alone."

(Note: According to the Household Registration records, although the foreign male spouse was listed as "spouse" . . . . . however he was not considered as having "Household Registration" at this Sanmin Road address. Hence, the wife was considered as living "alone." I don't recall if the foreign male spouse had a JFRV . . . . . . if so, no doubt his "residency address" would be listed as this Sanmin Road address . . . . . )

It can be confusing.

As regards inheritance / tax issues, if any, of options (living with wife's parents) versus (living in a separate apartment) . . . . . . I don't think that there are any big issues in this regard. However, you are well advised to keep copies of payments for "rental" . . . . . in case those payments can be deducted (in the future) as an "expense" at some point (whether with the Taiwan tax officials or with an employer, etc.)
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 04 Apr 2012, 17:35

I've asked my SO about inheritance and he says it automatically goes to next of kin, which would be me in his case and not his parents.

Has anybody heard different?
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby Rotalsnart » 04 Apr 2012, 22:18

Hartzell wrote: [...]
As regards inheritance / tax issues, if any, of options (living with wife's parents) versus (living in a separate apartment) . . . . . . I don't think that there are any big issues in this regard. However, you are well advised to keep copies of payments for "rental" . . . . . in case those payments can be deducted (in the future) as an "expense" at some point (whether with the Taiwan tax officials or with an employer, etc.)[...]


Richard,
Thanks for your reply, but perhaps my question was not clear enough. The question was not about where we should live, but rather about where it would be most advantageous (advantageous for my wife, for me, or ideally both of us) to maintain her, and my in the role of spouse, household registration.

Where we will live is not in question. We do and will continue to live in my house, which is separate from her family's house. The question I'm posing is: once we have notarized our marriage and must do the mandatory household registration amendment for the marriage, should we at that time move her registration to my house, or should we register me as spouse into her family's household registration (although we won't actually live at that address).

Any thoughts that you or anyone else with knowledge of this field might have on this matter (in particular tax and inheritance issues, or any other related issues I may not have considered) I would greatly appreciate.
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby tsukinodeynatsu » 05 Apr 2012, 00:57

Rotalsnart wrote:
Hartzell wrote: [...]
As regards inheritance / tax issues, if any, of options (living with wife's parents) versus (living in a separate apartment) . . . . . . I don't think that there are any big issues in this regard. However, you are well advised to keep copies of payments for "rental" . . . . . in case those payments can be deducted (in the future) as an "expense" at some point (whether with the Taiwan tax officials or with an employer, etc.)[...]


Richard,
Thanks for your reply, but perhaps my question was not clear enough. The question was not about where we should live, but rather about where it would be most advantageous (advantageous for my wife, for me, or ideally both of us) to maintain her, and my in the role of spouse, household registration.

Where we will live is not in question. We do and will continue to live in my house, which is separate from her family's house. The question I'm posing is: once we have notarized our marriage and must do the mandatory household registration amendment for the marriage, should we at that time move her registration to my house, or should we register me as spouse into her family's household registration (although we won't actually live at that address).

Any thoughts that you or anyone else with knowledge of this field might have on this matter (in particular tax and inheritance issues, or any other related issues I may not have considered) I would greatly appreciate.


Are you renting a house or is it bought?

If it's bought I should think it would be better to have her name on the house, but this will make it legally her property. You would need to sign it over to her for her to be head of the household, but since it's your house you MAY be able to keep it in your name but have her on your registration. Hmm. This gets tricky here. If she's head of household it's legally her house, so think about it and see what options you have available (because if you've already bought the house, then right now you SHOULD have a household registration of some sort).

If the house is rented you would need the landlord to sign you on to their registration, and they may not be willing to do it. In fact I'd be very surprised if they were willing to do it, as usually landlords don't report rent as income.
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby Rotalsnart » 05 Apr 2012, 11:36

tsukinodeynatsu wrote:Are you renting a house or is it bought?

If it's bought I should think it would be better to have her name on the house, but this will make it legally her property. You would need to sign it over to her for her to be head of the household, but since it's your house you MAY be able to keep it in your name but have her on your registration. Hmm. This gets tricky here. If she's head of household it's legally her house, so think about it and see what options you have available (because if you've already bought the house, then right now you SHOULD have a household registration of some sort).

If the house is rented you would need the landlord to sign you on to their registration, and they may not be willing to do it. In fact I'd be very surprised if they were willing to do it, as usually landlords don't report rent as income.


Tsuki,

Thanks for your thoughts. I think you're confusing household registration with title to property. As foreigners (even ones on an APRC), we don't, and if single cannot, have household registrations in Taiwan. Household registrations only become relevant to us if we marry a local, at which point we must be included on their household registration as spouse to make the marriage legal.

Therefore I don't think your assertion that "if she's head of household it's legally her house" is correct. I'm pretty sure that an existing household registration and property ownership don't have any immediate relationship. But I do wonder whether they may have other inheritance or tax implications, which is why I posed the questions in this thread initially.

My house (actually a small apartment) is solely in my name (my name is on the deeds to the apartment and land) and I have a mortgage on it, and I have no intention of signing it over to anyone, under any circumstances, not even my wife. :lol: (I will make other provisions for her financial security, and she may well inherit the house one day, but as for while I'm living, I went through a hell of a process to get it and get the mortgage on it, so just on principle, I'm not undoing that.) Also, as a foreigner it's hard enough to get credit in one's own name, and every little bit of support for potential future credit applications, such as the fact of already owning property that can be used as collateral, comes in handy. I wouldn't let go of that.
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby sandman » 05 Apr 2012, 11:43

Surely she can simply register under your address and take it from there? My wife had several household registrations under various landlords, with me named as spouse, before we bought our place. None of those landlords had any fears that she would suddenly become the property owner. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Marriage and household registration questions

Postby Rotalsnart » 05 Apr 2012, 11:49

sandman wrote:Surely she can simply register under your address and take it from there? My wife had several household registrations under various landlords, with me named as spouse, before we bought our place. None of those landlords had any fears that she would suddenly become the property owner. :lol: :lol: :lol:


Thanks Sandman, this is what I presumed, but it's good to hear that it actually works that way.
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