HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

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HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby skybluish » 05 Jul 2012, 18:01

Hi, I hope anyone can help me, my sister was married with Taiwanese and become Taiwanese citizen.

Few days ago her husband passed away, and my sister's brother in law wants to delete his brother name (my sister's Husband) from the household registration and make him as the one who will take care the family (my sister and her children).

She wants to leave Taiwan and bring the children along with her, but my sister's brother in law told her that she can't bring them.

Please advise is it possible for my sister to get full custody of her children.
Do we need a lawyer for this?

Thank you
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Re: HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby sandman » 05 Jul 2012, 18:20

skybluish wrote:Hi, I hope anyone can help me, my sister was married with Taiwanese and become Taiwanese citizen.

Few days ago her husband passed away, and my sister's brother in law wants to delete his brother name (my sister's Husband) from the household registration and make him as the one who will take care the family (my sister and her children).

She wants to leave Taiwan and bring the children along with her, but my sister's brother in law told her that she can't bring them.

Please advise is it possible for my sister to get the full custody of her children.
Do we need a lawyer for this?

Thank you

Your sister ALREADY has full custody of her children and is a Taiwanese citizen. I don't think it is at all likely that there's a court in the land that would take custody of her children against her will. Not even the Taiwanese justice system is as abhorrent as that.
I think it is more likely that the brother-in-law simply WANTS the kids and is simply trying to trick your sister.
If he's prepared to do that, there is the possibility that he might try to abduct the children, though. I think that is what your sister should be more concerned about. I don't think she needs a lawyer at this stage, but she should DEFINITELY talk to one of the organizations set up for foreign spouses.

The Foreign Spouse Care and Guidance Fund 外籍配偶照顧輔導基金 is one of these organizations. I can't find the number right now, sorry.
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Re: HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby pgdaddy1 » 05 Jul 2012, 18:46

Ditto to what Sandman said. The biggest risk for your sister is abduction of the children. Even though she of course has defacto custody, if the brother-in-law takes the children (even if it is by force- child snatching is sadly quite acceptable according to the "Taiwanese Way" and having been on the receiving end of that I know how terrible it is), the police and courts may well do nothing about it.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I am getting the feeling that your sister is a "mail-order bride" type from SE Asia, is this right ?

If she has passports for the children, then she is free to leave Taiwan with them. And as a Taiwanese Citizen, she surely should be able to obtain passports without the permission of her husband's family.

I would suggest that she takes her children out of Taiwan as soon as possible, because if things go wrong for her in Taiwan then she is unlikely to find anyone who is going to help her, including the police and courts. In the meantime, please tell her to be very careful and keep an eye around her at all times.
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Re: HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby finley » 05 Jul 2012, 18:52

I was about to say the same thing: take a long holiday, with the kids. Depending on your/her home country, The Law may choose to turn a blind eye to whatever the brother-in-law does. The only problem with leaving the country is that, if the BiL decides to escalate this, it will be viewed as "running away". She should therefore plan to make this a permanent holiday if necessary.

Despite Sandman's (relatively) upbeat assessment, I've heard too many horror stories about how Taiwanese law works in practice (as opposed to how it's written). If BiL knows the right people, bad stuff could happen.
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Re: HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby Tempo Gain » 05 Jul 2012, 20:52

sandman wrote:
The Foreign Spouse Care and Guidance Fund 外籍配偶照顧輔導基金 is one of these organizations. I can't find the number right now, sorry.


Found this on the Immigration Bureau site: 02)23889393 Ext. 2590-2595

Also this 外籍配偶諮詢專線 (Foreign Spouse Information Hotline) 0800-088885
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Re: HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby skybluish » 05 Jul 2012, 23:07

@Sandman and Tempogain, thank you very much for your advice, I will tell my sister to contact them

@pgdaddy1 and Finley, my sister is not the mail order bride, she met her husband 13 years ago, when she studied in Taiwan, she got married after graduation and become a housewife, she dedicated all her time for her family, she has 3 kids now (9, 2 and 1 year old) she never work and all her friends have left Taiwan, so I can say that she doesn’t have any friend.

Actually, before this incident happened, she has bought flight tickets to Singapore for holiday end of this July to end of August, since it’s school holiday there. It’s also across her mind to just run away since she has the tickets already, but we’re afraid that the BIL’s brother will escalate this and my sister has to surrender her children.

I’m so desperate right now, I want to go to Taiwan but I don’t know how to get to Hsinchu and I totally can’t speak Chinese, every time I went there, my late BIL will pick me up from the airport since my sister can’t drive and she's busy taking care of her children and her husband funeral, I don’t think the BIL’s brother will help to pick me up, is it safe for a lady to go to Hsinchu alone by Taxi?

I’m truly grateful for all your advice, I think we should find a lawyer just in case
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Re: HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby finley » 05 Jul 2012, 23:27

Well, looking on the bright side, your BIL might have perfectly honourable intentions. Only your sister knows for sure.

It baffles me a bit that your sister can't pick you up. After 13 years here, she presumably has some grasp of Chinese and can find her way around ... unless she's been literally locked in the house all that time. A toddler and a baby is a handful, but they're not going to prevent you hopping in a taxi to meet your sister at the airport or train station.

Anyway, Taiwan (including the taxis) is perfectly safe. When you arrive here, your best bet would be to take a taxi to the High Speed Rail station (Taoyuan), and Hsinchu is one stop away (~15 mins). You then take another taxi to your sister's house (assuming she can't meet you at Hsinchu HSR) which would be another 20 minutes at most. At the HSR and at the airport, there will be an English speaker who can help you. You can also take a business card so that you can call a taxi for the return journey.

At this stage, a lawyer will just take your money and do nothing useful. Find out exactly what's going on first. Your sister will not "have to surrender her children". She might choose to do so under pressure, but unless she has failed to keep her paperwork in order (were their births properly registered? Is she documented as the mother? were they legally married in Taiwan?), kidnapping is still kidnapping. There is nothing in the law that makes it illegal to be a widow. Like I said, the law here might sometimes choose to turn a blind eye to "private family arrangements", but not to abduction.
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HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby headhonchoII » 05 Jul 2012, 23:27

Finding a lawyer is a good idea I think. But get all your plans in place now. Getting a taxi from the designated areas at the airport or train station is safe and Taiwan generally is a safe place.
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Re: HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby skybluish » 06 Jul 2012, 00:05

@finley, I don’t think he has any good intentions since he told my sister if my sister wants to go overseas or come to visit me in Singapore, she can’t bring her children along with her (fortunately, he doesn’t know that my sister had plan to go to Singapore) and they were legally married and she documented as the mother of her 3 kids, too bad my sister is really is a stay at home mom.

@headhonchoII, yeah, I think finding a lawyer is a good idea.

Thanks for your advice, I have decided to go to Taiwan.
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Re: HELP - Brother in law wants to take custody of the children

Postby pgdaddy1 » 06 Jul 2012, 00:34

skybluish, I don't see how a lawyer is necessary. There is no legal argument here, she has the right to sole custody of the children and has the right to remove them from Taiwan.

Does she have passports for the children ? If so, then she can leave Taiwan with the children now. And if not, what is stopping her getting them ? She's a Taiwan citizen, she's and her children are all on the family register (and I don't see how her BIL can remove her without her permission), so if she has lost any documents then she should be able to obtain all of the necessary documents from the relevant government office.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs website http://www.boca.gov.tw tells you what documents are required, I summarise here:

A completed passport application form
Birth certificates of children
The parents' marriage certificate
The ROC passport of one of the two parents
Two identical passport photos of the baby (45x35 mm or 1.77x1.38 inches, color)


So there should be no problem at all for her, unless there is something else that you are not telling us ? By all means travel to Taiwan to give her support and help her with the kids on the flight. But there is no legal problem. The only thing she needs to worry about is the BIL trying something underhand; and as long as she takes care there then she will be fine. It's simply a matter of her getting the hell out of Taiwan with the children, as soon as possible.
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