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Looking for advice following divorce threat

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Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby StiffUpperLip » 21 Apr 2016, 15:10

Hi. I'm British and married to a Taiwanese national. When we have arguments, the threat of divorce from my partner appears very quickly, along with their demand that we depart, immediately, for the office where a quickie divorce can be obtained over the counter. That same argument recurred today and I'm shaking like a leaf.

It's getting to the point where I feel I may have no option but to follow through on that threat and accept the consequences. However, my circumstances, at least on the surface, are invidious. Until recently I worked remotely for a firm in the UK but was let go late last year. Since then I've been surfing along on the occasional freelance work as and when it becomes available in the hopes that something more permanent comes along. My flat in Britain is rented out to a tenant on a long-term lease, so I don't necessarily have anywhere to go were I to return there.

The fact is, I don't want to return to the UK, at least not yet. While my financial circumstances are good, they would not remain so for very long on returning home unless I were lucky enough to quickly find a regular source of improved income - not to mention I'd have to pay my own mortgage instead of relying on my tenant whenever they might finally move on. I have developed a circle of friends here. I have a marriage-based ARC and medical card.

My partner doesn't seem too concerned about what I might do were a divorce to come to pass, so I'd have to fend for myself here for the first time. I have experience of doing visa runs from about six years ago on a monthly basis. I've never held down a teaching job or anything like that: I've been self-employed, working for UK contractors, for as long as I've been here (although I have a useless college degree from back home). I've never tried to rent a flat on my own. I speak barely enough Mandarin to offer myself a coffee.

If I want to stay here, at least for the next six months or year, any advice on what I should do to prepare the ground for going solo?
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby chalouie » 21 Apr 2016, 15:20

I didn't know a quickie divorce could be obtained over the counter that easily here. Is that really true?
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby StiffUpperLip » 21 Apr 2016, 15:37

chalouie wrote:I didn't know a quickie divorce could be obtained over the counter that easily here. Is that really true?


So I am repeatedly informed. Is that incorrect?
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby chalouie » 21 Apr 2016, 16:00

I just don't have that information Stiffupperlip, but I was surprised when you said it was possible. I'm bloody curious now though.
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby scomargo » 21 Apr 2016, 16:22

I'm sure somebody will say it soon, as it's the standard reply to these types of questions, so I'll go ahead and get it out of the way. How many years/months do you need until you qualify for an APRC? You'd need five years of continuous residence, so that may be your best bet if you're close to five years already. In addition, Chinese lessons would be a great start too.
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby finley » 21 Apr 2016, 16:36

What scomargo said.

If married life is becoming unbearable (for you both) then it might be best just to move on. As for the practical issues: be aware that all the power (if you want to view it that way) is in your hands. A quickie divorce is indeed as simple as turning up and signing the paper ... if both parties agree. The more usual scenario is that the party wanting the divorce pays off the other party.

I'm not suggesting you should demand payment. However, if you wife is genuinely seeking a divorce (as opposed to simply being unable to conduct an adult disagreement) then perhaps you can agree to separate, unofficially, until you can get your APRC. You will then voluntarily sign the papers. In the meantime she'll do whatever needs doing to maintain your marriage ARC. Can't really say fairer than that.

What is your professional background? Is it something that has market value here?
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby Icon » 21 Apr 2016, 16:42

Dear OP: run, don't walk, to the nearest NIA office. Apply for an APRC if you can -you should be able to do so if you have lived here continously for six years, as you said. You may not even need to get your police report from the UK if you have a mariage based ARC. It is an easy procedure that allows you more options, whether to stay in Taiwan, go back, work freelance or do whatever you want, as you will depend on no one but yourself once you have an APRC.

Your marriage has reached a serious level of disrespect. Please do not allow yourself to be emotionally and financially blackmailed. You can be independent, it is your hands.

And for Trojan's sake, be careful if you still have sex with your partner. A baby shouldn't be born under this circunstances.

Oh, and don't sign anything, plus hide your name seal. Yes, marriages and divorces can be easily done and dissolved here, just two signatures and two witnesses if all goes well. Yes, if both parties agree, it is very quick. But it is never painless.
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby StiffUpperLip » 21 Apr 2016, 18:09

Thanks for your replies. It's far from certain this will happen, but it's been threatened so many times I might as well be prepared if it comes to the worst. I've not been here continuously - just two and a half years this time around. I wasn't aware you could get residency here after a certain number of years if you were married to a Taiwan national.

I've done a little reading and see now there can be negotiation in a divorce in which the party being divorced has a lot of leeway to move. Well, it's nice to know anyway.

Chinese lessons would be great, but not until I have a steadier source of income. My understanding is they don't come cheap.
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby afterspivak » 21 Apr 2016, 21:31

Like others have said, I would advise you to apply for an APRC ASAP, especially if you are not keen on returning to the UK in the near future.

And do take care!

Guy
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Re: Looking for advice following divorce threat

Postby Zla'od » 22 Apr 2016, 06:49

A "quickie" divorce could only be obtained if both of you sign the papers. That said, if you'd really rather not be married to this woman, then you should sign gladly, and take your chances with jobs, visas, and all that. (I am assuming that division of assets is not a big issue at your stage.)

Do you love her? Do you want to stay married to her? And how does she feel? You would both be better off if you could honestly, calmly talk to each other about your feelings. Ask each other what it would take for the other to be happy. Is divorce something she really wants, or is she just making foolish threats, without realizing that this kind of talk is poisonous?

If you do divorce, can't you find some other work here (even if it's in some other field, like English teaching), or in one of the neighboring countries? No need to go back home, unless you just want to live there for some reason.
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