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Taiwan - Children Cannot Leave

CHILD CANNOT LEAVE BEFORE CUSTODY CASE IS RETIRED, SAYS COURT

 

The Taipei District Court ruled on Tuesday (2006) that Emily Juan, a two-and-half-year-old girl at the center of a custody battle, cannot leave Taiwan until the case is retried in a local court, after her mother Juan Mei-fen requested a preliminary injunction to stop Emily's American biological father from taking her back to the United States.

Juan said that she was also planning to file other lawsuits against Emily's father, Cary Sartin, for "falsely accusing" Juan of seizing their daughter's Republic of China passport. The passport is presently in Juan's possession.

In addition, Juan said she would also request the court to grant her visiting rights and also expressed her wish, via her attorney, to see the child before Mother's Day. Sartin, however, reportedly declined to comply with Juan's wishes, but agreed to allow local social workers to visit the toddler.

The Bureau of Immigration said on Tuesday that Sartin could not apply for a replacement passport for Emily because her passport is not missing, but rather is in the possession of her mother.

Emily entered Taiwan using her ROC passport and cannot leave the country using other travel documents, the BOI said.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Michel Lu said that although the U.S. court handed down a ruling in Sartin's favor and granted him the sole custody of the child after he convinced judges that Juan is unfit to take care of the child due to mental problems, the verdict would now be subject to Taiwanese law since Juan has appealed the case in Taiwan.

"The U.S. ruling was in Cary's favor because Juan was absent from the hearing and failed to defend herself," Lu said. "Although there's a mutual assistance judicial agreement between Taiwan and U.S., the ruling will still have to be based on Taiwan law."

Lu further noted that the government administers its duties according to the law. The MOFA would provide any necessary assistance in the case and assure the citizens' interest, he added.


 

TAIWANESE CUSTODY LAW

By Hung-En Liu

 

In 1996, Taiwan adopted the best interests of the child standard to substitute for the presumption of paternal custody. It appears that cultural and social circumstances may significantly influence judges' explanations of what is best for the child. In one analysis, seventy cases of an urban district court and a rural district court were collected and analysed. The findings of this analysis attest that Taiwan's court decisions of child custody cases actually reflect many cultural ideas, such as stereotyped gender roles, a sense of "face," and the tradition of parents' long-term financial support for their children. Meanwhile, the varying socio-economic climate of Taiwan across districts and the lack of public welfare programs also clearly affect judges' custody decisions. Moreover, this study finds that since 1996, custody has been overwhelmingly awarded to mothers, whereas before 1996 fathers were favored by the courts. This change of court preference was not only caused by the gender-neutral standard and the influence of the women's movement, but it was also caused by the influence of traditional ideas and social customs on judges.

Judges prefer the "all-or-none custody" arrangement that imposes a double burden on single mothers. This decision pattern undermines both gender equality and the child's best interests and further worsens the economic status of post-divorce single-mother families. The study argues that judges should stop using economic competence as a necessary factor in determining custody. Both public welfare programs and private child support from the non-custodial parent should be implemented to assist the custodial parent if she or he is the more suitable but economically less competent parent. In addition, judges should give visitation orders more often and pay attention to the child's psychological and emotional needs.



HANDBOOK OF LIVING INFORMATION FOR FOREIGN SPOUSES IN TAIWAN


Q15: How do foreign spouses apply for registration of divorce?

1. Authorized Authority: MOI (Population Administration Department)

2. Basis of Laws/Regulations: Article 17 of Domiciliary Registration Law

 

3. Procedures of Application:

(1) Divorce in Taiwan

a. Divorce by consent

 

(a) Application should be made by both parties concerned to the Population Administration Office in the domicile place of the R.O.C. national.

(b) If the person concerned can not make the application in person, he/she should submit a letter of attorney requesting approval from Population Administration Office, then proceed with the application.

(c) The effective date of divorce will be the day on which the registration of divorce is completed in the Population Administration Office.

 

b. Divorce by decree of court

(a) Application should be made by both parties or one party concerned to the Population Administration Office in the domicile place of the R.O.C. national.

(b) If the person concerned can not make the application in person, he/she should submit a letter of attorney requesting approval from the Office, then proceed with the application.

(c) The effective date of divorce will be the day on which the decree is made by the court.

(2) Divorce abroad

a. Application should be made by both parties or one party concerned (limited to the divorce by decree) to the Population Administration Office in the domicile place of the R.O.C. national.

b. If the person concerned cannot make the application in person, he/she should submit a letter of attorney requesting approval from the Office, then proceed with the application. (The letter of attorney should be certified by a R.O.C. embassy or representative if made abroad).

4. Required Documents:

(1) Divorce in Taiwan

a. Household list of the R.O.C. national

b. Divorce agreement or the divorce decree and decision of court

(2) Divorce abroad

a. Household list of the R.O.C. national

b. Original copy and Chinese translation copy of certificate of divorce certified by a R.O.C. embassy or representative, or registration of divorce filed with the foreign country government.

More Information on Taiwan : Family Law :
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As Taiwan wrestles with the future of its political freedom  continue

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