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Woman unable to file for divorce after over 20 years of separation

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan Woman's Link yesterday urged the Taiwan High Court to amend divorce laws after a 90-year-old woman surnamed Yu was unable to divorce her husband after being separated for 20 years.

Taiwan Woman's Link and Women's Rights in Taipei held a press conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday. Yu said that she married in 1948 and her husband has always been overbearing and patriarchal, making her feel like she has no voice in her own home.

She also said her husband is physically and emotionally abusive and had also committed adultery. Yu moved in with her eldest son in 1991, successfully separating from her husband after being unable to divorce him.

Yu pointed out that her husband has not visited her once or asked her to return during the time they were separated. She suggested a divorce agreement and even filed a lawsuit against her husband, but her husband filed an appeal and the Taiwan High Court shot down the case because “there was no strong evidence of a failed marriage.”

Yu said that a lot of people asked her what's the point in having a divorce when the couple is already of an advanced age. She replied that she does not want to have any kind of relationship with her husband and wants to sever any ties with him, wishing to divorce him as soon as she can.

Sue Huang (黃淑英), chairwoman of Taiwan Woman's Link, said that the judges' main reason for rejecting the divorce is that “two parties still meet up occasionally after separation,” yet the 10 days the couple saw each other within the 8,000 days separated was through their children's invitation.

Huang said that it is ridiculous to be rejected for this reason, stating: “Do they have to become enemies in order to get a divorce?”

Lee Zhou-huan (李兆環), a member of Women's Rights in Taipei, said that cases of elderly divorce have been increasing over the past few years and that judges should call on domestic professionals to deal with these issues.

July 23, 2014    philippemckay@
another reason women don't want to have children in taiwan
July 23, 2014    Upwell@
A marriage in the eyes of the law is more cut and dry as a legal contract. But viewed fundamentally different from the couple's view is the human and social relationship itself and the "impossible to put into words" bond that keep them together. Only to judges who probably knew deep in their hearts that this 90 year old lady's marriage was long exhausted as a meaningful venture, having to be zombies applying the law, ruled against a divorce. The problem comes about because of the law and this enables judges to decide without apparent common sense. Your country should perhaps follow what other nations have accepted which is to grant a divorce to couples who for whatsoever reasons have failed to live together for two years or more because they simply don't like each other. Surely it must be sufficient proof of a rotten relationship if married couples can live apart for that length of time. That fact speaks for itself. So why burden the unhappy folks especially when the lady in question is 90 years old. The fact that she still asks for a divorce at that age to my mind if I were the judge, is evidence enough that that marriage was a complete failure. Live and let live.
July 23, 2014    piawliangjohny@
Even if they are more than 90 years if they want to get the divorce why not grant them? They have children so it would be impossible of not seeing each other in any family occasion especially for the sake of their children and grandchildren. If there's no love, respect the judge should have grant them the divorce... It's not right to give freedom to the other half if the other half go womanizing, do not respect your partner, love or not giving financial assistance...
July 25, 2014    miller.henry641@
Taiwan law allows complete legal dissolution of a marriage if there is separation for 4 years time period.
It also allows complete legal dissolution by either party if an affidavit is filed stating their has been no conjugal relations for a specified period of time (this may vary).

I think it was just a slow news day; or this woman, and her husband, are not getting the information they need from all of these "helping" friends.
July 28, 2014    galaxietw@
That's what we call "dinosaur judges" because they live in Jurassic period. A marriage without emotional basis cannot be called as a marriage.
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