Divorce | The agreement and procedures for a consensual divorce

Marriage is indeed a commitment of two people willing to engage in a lifelong pact of mutual support, but over time, it seems that the significant other starts to change. When the marriage of the couple is teetering on the edge of a cliff, only a step away from the end, many people ask how to free themselves from the person before them.
In our country's civil law, there are several ways to divorce, including mutual consent divorce both parties agree, judicial divorce one party wants to leave and the other does not let go, requiring the court to make a judgment according to the law, and divorce through mediation or reconciliation facilitated by the court. Compared to judicial divorce, negotiated divorce can avoid the mutual verbal abuse, exposing of grievances, and harm that comes with court litigation, and is also a relatively quicker means to achieve the purpose of divorce. But how exactly do we go about a negotiated divorce?

一、Reaching an agreement and signing a divorce agreement

First, let's talk about what exactly needs to be agreed upon in a negotiated divorce. In fact, the distribution of marital property, the custody and care of children, alimony, and visitation rights are all topics that can be discussed, and if possible, the issue of whether children should change their surnames can also be addressed. However, the most important thing is that both parties must intend to divorce.
Of course, the premise of reaching an agreement is that both parties are willing to accept it. As for what kind of content both parties are willing to accept, it can only be said that there may be over a hundred different persuasions and outcomes for a hundred couples, each couple is different. However, what remains constant is that one cannot simply take one's own position and think, "I want everything, and the other party should just give in" (regardless of whether you think this because you contribute to the household, earn the money, manage the household, take care of the children, etc.). The other party may also recognize the truth in what you say, but they will certainly feel that there are contributions they have made that you have not noticed. Additionally, the selfish nature of people often leads to the insistence on having it all, which usually just results in the breakdown of negotiations. It is recommended that readers understand their marital situation and the legal chips they may be able to play (if unclear, one can first consult a lawyer), and then set the essential points in their heart and the minor details that can be let go of in time, to truly stand firm in the first step before negotiating.
After negotiations between the two parties, for the sake of prudence, Article 1050 of the Civil Code stipulates that the content agreed upon by both parties needs to be expressed in writing, which is the so-called "divorce agreement." With the signatures of two or more witnesses confirming both parties' intent to divorce, both parties can then go to the household registration office to register the divorce.
Many people ask lawyers, what if the other party agrees to divorce but won't sign the divorce agreement, or if they sign the divorce agreement but won't go to register with me? The lawyer can only regretfully tell you that you really can't do much, at most, you can take the fact that both parties have agreed to what stage and file a lawsuit in court, requesting a judgment of divorce. Therefore, when you have agreed to divorce, you must be sure whether the divorce agreement has been signed, and even if an agreement has been signed, you must also pay attention to whether the other party intends to go to the household registration office to handle the divorce registration. Perhaps completing the entire divorce procedure in one day would be a good choice; sometimes, when things drag on, they end up going unresolved, which requires special attention.

二、The procedures for registering a mutual consent divorce.

Once the divorce agreement is signed, both parties must go to the Household Registration Office together to complete the divorce registration, bringing all necessary documents for the officials to verify their identities. It is important to note that for a mutual consent divorce, both parties must be present at the Household Registration Office to confirm their intention to divorce. In contrast, for a court-ordered divorce, mediation or reconciliation divorce, since the marriage is legally dissolved once the court issues a decision or an agreement is reached, registration can be completed by one party with the original court decision, mediation, or reconciliation documents.
Additionally, the Civil Code requires the presence of at least two witnesses; therefore, there must be at least two witnesses, but there can be more. The Civil Code does not stipulate specific qualifications for witnesses. However, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice have indicated that any adult who has not been declared incapacitated can serve as a witness. Therefore, the age and mental state of the witnesses are important considerations to ensure they truly understand the parties’ intention to divorce. Their relationship to the parties is irrelevant, meaning even complete strangers can serve as witnesses (although it is not recommended by lawyers to choose witnesses without contact information due to potential difficulties in future legal disputes over the divorce).
Furthermore, it is not uncommon to see cases witnesses sign the divorce agreement before the parties involved. Strictly speaking, this does not confirm the parties’ intention to divorce and may lead to challenges to the legality of the divorce. If the witnesses are well-acquainted with the parties, it is advisable to ask if they can accompany them on the day of the divorce to attest that they have witnessed the entire registration process and confirmed the parties’ intention to divorce.

To register for divorce, the following documents and fees are summarized as follows:

1. Original copies of the Household Register and National ID card for both parties (foreign nationals need a passport or a residency document issued by the Ministry of the Interior's Immigration Agency).

2. Personal seal (or signature as a substitute).

3.One copy of the divorce agreement signed by both parties and at least two witnesses who can fully confirm the parties' true intention to divorce. -> Therefore, at least three copies of the divorce agreement are needed: one for the Household Registration Office to keep and the other two for each party to retain.

4.As new ID cards are required (with an updated marital status), both parties should bring a recent color half-body photo taken within the last two years or a digital photograph.

5.Regarding administrative fees, the cost for reissuing an ID card is NT$50 per card (NT$100 total for both parties), and reissuing a Household Register is NT$30 per copy.

As long as the above documents are prepared, the divorce registration can typically be completed on the same day. Part on good terms, and who knows, you may meet again in the future if fate allows!