Jilted spouses are expected to benefit from legal revisions passed in the legislature on Tuesday that make it easier to reclaim the assets of their wayward husbands or wives.
When claiming money from someone else, the plaintiff must submit a certain percentage of the amount claimed to the court as a form of bond to prevent abuse of the system. The assets of the defendant can only be frozen once the bond has been paid.
Presently, judges almost always set the requirement at 30 percent, meaning that deserted spouses frequently could not afford to file suits to reclaim money from their marriages.
Dubbed "anti-second-wife clauses," two of the 287 revisions to the Civil Procedure Law (
Another revision allows the court to continue holding disputed assets in custody before a settlement.
Women's rights groups hailed the two provisions adopted by the legislature Tuesday, calling them major breakthroughs in the campaign to protect the finances of wives jilted by irresponsible, adulterous husbands.
Yu Mei-nu (
"Their long-term devotion to the family renders them economically disadvantaged," Yu said. "The revisions help to redress the situation by lowering the threshold for temporary detention of joint assets."
Recognizing the pecuniary value of housework, a 1985 regulation states that wealth gained after marriage belongs to both husband and wife and should be equally divided if their marriage ends.
In practice, sly spouses have managed to dispose of their assets before leaving their partners, Yu said.
Yu's foundation, the Warm Life Association for Women (
They arrived in the legislature Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the legislative triumph and thanked lawmakers who backed the bill.
PFP Legislator Shen Chih-hwei (
"Hopefully, the two revisions can help close legal loopholes used by unfaithful husbands, the number of whom is surging as more and more Taiwanese businesspeople move across the Strait," she said.
Shen, convener of the Judiciary Committee, said the panel agreed to revamp the entire Civil Procedure Law in an attempt to push through the two articles.
KMT lawmaker Wang Yu-ting (
"Many friends of mine who prefer to stay home after marriage had voiced concerns about doing so," joked Wang, who is single.
The legislature passed 116 bills in the past session, including the government's Budget for this year, as well as three internal bills. The body is slated to reconvene on Feb. 25.