Sun, May 25, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Couples register under amended marriage law

MAKING IT LEGALThe commissioner of the Taipei Civil Affairs Department said the law made it more difficult for people to have illegal second marriages

By Mo Yan-Chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

A couple displays new identification cards to the press after registering as husband and wife in the Wanhua District Office of Taipei City yesterday.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Signing marriage application forms at municipal household registration offices, 52 couples in Taipei City completed the legal procedure for marriage yesterday, the first weekend after an amendment to the Civil Law (民法) came into force requiring couples to register for marriage.

The amendment to Article 982 came into force on Friday, stipulating that marriages are only legal after being registered at a household registration office. “Ceremonial marriages” such as group weddings, notarized weddings, religious ceremonies and wedding banquets are no longer deemed legally binding.

“We’re married!” a couple in their wedding outfits shouted after completing the procedure yesterday morning at the household registration office in Wanhua District. The pair supported the new regulation, saying it provided more legal protection for married couples.

“I don’t think registering for marriage is a hassle. Actually, having a written form and a registration process makes my marriage more formal and legally binding,” 34-year-old bride Wang Ya-chi (王雅琪) said.

Another newlywed couple, Lin Wu-yan (林吳彥) and Chen Ming-ru (陳旻汝), who went to the registration office for marriage registration at 9:30am, also supported the regulation.

Wearing a T-shirt and jeans as she registered, Chen said she and her husband decided to first complete the process to legalize their marriage, and later choose a date for a wedding banquet as the two families could not agree on a date.

“I think it’s more convenient that couples can register with the registration office and make their marriage legal. Preparing for a ceremonial marriage is so much more complicated,” she said.

Taipei City Civil Affairs Department Commissioner Huang Lu Ching-ju (黃呂錦茹), who visited various household registration offices to congratulate newlyweds, said the old regulations did not force couples to register their marriage with household registration offices and made it easy for some to have illegal second marriages because of the lack of written contracts.

To welcome the newlyweds, many household registration offices in Taipei City were decorated with wedding photos, flowers or balloons, and handed out gifts including wedding candies and lucky charms.

The director of the Wanhua District household registration office, Lin Tsung-ming (林聰明), said that traditional auspicious days from the lunar calendar and weekends and holidays were popular times for marriage registration. Office staff would have to work during weekends and holidays to serve the newlyweds, Lin said.

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