The Taiwan High Court rendered the 108-Jia-Shang-31 Civil Decision of July 17, 2019 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that the formation of a marriage not only requires the formal criteria of a marriage to be met but also the true intent of both spouses to form a marriage to live together and manage a married family.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant asserted that she had registered her marriage with the Appellee in Vietnam and obtained a marriage certificate issued by the Vietnamese government. However, when she and the Appellee applied to Taiwan’s representative office in Vietnam to verify the above certificate of marriage, the application to verify the marriage certificate was declined on the ground of inconsistency or falsehood in the representation of the material facts about the marriage by the Appellant and the Appellee. The administrative appeal which was subsequently filed was also rejected. As a result, they could not complete the household registration for marriage registration in Taiwan. Since the existence of the marital relationship was not clear, the Appellant filed a complaint to confirm the marital relationship with the Appellee. The original trial court subsequently ruled against the Appellant. Dissatisfied, the Appellant appealed.
According to the Decision, the formation of a marriage is an act of agreement between the spouses and should not only satisfy the formal criteria for a marriage but also require the true intent of both spouses to form a marriage to live together and manage a married family. Although the marriage certificate mentioned by the Appellant can be used to determine the fact that the Appellant and the Appellee registered their marriage in Vietnam and obtained a marriage certificate, still this only shows that the formal criteria for their marriage were met but cannot prove the true intent of marriage between the spouses.
It was further pointed out in this Decision that according to the results of the interview with the Appellant and the Appellee in Taiwan’s representative office in Vietnam, they had inconsistent statements concerning the circumstance of the Appellant’s first visit to the husband’s family, the husband’s work when they just met, the timing of the husband’s knowledge of the Appellee’s divorce, and the plan for the husband’s visit to Taiwan. In addition, it was obviously counterintuitive that they had gone steady for just a few days but decided online to get married when they returned to Taiwan. In addition, after they registered their marriage in Vietnam, there were only four short visits to Vietnam. This is obviously quite different from the circumstances where an ordinary husband and wife who think of each other and are in close contact with each other all the time, and it is indeed difficult to conclude that they reached the agreement to get married, live together, care for each other and maintain their marriage. Based on the foregoing reasons, the Appellant’s assertion that she truly intended to marry the Appellee was hardly believable. Therefore, the Appellant’s request to confirm the existence of the marital relationship between the parties is not justified and should not be granted, and the appeal was dismissed.