A 101-year-old man has become one of Taiwan’s oldest plaintiffs in a divorce case after he filed for divorce from his 81-year-old Chinese-born wife, who has countersued, seeking half the couple’s assets.
The man, surnamed Chou (周), said his wife, surnamed Chen (陳), had left their Pingtung County home last year, saying she was “heading back to China for medical care.”
However, he later discovered that Chen was instead living in “the northern part” of Taiwan, and “several hundred thousand” New Taiwan dollars were missing from his bank account, which led him to file for divorce, he said.
Chou told the Pingtung District Court that he met Chen while visiting relatives in China about two decades ago, after his first wife died.
Chen had also been married before, he said.
A source familiar with the case on Saturday said that the judge would likely push the pair to reach an outside settlement, given their ages and concern that a long case might be too stressful for them.
A relative of Chou on Saturday said that the couple had been in contact and that there was a possibility of a settlement.
While Chou was healthy for his age, Chen was already in bad health and would likely not want a prolonged case, they said.
Attorney Liao Fang-hsuan (廖芳萱) yesterday said that divorce cases generally take two to three years before a final ruling is issued, as they normally go through four months of mediation and only proceed with the litigation if the mediation is unsuccessful.
The spouses usually present evidence to support their claims that their loss is greater, and in more complicated cases judges might need up to five years to investigate and review all of the evidence, and go through appeals, Liao said.
Part of that time is spent hearing witnesses and assessing the assets, she added.
Additional reporting by Wu Cheng-feng
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