Gender News in Taiwan
Civil Code Reform: Adulthood at 18, No 50/50 Divorce Assets

【By Lin Lee-kai

The Legislative Yuan "cleared its stocks" at the end of the year by passing several important bills. Among them, a bill to amend some articles of the Civil Code, along with the Enforcement Law for Part IV, Family Law of the Civil Code, was passed on Dec. 25, lowering the age of majority from 20 to 18. Meanwhile, for the sake of equality, the minimum age of marriage for both men and women will be the same — 18 years old, which is no change for men, but it had been 16 years old for women before the amendment. A buffer period was set before the amendments take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. This is the first major change of its kind in the Civil Code since its enactment and implementation in 1929.

Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, who presided at the meeting, said afterwards on his Facebook page that this is a prelude to the major task of amending the constitution. It has been the consensus of the ruling and opposition parties to revise the age threshold for the exercise of civil rights to 18 years old. The UK, France, and Germany changed their civil rights age threshold to 18 years old back in the 1970s. Taiwan’s neighbor Japan also completed such youth movement reforms in 2018.

On Dec. 30, the legislature also passed on its third reading an amendment to Article 1030-1 of the Civil Code, whereby, when filing for divorce, the interests or income through utilization of the property acquired by one party before the marriage relationship will not have to be distributed equally to both parties if the other party did not contribute to acquiring the assets or cooperate in their utilization.

[Taipei Times, 2021-01-06]

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