Taipei (Taiwan News)—Taiwan’s highest court ruled Tuesday in favor of a Taiwanese woman who sued her son for financial support on the grounds that she had signed an agreement with her son about financial support 20 years ago.
The Supreme Court verdict stated that the woman surnamed Lou (羅) insisted that she had incurred a debt of more than NT$20 million to single-handedly raise her two young sons and pay for their education since she divorced her husband. As the woman was concerned that her sons might not fulfill their obligation to take care of her, she signed an agreement with them regarding how the support should be paid, according to the court document.
According to the agreement Lou entered into with her two sons, after the sons become dentists, they should pay their mother 60 percent of their net profit made from their dental practice by month until the total payments reach NT$50.12 million. Lou said that her second son surnamed Chu (朱) has his own dental clinic, and his monthly income averages more than NT$2.5 million, so she asked him to pay her NT$25 million for accrued support as stipulated in the agreement, according to the court ruling.
However, Chu insisted that when he signed the agreement, he was only a 20-year-old sophomore and that the agreement which stipulates he must pay back the expenditure his mother incurred raising them as well as extra money for the time she spent and the effort she made, is a deviation from social morals and against good customs and public order, and therefore should be invalid.
The Supreme Court held that the civil law allows the persons involved to enter into an financial support payment agreement, and as there is a ceiling on the amount of the support, the agreement will not cause Lou’s dentist son to face a struggle for survival and is not opposed to morals, good customs or public order. The court also pointed out that Chu had reached the age of majority when he signed the agreement.
The court deducted the payments Chu had made, and ruled that the dentist son, who has been practicing dentistry since 2003, should honor the agreement and pay his mother the accrued support of NT$22.33 million.