A mother and son from Taiwan signed a very unusual contract in 1997. In the document, he promised to pay her 60% of his monthly income after graduating.
The payments, to total 50 million new Taiwan dollars ($1.7 million US), would be reimbursement for his mother financing his educational expenses.
20 years old when he signed the agreement, the man later decided it was wrong for his mother to expect to be repaid and she took him to court after several years of being stiffed.
The now-dentist argued in his defense that he was very young when he obligated himself to that commitment, so the contract should be considered invalid, and he had already paid her $1 million US.
However, the Supreme Court of Taiwan ruled that the agreement was valid and ruled in favor of the mother – ordering the man to pay her almost $1 million US more as an “upbringing fee” along with interest.
The mother, identified only by her surname, Luo, raised two children after she and her husband divorced.
Luo testified she had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to finance the dentistry career of both children, but worried they were not willing to take care of her later in life, so she signed contracts with both of them in which they promised to give her a part of their future income. Her other, elder son also signed an agreement with his mother for a smaller amount.
The son who balked at the contract additionally stated he had worked at his mother’s dental clinic for years after graduating and that he had helped her earn more than he had been ordered to pay her.
A Supreme Court determined the contract was valid as the son was an adult when he signed and no had compelled to do so.
According to the civil code of Taiwan, adult children have the responsibility of taking care of their parents as they age, although most parents do not sue their children if they fail to fulfill that obligation.