Getting a Marital Separation Agreement in Korea: Divorce Checklist

The following Korea divorce checklist may be useful for those negotiating a marital separation agreement in Korea. We highly recommend the utilization of a marital separation agreement, since the normal Korean judgment doesn’t consider some issues that may arise in the future including pension and social security that are addressed in a typical marital separation agreement.

The average Korean lawyer that doesn’t handle many divorces for foreigners, often, is not aware of the reality overseas and, thus, often thinks the cursory Korean court judgment is adequate.  Often, the cursory court judgment in Korea is not adequate in waiving the rights to some foreign vested benefits abroad.  Thus, only hire an attorney in Korea that has significant experience with international divorces and that has drafted marital separation agreements.  I would suggest requesting a marital separation agreement in Korean and English prior to retaining the attorney.

Korea Divorce Checklist
(This checklist is not intended to be exhaustive)

  • Children
    • Who has the power to determine: where child goes to school, tutors, extracurricular activities, move abroad, which doctors, religion which treatments etc.?
    • Ability for non-custodial parent to take child during vacations outside of Korea?
    • Can the name of child be changed?
    • Custodial Parent?
    • Non-Custodial Parent:  Visitation vs. time sharing?
    • Non-Custodial Parent:  Schedule for each week, holidays, vacations and school recess?
    • How does arrangement change if a parent relocates?
    • Child Support? Payment Method? Inflation Adjustment? Salary Adjustment?
    • Child Support until what age?
    • Responsibility for health insurance, medical expenses, school and college?
    • Support Provider- life insurance?
  • Spousal Support (Normally only property distribution and “consolation money”) 
    • Spousal support/consolation money?
    • At-fault Money Judgement?
    • Pending Criminal Charges?
  • Division of Property 
    • Division of Property?
    • Cost of Division of Property?
    • Pensions, IRAs and Social Security?
    • Life Insurance?
    • Vested Inheritance and Pensions?
    • Debt?
    • Legal Fees?


Sean Hayes may be contacted at:

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty.

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