Uncontested Divorces vs Contested Divorces in South Korea

Divorce in South Korea is governed by Korea’s Civil Code and it is divided into two types. The first one is uncontested divorces which are also known as a “divorce by agreement.” This type of divorce, as the name implies, requires agreement of the husband and wife that they wish to divorce. The second type of Korean divorce is the contested divorce also called as “judicial divorce.” This type of Korean divorce is resorted to by spouses when one spouse asserts the spouse wishes not to divorce or one spouse is not certain of the intent of the other spouse. In most cases, even if the divorce shall be amicable, we advise to have a judicial divorce, since you, likely, shall never need to come to the court and this type of divorce is less likely not to be recognized by a foreign jurisdiction.

Divorce in Korea

The divorce law in South Korea applies to spouses who are both Korean nationals, spouses whom one party is Korean and other party is a foreigner, and even to spouses who are both foreign nationals if one of the spouses, at least, resides in Korea and that they have significant connection to the country. IPG Legal handles both contested and uncontested divorces in Korea.

Contested Divorces versus Uncontested Divorces

Uncontested DivorceContested Divorce
The divorce decree is normally issued between one and four months from filing of divorce.The length of time of the issuance of the divorce decree is unpredictable. In some cases, it may take six months to two or more years for the court to issue a divorce decree. And the other party may, also, appeal the decision. However, in most cases if the matter is handled amicably a divorce can be achieved in around six months.
If the spouses are represented by lawyers, they are not required to appear before the court in some cases.The spouses may be required by the judge to appear in court, however, in most cases appearance, in court, is not necessary.
The spouses can agree to divorce, custody and monetary issues via agreement.In a judicial divorce the court is the one that will determine the division of assets between the spouses, custody, visitation, child support, and other pertinent terms of the divorce. However, in many judicial divorces and agreement can be obtained between the parties and the court shall accept the agreement between the parties.
No need to prove any grounds for divorce. It is sufficient that the divorce is by mutual consent of the parties.Filing party must establish that his or her hands are more clean than the responding party and must, also, prove:
– Unchaste act or sexual act outside of marriage;
– Malicious abandonment;
– Abuse by other spouse;
– Abuse by other spouse’s linear ascendant;
– The other spouse has been missing for three years and no one can establish whether he/she is dead or alive; or
– Other serious causes that make it onerous to continue the marriage.

However, if the divorce is amicable, the court shall waive, in reality, these requirements.

Are you interested in similar articles? Please read: Grounds for Divorce in Korea: Korean Divorce Law Basics, Getting a Divorce in Korea: Hire an English-Speaking Korean Divorce Lawyer? and Getting a Marital Separation Agreement in Korea: Divorce Checklist.

If you want to know more about Divorce in South Korea, you may schedule a No-Charge Initial Consultation with a lawyer: Please Schedule a Call.

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