Under Korean Civil Law, there are two ways to get a divorce; divorce by agreement and judicial divorce (divorce through a court ruling). There are some requirements in relation to who can initiate divorce proceedings. In Korea, the person at fault is not able to initiate a divorce process through the court unless there are other certain circumstances. In order to get divorced through mutual agreement, both parties must report together at the family court and state their intent to get a divorce. They must submit the required documents as listed below. In some cases, the couple may be advised to seek professional counseling. Then, they will be given a “guidance on divorce” session. After about 1 to 3 months, they will receive the court’s confirmation of their divorce. Within 3 months of receiving this confirmation, they must file an official copy of this confirmation at their local gu-office.
Here are the required documents for a divorce through agreement: - A written agreement regarding custody and custody fees. This should be written in detail and should mention visitation rights, and if possible, a steady visitation schedule for the parent without custody. - A completed application form for a divorce through mutual agreement (you can download a form at the following link) http://slfamily.scourt.go.kr/searchnew/search_form.jsp?p1=000230&q=이혼신청서 - Each party’s Korean ID - Marriage certificate - A copy of the Korean spouse’s family registry - 3 copies of the “divorce report form” (also obtained from the Seoul Family Court) In order to get divorced through trial, each party is usually expected to hire a lawyer to go through the process, because it is comparatively more complicated and difficult than divorce through mutual agreement. Korea’s Family Court decisions acknowledge that the ‘spouse in fault’ is not permitted to initiate divorce proceedings through trial. In order to file a divorce through court, you need some grounds for it. Following are some of the grounds for divorce as listed in the Civil Law article 840: - Adultery** - Malicious desertion - Abuse by the spouse - Abuse by the spouse's lineal descendent or ascendant(child, grandchild, parents, grandparents, etc.). - if the spouse is missing and it is unknown if s/he is dead or alive for a period of at least 3 years - other causes that make it difficult to continue in the marriage