Korean President Urges More Protection on Foreign Wives Married to Korean

It is reported that President Lee Myung-bak said the central government should work out programs to better protect the human rights of foreign wives married to Korean men.  It has been a severe social issues that more and more women from countries especially Philippines and Vietnam are getting married to Korean men and increasing incidents of abuse of foreign wives has been reported.  You can read the news here.

© 2008 Wonil Chung, a Korean Attorney/Chung & Partners, a Korean Law Firm.  All rights reserved.


  1. Hello,

    I just have a few questions for a friend of mine. She’s married to a Korean and they have kids, but the divorce is currently in progress (or already granted—the husband wouldn’t confirm). We received a news that the husband died recently, but the information is not confirmed and the source is unreliable.

    If in case the divorce is still in progress and the husband is in fact deceased, does this mean that the wife is free to get re-married to somebody else? Also, how would she get confirmation of death?

    If in case the divorce is already granted, how will she get the documentation for this?

    By the way, she’s a citizen of a different country and she doesn’t live in South Korea. Also, the husband mentioned before that, because of the divorce, she can no longer get into the country with the type of visa she has.

    Thank you very much!


  2. hello, im a filipina married to a korea man, who was not supporting me, and i need to work to support my self, we have 1 baby, we married almost 2 years, and i want to divorce him, do i have my custody to my child?, i am F-2 visa.

  3. Hello, I’m Renee, I got married only two months ago. BUt after three weeks, my husband went back to Korea. Now, after barely 3 months of getting married, he’s threatening to divorce me. I’m in the Philippines. I dont want to have he divorce because i think, we cn still resolve the problem. However, it is difficult because we are apart. is it possible for him to get the divorce without my permission. I really love my husband.

  4. Dear Chung & Partners,

    probably this is the wrong place for my question, but after searching the internet for several hours, is this my last hope and try. Sorry in advance.

    A friend of mine, a filipino woman who is married to a korean man, is (hopefully) going to get divorced this month after a long (,tough) period of asking and waiting. They are married for almost five years and after two years, she recived the korean citizenship, which (as far as I know) she will keep even after the divorce.

    As life goes on she found her new love in french man and they are planning to get married as soon as possible. Also both wish to live and work in Korea after they are married.

    My question is, will she get any problems to get married again after her divorce with a non-korean man and/or is there are waiting-periode for a remarriage after a divorce?

    I would appriciate so much if you could help us with that question.

    Thank you in advance!

    Best regards,


  5. When a foreign woman marries a Korean man, what rights does she have by law? What if a divorce is needed? Does Korean law honor prenuptuals? I have tried looking for an English version website, but I have not found one. I’m American and my main concern is that I will be surprised by different family laws.

  6. Dear Carla:
    It depends on what kind of law shall be applied, unless she has acquired a Korean nationality. If she has a domicile in Korea, the Korean divorce law shall be applied and she has all the same right and obligation under Korean divorce law, even though she has not acquired Korean nationality.
    There is a similar concept as prenup under Korean law, but it is not the exactly same one.
    If you have any question regarding Korean family law, please email me at any time. Our office can help you in any legal cases which might happen in your life in Korea.
    Wonil Chung, a Korean licensed lawyer in Seoul.

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