Q) I’m a U.S. citizen married to a Korean woman having one child. Currently, we live apart and our child’s living time is split between us. I wouldn’t mind this situation if I knew she could be trusted to care for him safely and properly. But she can’t do this. I’m incredibly worried about his present safety and his emotional development. We have the papers but she won’t sign them, she uses our marital situation to manipulate me. Is there any way I can file for divorce without her consent? If so, where can I do this? Also, what would I need to do to obtain sole parental authority after the divorce?
A) If she keeps refusing to sign the divorce agreement, you have no choice but to file a divorce lawsuit with a Korean court that has jurisdiction over the residence where she resides in order for the divorce to be finalized in Korea. Of course, mutual consent is not required in case you file a divorce lawsuit. You, however, have to prove your marriage is unsustainable due to the reasons not solely attributable to you. That is because in this case the Korean divorce law shall apply and the Korean divorce law does not acknowledge no-fault divorce. The judge will rule on the issue of who is going to be the sole custodian in the process of a divorce trial. Therefore you should collect and prepare sufficient evidence which shows her unfit to raise your son.
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Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein, which may or may not reflect the most current legal development, may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.