Ask Korea Law

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[Q&A: Family Law] I Am Not Living in Korea. Can I File for Divorce in Korea? If Can, What Should I Know about Korean Divorce Law and Its Proceedings?

Q) I wish to file a divorce from my wife.  Our relationship ended in practice earlier this year and she returned to Korea in August. We were marred in Korea. I wonder how can I file for our divorce as she is in Korea but I am not living in Korea. I would prefer uncontested but would go with a contested divorce if necessary. But I am living in the UK. Can you tell me what process I should pursue?

A) At the outset, as your wife lives in Korea, you can file for divorce to a Korean Family Court.  Even if your wife does not have a Korean nationality, it is still the same. But you probably need to hire a Korean legal counsel who can represent you in the court, as you are not living in Korea.  With that said, if you hire a Korean divorce attorney, you are not required to come to Korea nor to attend the court.  Your Korean divorce attorney will handle everything for you.

The next issue will be which nation’s divorce law will govern your case, when you file for divorce in Korea.  If your wife is a Korean, then the Korean divorce law shall be the governing law.  If your wife is a UK citizen, then the divorce law of UK shall apply.

When the Korean divorce law becomes the governing law, in order to get a divorce decree, you have to show some types of justifiable causes for divorce under Korean law such as domestic violence, unchastity, etc.  Not surprisingly, Korean court quite often issues a divorce ruling when it founds the marriage was irretrievably broken.  Common grounds Continue reading


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How To Collect Your Claim In Korea – Filing a Lawsuit in Korea: Overview

I have been asked so many times from foreign companies or individuals, “what shall I do to collect my money under Korean laws?”.

There are certain steps widely and generally taken here in Korea, which is not quite different from other countries.

1.  Sending a formal demand letter in the name of Korean attorney

This is optional, but there is possibility of voluntary repayment by the Korean debtor after receiving a demand letter from a Korean lawyer.  It is effective especially when the debtor in Korea misconceives that foreigners cannot find a way to collect the money far away here in Korea.

2. Filing a request for the Payment Order to the Korean court

This is also optional.  Payment order is much convenient, inexpensive, fast and easy way to get a judgment from the court compared to a lawsuit.  It is widely known that Korean court has a tendency to issue Payment Order easily.  A Payment Order shall be issued without questioning the debtor.  If no objection has been raised from the debtor within 2 weeks, then the Payment Order has the same effect as a final and conclusive judgement.  If the debtor objects to it, then the court regards your request for a Payment Order as a filing lawsuit and initiates your trial against the debtor(hearings and handing down a  Continue reading