Q) I’m an American and my wife is Korean. She is living in Korea and I have returned to the USA. We have agreed to divorce. However, I can’t go back to Korea just to sign the papers. Is it possible to have her do it? Or have her email me the divorce agreement for me to sign and return to her?
A) There are two types of divorce in Korea. One is a divorce by agreement and the other one is a divorce by judgment. When people agree to divorce, there is no need to file for a divorce by judgment. A divorce judgment is a judicial judgment that basically requires a court hearing, review and judgment.
There is one particular situation, however, when a divorce by judgment is required even when the divorce is uncontested. That is when one spouse doesn’t reside in Korea.
The divorce by agreement in Korea requires both parties to reside within Korea. The judge needs to confirm the genuine intent of divorce by meeting up with the couple at the courthouse. Thus, when one spouse lives abroad like you, the court cannot process the application for divorce.
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