Child support is a legal obligation of a non-custodial parent. It usually matters when the couple is divorced. But a separated spouse can ask for the child support, too.

Read more: Getting Divorced in Korea as Foreigners: The Ultimate Guide

When the parties cannot agree on the amount of child support, the court makes the decision. In this regard, the Korean court has an internal rule to calculate the child support amount in Korea. Although this internal rule is not mandatory, many judges refer to this before making the decision. So it is worth looking into. It can give you a general idea of how the Korean court determines the child support amount.

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We have received many inquiries regarding the child support obligation and custody/visitation rights under Korean law.  Some cases are related to the divorcing parties and some to the unmarried couples who had babies during the relationship.

Establishment of Paternity under Korean Law

In case of unmarried couples, the birth father has no parental rights and obligations until his paternity is established in Korea.  That can be done in 2 ways.  One is to report himself as the father with the Korean local government.  And the other one is filing a paternity suit.

Determination of Child Care Issues

When the parental relationship is established, the unmarried couple needs to agree on child care issues such as child custody, visitation, and child support.  The same goes for the couple divorcing in South Korea.  When it is hard to reach an agreement, the matters will be heard and decided by the judge per the party‚Äôs filing a suit with the Korean family court.

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