Sunday, August 25, 2013

2. When either husband or wife is missing

I am a U.S. citizen living in Korea.  I had lived with my wife, a Filipina, in Korea who returned to the Philippines two (2) years ago.  Currently, I am unaware where she is and even unable to contact her.  I hope to marry another woman.  Can I get a divorce at the Korean court even though I don’t know the whereabouts of her?

Q 1) Even when either husband or wife is missing, is it possible to get a divorce at the Korean court?

In order for husband and wife both of whom are foreigners to get a divorce at the Korean court, in principle, the defendant’s address (residence) should be in Korea. However, in the event the defendant is missing in the divorce litigation, such principle is not applied and, thus, it is possible to get a divorce.

Q 2) Which proceedings will be taken and what are the documents required?

Either husband or wife should file a divorce suit against the other who is missing with the Family Court in Korea.
The documents required are as follows: Certificate of marriage, passport and certificate of alien registration of the plaintiff (only to the extent alien registration has been made), evidence proving that the defendant is missing (arrival-departure record, statement of the person who is aware of the defendant’s missing, etc.), etc. Once the divorce suit is filed, the Family Court in Korea proceeds with the divorce suit through the service of process system and finally renders the judgment of divorce. It will take approximately six (6) months to one (1) year.