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Uncontested divorce

What is uncontested divorce

This is when parties dissolve a marriage through mutual agreement of divorce. The parties first obtain a confirmation of intent not to contest divorce form the court of jurisdiction. The divorce becomes effective when a report of divorce which is signed by both parties and attached with a copy of the confirmation is reported to the head of the local district unit.

Uncontested divorce procedure

Application for confirmation of intent not to contest divorce

(1) Document to be submitted with application

  1. (A) one copy of application for confirmation of intent not to contest divorce
    • This must be completed by both parties, and the form may be obtained from the registration window at the court.
    • The parties’ telephone numbers must be accurately provided in the application as the notice of hearing could be made over the phone. In the event of change of phone number, the new number must be immediately notified to the court.
  2. (B) One copy each of family relations certificate of the husband and marriage certificate       One copy each of family relations certificate of the wife and marriage certificate
    • Issued by office of local district unit.
  3. (C) One copy of resident registration
    • This should be attached only when applying to court of competent jurisdiction for confirmation of intent to divorce
  4. (D) Parties with minor child(ren) (including an unborn child in pregnancy, but not including those children who have reached adulthood within 3 months of the date of receipt of the information about divorce or within a period determined by the court) must submit one original and 2 copies of an agreement regarding the custody and parental rights with regard to such child(ren) or three copies of each of true copy of the family court’s decision and certificate of confirmation after receiving information about divorce. However, the parties must make appearance together to make the application and in the event information regarding divorce has been received, the agreement may be submitted by one month prior to the confirmation date and the true copy of the decision and confirmation certificate may be submitted by the confirmation date. If there is no agreement with regard to children’s custody or parental rights, application for trial must be promptly made to the family court along with a submission of a true copy of the decision and confirmation certificate. If these are not submitted or if their submission is delayed, the confirmation of uncontested divorce may be delayed or not confirmed.
    • If an agreement has been drafted with regard to the child support from the day after the divorce until the day before the day the child attains adulthood, a child support statement is drafted which is enforceable without a separate trial. Therefore, the discussion about child support responsibility must be undertaken carefully.
  5. (E) Report of divorce
    • The report of divorce is not a document you submit to the court. Rather, it is a documents that is submitted to the local district unit office when reporting a divorce. However, this could be made easier if the parties prepare the document together and sign or seal it in accordance with the instructions on the back of the report of divorce form when the application is made to the court, and then submit them when filing the report of divorce.
    • The report form may be obtained from the registration window at the court or the local district unit offices.
  6. (F) When one of the parties is overseas or confined in a penitentiary or detention center
    • A copy of the expatriate registration (issued by embassies and legations abroad or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) or a copy of the certificate of confinement (issued by penitentiary or detention center).

(2) Applications should be submitted to:

The parties must appear together at the court that has jurisdiction over the party’s locus of registration or address to submit the application.

  • One party may unilaterally make appearance to submit application only if the other party is abroad or confined in a penitentiary (detention center). The attachments should be attached to the application at the time it is submitted.

(3) Information regarding divorce

The parties must obtain information regarding divorce from the court, and they may also be recommended to receive consultation from the advisory committee members. Particularly, it is recommended that an agreement be drafted following consultation with advisory committee member regarding the decision of custody of minor children and parental rights.

If the parties fail to obtain information about divorce within 3 months from the date of the application, it is deemed that application for confirmation of intent not to contest divorce has been withdrawn.

(4) Curtailment or waiver of the divorce deliberation period

From the date the information was obtained, the intent to divorce may be confirmed within 3 months if there is a minor child (including unborn in pregnancy); on the date the child reaches adulthood in the event the child is more than one month but less than 3 months away from reaching adulthood; after one month if there is a child who is less than one month away from reaching adulthood, or in other cases. However, if there are urgent circumstances such as domestic violence, etc., that requires the curtailment or waiver of the above periods, the parties may explain such situation and submit a statement of reasons. The statement of reasons may also be submitted through the advisory committee member.

If there is no re-designation of confirmation date within 7 days from the submission of the statement of reasons, the initially designated confirmation date remains unchanged and it may not be objected to.

(5) Withdrawal of application

Even after the submission of application, either one or both parties may withdraw the application from the court prior to the confirmation of intent to divorce.

(6) Confirmation of intent not to contest divorce

The parties must make appearance at the court on the confirmation date and they must bring with them their own identification cards (resident registration card, driver’s license card, public servant card, or passport) and their seal.

If the parties fails to make appearance on the confirmation date two consecutive times, it will be deemed that the confirmation application has been withdrawn. Therefore the application for confirmation of intent not to contest divorce must be filed again.

In the event the parties have intent to divorce and they have a minor child, and if the agreement regarding the decision on custody of such child and parental rights or a true copy of the family court’s decision and confirmation certificate has been confirmed, the court provides to the parties one copy of the confirmation, and if there is a minor child, one copy of each of the agreement and a true copy of the child support statement or a true copy of the family court’s decision and confirmation certificate.

In the event a trial has been applied to the family court due to failure to reach an agreement by the confirmation date, the parties must make an appearance on the date of the confirmation and explain the reason therefor.

In the interest of the children, the court may order a modification to the agreement regarding custody and decision on parental rights. If they fail to respond to the modification order, the parties will fail to obtain confirmation.

Upon the failure to obtain confirmation, separate applications to the family court for judicial divorce or judicial designation of parental rights holder may be made.

Reporting of uncontested divorce

The copy of the confirmation of intent to divorce become ineffective thee months after issuance. Therefore, if the parties so wish, one or both parties must submit the report of divorce with a copy of the confirmation attached to the local district unit office within the above-mentioned period.

  • If the divorce has not been reported, the divorce is not effective. And once the above-mentioned period has lapsed, the divorce may not be reported unless the parties obtain another confirmation on intent to divorce from the court.
  • In the event there is a minor child, the parties must file a report for designation of person with parental rights at the time of reporting divorce along with a copy of the agreement or a true copy of decision or the confirmation certificate. In the event there is an unborn child in pregnancy, the report for designation of person with parental rights must be filed at the time of report of birth of such child along with a copy of the agreement or a true copy of decision or the confirmation certificate.
  • In the event the copy of the confirmation is lost: If it is lost within three months from the date of receipt of the confirmation, then it may be obtained again from the court to which the parties submitted application for intent to divorce.
  • The court disposes of the original agreements after two years. Therefore, please make a copy for safekeeping of the copy of the agreement issued by the court prior to the report of divorce.

Withdrawal of uncontested divorce

Even after the receipt of the confirmation of intent to divorce, if a party no longer has the intent to divorce, he/she may submit an application to withdraw intent to divorce with a copy of the confirmation to the head of the local district unit office.

  • If the divorce report is registered prior to the withdrawal of intent to divorce, then the divorce becomes effective even of the application for withdrawal has been submitted.

The effects of uncontested divorce

The marriage is dissolved by reporting after the family court’s confirmation on intent to divorce.

The rights and duties to the children as parents continue even after the divorce irrespective of the uncontested divorce. However, in the event there is a minor child (including unborn child in pregnancy) the parties must comply with the agreement regarding custody and parental rights decision with respect to such a child, or with the decision of the family court.

In particular, a child support statement is drafted with respect to child support covering the period from the day following the date the divorce was reported until the day before the minor child attains adulthood. If, following the divorce, a party fails to pay child support in accordance with the child support statement, then an enforcement order may be attached to the child support statement and can be enforced against the non-compliant party.

If the wife wishes to use a different locus of registration than the husband from whom she is divorcing, she must file a report for change of locus of registration as well.

Copyright ⓒ 2012 Judicial Information for Foreigners and Immigrants. Court of Korea. All rights reserved.