More couples turn to divorce consultations
By Kim Bo-eun
Divorce counseling took up more than 40 percent of the total number of consultations provided by the Family Court last year, illustrating that more couples are considering splitting up.
The Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations said Wednesday that 42.9 percent of 2,454 consultations from March to December 2011 concerned divorce.
More women than men sought advice and those in their 40s for both genders had the highest rates of seeking the service.
Some 114,300 married couples were divorced in 2011, according to Statistics Korea. Korea has one of the highest divorce rates in the world.
“There were many cases in which a husband and wife visited the Family Court without any preparation and blindly wanted a quick resolution to the problem,” said an official at the center.
“Some couples who were awaiting divorce hadn’t reached any agreement on the custody of their children or due alimony but expected the judge to make the decision for them.”
“Many couples also came to the court to talk about their past and vent their anger, without any legal knowledge of divorce,” the official said.
“Although there are systems that encourage counseling and deliberation before divorcing, giving a grace period to married couples who wish to split up, they are not being used effectively.”
The figures for divorce consultations were followed by 17.2 percent of people who sought advice concerning wills and inheritance, and 6.3 percent who received consultation on alimony and division of property.
Other categories included the existence of biological children, housework, childrearing expenses, parental rights and custody.