By Don Southerton, Editor KoreaLegal.org
Last year I was involved in a child custody case as an expert witness. One of the divorced parents wanted to return to Korea with her 2 children. The dad opposed such a move on a number of grounds. One key point was that Korea was not party to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. That will change.
Chosun Ilbo notes:
Korea is to join the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in an effort to prevent a divorced parent in an international marriage from taking children to his or her native country.
The Hague Convention stipulates that if parents in international marriage get divorced, children have the right to stay in the country where they have lived. Once Korea joins, if either parent takes children to his or her native country after the divorce, the other will be able to take them back to Korea in case the country of the former spouse is also a signatory.
As international marriages increase in Korea, many disputes have arisen over who should raise children after divorce.
A government officials cited the case of a Korean woman who divorced her American husband in the U.S. and took the child to Korea, and her ex-husband presented it as an abduction.
“Conversely, if an American spouse who has lived in Korea takes his or her child to the U.S. without the former spouse’s consent after divorce, there is currently no international legal basis for the Korean spouse to bring the child back to Korea,” the official added.
Some 81 countries have signed up to the Hague Convention. The government has been pushing for a revision of relevant domestic law after completing a review last year.