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Is divorce common in Korea?


Divorce is a major social issue that affects many countries around the world. South Korea, as one of the most developed and modernized countries in Asia, has seen significant changes in its social structure in recent years. The question of whether divorce is common in Korea is complex and multifaceted. In this article, we will examine various factors that contribute to divorce in Korea, including social norms, economic factors, and legal regulations.

The history of marriage and divorce in Korea

Marriage and divorce have been a part of Korean society for centuries. In traditional Korean society, marriage was seen as a way to strengthen family ties and ensure continuity of the family line. Divorce was not uncommon, but it was regarded as a shameful failure of the marriage. However, with the modernization of Korean society and the growing influence of Western culture, attitudes towards marriage and divorce have changed.

Social norms and cultural factors

Social norms play a significant role in determining the prevalence of divorce in Korea. Traditional Korean culture places a high value on family unity and harmony, which can make it difficult for couples to divorce. There is also a stigma attached to divorce, particularly for women. Women who divorce may be seen as failures or may struggle to find new partners.

Economic factors and divorce

Economic factors also contribute to divorce rates in Korea. In recent years, the cost of living has risen dramatically, making it difficult for many families to make ends meet. This financial pressure can put a strain on marriages and lead to divorce. Additionally, women’s increased participation in the workforce has led to greater economic independence, which can make it easier for them to leave unhappy marriages.

Legal regulations and divorce

The legal system also plays a role in determining the prevalence of divorce in Korea. The process of getting a divorce can be lengthy and complicated, which may deter some couples from pursuing it. In addition, there are various legal requirements that must be met before a divorce can be granted, such as mandatory counseling sessions.

Divorce statistics in Korea

While divorce rates in Korea have historically been low, they have risen significantly in recent years. According to the Korean National Statistical Office, the divorce rate in Korea was 2.2 per 1,000 people in 1980. By 2019, this had increased to 3.4 per 1,000 people.

The impact of divorce on Korean society

The increasing prevalence of divorce in Korea has had a significant impact on Korean society. Children of divorced parents may face social stigma and discrimination, and may struggle to adjust to the changes in their family life. Additionally, divorced women may face financial hardship or difficulty finding new partners.

Mental health and divorce

Divorce can also have an impact on mental health. Studies have shown that divorce can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. This is particularly true for women, who may experience greater social and economic pressures after a divorce.

Government initiatives to reduce divorce rates

The Korean government has implemented various initiatives to reduce divorce rates and support families. These include programs to provide counseling and support for couples experiencing marital problems, as well as initiatives to promote gender equality and support women’s participation in the workforce.

Alternative forms of marriage

As attitudes towards marriage and divorce continue to evolve in Korea, alternative forms of marriage are becoming more popular. For example, many young Koreans are choosing to delay or forego marriage altogether, while others are opting for non-traditional forms of partnership such as cohabitation.


In conclusion, divorce is becoming more common in Korea as the country continues to modernize and evolve. Social norms, economic factors, and legal regulations all play a role in determining divorce rates. While divorce can be a difficult and painful experience for those involved, it is important to recognize that it is a part of modern Korean society and that there are resources available to support families going through this process.

What is the divorce culture in Korea?

In Korea, there are no options for a no-fault divorce unless agreed upon by both parties. Instead, the judicial divorce process is centered around determining who is at fault in the marriage. The courts believe that a spouse who is not at fault should not be compelled to go through a divorce they do not want.

What country is divorce most common?

The Maldives, Guam, Russia, Moldova, Belarus, China, Aruba, Georgia, Ukraine, and Costa Rica have the highest rates of divorce in the world. The Maldives has the highest rate, with 5.5 divorces per 1,000 people, followed by Guam with 4.3 divorces per 1,000 people.

Is it easy to get a divorce in Korea?

How Fast Can I Divorce in Korea? Court proceedings take time. However, when the parties agree to divorce, the divorce could be finalized within a month or two. In the case of a contested divorce, it usually takes 5 to 9 months to get the ruling from a court of the first instance.Apr 24, 2022

Is marriage a big deal in Korea?

In Korean culture, similar to other traditional cultures, the practice of arranged marriages was common, with the decision being made by the parents of the bride and groom. This was due to the importance placed on family and customs, as dictated by Confucian values. Marriage was viewed as a significant milestone in one’s life.

What is the cheating rate in South Korea?

According to a study conducted by Linea Research Korea in 2016, as reported in the Korea Herald, 50.8% of married South Korean men admitted to being unfaithful, while only 9.3% of women admitted the same.

Are affairs common in Korea?

According to a study, over half of the men surveyed and 9.3% of the women surveyed admitted to having cheated on their partners at least once. The study also revealed that Korean men in their 50s had an average of 12.5 extramarital partners.

It is also worth noting that divorce in Korea is not a new phenomenon. Divorce has been a part of Korean society for centuries, albeit with different social and cultural attitudes towards it. However, as Korea continues to modernize and globalize, traditional values around marriage and family are being challenged, leading to increased divorce rates.

One factor that may contribute to rising divorce rates in Korea is the changing roles of women in society. Women are now more educated and have greater economic opportunities than in the past, which can lead to greater independence and a desire for greater equality in relationships. However, traditional gender roles and expectations around marriage may still persist, leading to conflict and dissatisfaction in relationships.

Another important factor to consider is the impact of technology on relationships. Social media, dating apps, and online communication have changed the way people form and maintain relationships. While these technologies can make it easier to meet new people and stay connected, they can also create new challenges and pressures in relationships that may contribute to divorce.

It is also worth noting that divorce can have implications beyond just the individuals involved. Divorce can have broader social and economic impacts on families, communities, and even the country as a whole. For example, divorced women may face greater financial insecurity or difficulty accessing affordable housing or healthcare.

Ultimately, the question of whether divorce is common in Korea is complex and multifaceted. While divorce rates have risen in recent years, it is important to recognize that divorce is a part of modern Korean society and that there are resources available to support families going through this process. By continuing to examine and address the factors contributing to divorce, Korea can work towards creating a more equitable and supportive society for all its citizens.

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