Court claims jurisdiction in divorce case involving foreign spouse

By 정주원
  • Published : Apr 13, 2014 - 13:27
  • Updated : Apr 13, 2014 - 13:27

A local court ordered a German ex-husband to pay compensation to his former South Korean wife, a ruling that may be a step in trying to set down jurisdiction and guidelines in divorce cases involving spouses of foreign nationality, court officials said Sunday.

The court said the husband should pay his ex-wife 50 million won ($48,262), half the amount she had sought. Names of the couple and dates of the court proceedings were not made available.

A German court granted divorce filed by the husband who had met another woman after returning to his home country to work at his company headquarters. The ex-wife separately filed for divorce at a South Korean court with a demand for compensation.

In a similar previous case involving a husband from Spain, the local court had dismissed the ex-wife's demand for compensation altogether, saying South Korea would not be able to intervene because the spouse had a foreign nationality.

The appellate court, however, overturned the ruling, arguing that domestic law must protect the rights of the country's citizens and therefore the court should make a claim for jurisdiction. This case is currently pending at the Supreme Court.

In the latest case, the court said the German husband should compensate his ex-wife since he is responsible for the breakup of the marriage. "The court has determined the amount of compensation in consideration of the years of marriage, the ages and the amount of personal assets," it said. (Yonhap)