South Korea: Couples seek out US 'quickie divorces'

An illuminated sign reading "Reno: The biggest little city in the world" Image copyright Wikimedia/Renjishino

Korean couples hoping for a quickie divorce are heading thousands of miles away to the US state of Nevada, according to reports.

Divorce is dealt with by "carefully thought-out" regulations in South Korea, but an increasing number of couples are opting to speed things up in the "divorce mecca" of Reno, The Chosun Ilbo website reports. At home, Korean couples seeking to end their marriage are required to attend education classes and meet court-appointed counsellors, the report says. They also have to take a three-month "cooling-off period" before their request is granted, and that's just for the amicable separations. But in Nevada, couples only have to show that one partner has lived in the state for six weeks.

One in three marriages ends in divorce in South Korea, according to an editorial in The Korea Herald in January. The divorce rate among couples who have been married for more than 20 years, and couples where one partner is foreign, have both been on the up in recent years. Those deciding to head to Nevada are met with disappointment by some in the Korean legal system. "A lot of measures have been put in place to get married couples to think twice before going their separate ways," a court official tells The Chosun Ilbo. "It's sad to see people fly off to the US because they can't even be bothered to do that."

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