What are the grounds for divorce?

The State prescribes the grounds for divorce and, when the husband-and-wife relationship is congruent with that legal basis, the Court will grant a divorce. According to Clause 1, Article 56 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family, the grounds for divorce at the request of one party are: the marriage has deteriorated, their common life is no longer possible and the marriage purposes are unachievable.

  •  The marriage has deteriorated means:
    • The husband and wife do not love, respect, care for and help each other, such as when a person, who is aware of his or her duties, leaves the wife or husband to live as they choose, despite being repeatedly reminded of their duties or admonished by their relatives and organizations or agencies as to their duties.
    • The husband or wife has abused or tortured each other by regularly beating or conducting behavior that damages each other’s honor, dignity, or reputation, and which has been repeatedly admonished by relatives or organizations and agencies.
    • Husband and wife are disloyal to each other such as having adulterous relationships, and despite being warned by their spouse, relatives or an organization, continue to conduct an adulterous relationship.
  • The common life is no longer possible means:
    • The conflict between husband and wife has become serious and the parties are unable to mend the relationship and reconcile; the common life is no longer meaningful; or the termination of marriage is essential. Whether a husband and wife’s common life is no longer possible must be determined from the reality of married life and the possibility to mend and reconcile between them.
  • The marriage purposes are unachievable means:
    • A husband and wife cannot build a prosperous, equal, progressive, happy and sustainable family. The parties no longer have a husband-and-wife relationship, do not respect each other’s honor, dignity and reputation, are not equal in terms of obligations and rights, and do not help to facilitate each other’s development in all aspects. As such, maintaining a married life is no longer meaningful.

The 2014 Law on Marriage and Family has added a new point for divorce in cases of domestic violence or serious violation of the rights and obligations of husband and wife. Thus, the current law clearly stipulates that “domestic violence” is the basis for a divorce request. Domestic violence actions are regulated by the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Thus, the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family has added a fault element as a component in consideration of a divorce, reflecting the combination of the reality of the marriage and the fault element in divorce proceedings.

In addition to these grounds, the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family also provides two other grounds for divorce: divorce by mutual consent and divorce when a spouse is declared missing.

The court recognizes husband and wife’s ability to mutually consent to a voluntary divorce. The grounds for divorce by mutual consent is when the husband and wife determine that their marriage is no longer meaningful, the conflicts between the parties cannot be settled, and the common life is no longer possible. Therefore, the parties determine that divorce is the most positive way to terminate the relationship between husband and wife. The State does not recognize sham divorce.

When a spouse is declared missing, the surviving spouse is entitled to request the Court for a divorce. The identification of missing citizens shall comply with the provisions of the civil law.

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