The number of couples filing for divorce fell in 2008 for the fifth consecutive year due mainly to a mandatory system under which couples are required to take a one- to three-month cooling off period.
Wait, what? Anyway, divorces by international couples are on the rise. From the Hankyoreh:
According to a report released Monday by Korea National Statistical Office the (KNSO), divorce rates are rapidly rising for international couples (meaning one Korean spouse and one foreign spouse) living in South Korea. Based on last year’s figures, divorce statistics show some 11,255 international couples divorced last year, representing a 29.8 percent increase from 2007 compared to a 7.5 percent increase for Koreans and their Korean spouses over the same period.
Among the divorces for international couples last year, divorces between a South Korean man and a foreign spouse accounted for 7,962 cases, more than twice the 3,293 divorces between a South Korean woman and a foreign spouse. Moreover, the 39.5 percent increase in divorces between South Korean men and foreign spouse far exceeded the 11.1 percent increase in divorces between South Korean women and a foreign spouse.
Experts are interpreting the rapid rise in divorces among international couples as having a direct correlation with the large increase since the 1980s in rural South Korean men’s rate of international marriage. The number of marriages between South Korean men and foreign women, which was 6,945 in 2000, roughly quadrupled to 28,163 marriages last year. During the same period, South Korean women’s rate of international marriage nearly doubled as well, increasing from 4,660 marriages to 8,041.