March 20, 2015 08:22
A growing number of remarrying couples sign prenuptial pledging to relinquish an inheritance from their new spouse.
Some sign them at the insistence of their children, but others do it voluntarily to make sure their offspring are provided for.
One divorce attorney in Seoul's Seocho-dong said, "Prenuptial agreements serve as a safety valve for remarrying couples. The cause is a rise in legal disputes about the division of wealth when these couples divorce."
More and more couples opt to have their prenup notarized in court. In 2003, only three prenups were notarized, but that rose to 29 in 2013.
But legal experts point out that prenups are not considered binding in actual divorce cases.
One official at the Seoul Family Court said, "There's no way of telling what will happen to someone's assets in the future, so courts don't recognize contracts that relinquish an individual's right to inherit or receive wealth."
A judge explained that after marriage a couple become financially intertwined, so courts are unwilling to acknowledge prenuptial agreements that were signed at the altar.
But there is pressure to recognize them. Attorney Lee Hyon-gon said, "Although it can be hard for a court to recognize an agreement completely relinquishing the right to inheritance, it would be worthwhile taking such agreements into account now that more couples remarry and because the agreements can actually prevent potential disputes. If the terms of the agreement are within rational boundaries, courts should recognize them."
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