Korea allows abused minors to sue parents
SOUTH KOREA — The Supreme Court of South Korea on Sunday said it would allow children under 19 who suffered from domestic violence or child have abuse to sue their parents over parental rights as part of efforts to secure their rights and welfare conditions.
Abused minors can now directly request a court to suspend or strip off the parental rights of their parents, officials said. They were previously only allowed to file lawsuits through legal representatives. Otherwise, they had to wait until their legal age of 19.
This is part of the court’s new measures to protect the children’s rights in family litigation, officials said. Public criticism grew over minors’ rights as many of them were being used as pawns in custody battles.
To better carry out the new measure, the authorities will provide the underage litigants with legal assistants who will support the lawsuit processes, the court said.
The court also made it mandatory to listen to the testimonies of children if the domestic cases affect the welfare of minors, the authorities said. Until now, the court was not obligated to hear children under 13 in parental rights or custody battles.
The court authorities also strengthened the punishment for divorced parents who do not provide child support expenses without reasonable excuses.
If the settled child expenses are not paid over 30 days, they can face a fine or detention, court officials said. Previously, the authorities could order detention only after 90 days.
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