While in the past it was only celebrities and the wealthy who travelled to Nevada, nowadays ordinary Koreans are taking advantage of Nevada’s lax divorce laws to expedite their divorce. Under Nevada law, only one party needs to come to Nevada and stay a mere six weeks to obtain a divorce order that is valid in Korea.
It can’t be considered a hardship to hang out in Las Vegas for a week or two, catching some of the world’s greatest entertainers and poshest restaurants before embarking on nearby tourist attractions like the Hoover Dam, Lake Tahoe, the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, and Red Rock Canyon.
Because gambling is illegal for Korean nationals in their country (while open to foreigners) Reno, Vegas, and Laughlin casinos may be a big attraction for Koreans waiting to receive their divorce decrees.
Couples who can’t afford the Nevada option are required to undergo a lengthy separation process even if divorcing amicably. This involves attendance at education classes and meetings with family court-appointed counsellors. A three-month waiting period then applies if the couple decided to proceed with the divorce. The entire process can take up to a year.
In Korea, 1 in 3 couples that tie the knot gets divorced. According to figures from the Supreme Court, there were 329,220 marriages and 114,781 divorces in 2012. The annual numbers have remained similar over the past decade.
Frankly, a divorce within a year hardly seems like a lengthy wait. Koreans would be shocked to see some Canadian and American divorces that rage on for many years at great expense.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang