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Married, But with No Record

Posted July. 17, 2003 21:45,   


The number of young couples who choose not to file a marriage registration even after holding an official ceremony is increasingly growing. The propensity to delay filing for a registration comes at a time people grow interested in the once-touchy issue of living together without a marriage or being married without a record.

While living together without a marriage are highly likely invite criticism, a marriage without a record is seen as perfectly normal except the fact that the couples are not married under the law.

Although there is no statistical data on couples who married but did not file for a marriage registration, match-making service firms and family counseling centers estimate that about a half of newly-wed couples delay reporting their marriages until one or two years after the ceremony.

˝Due to the new trend, the number of people categorized as divorcees have increased by 30% this year to about 200,˝ said Kim Sang-min, manager of the second marriage team at Duo, a match-making service firm.

The company recently surveyed 304 young men and women in their 30s, who are seeking to get married again, and found that only 110, or 36%, of the respondents planned to report their marriages right after their honeymoon.

According to family counseling centers, some 200 couples a year ask them of how to divorce with spouses they have lived together without filing a registration.

The growing number of couples who do not seek to complete their marriages under the law reflects the fact that young people try to ease the burden of the institution of marriage. They think that a divorce record, if any, will only become a stigma in this society.

27-year-old Lee, who got married early last year, delayed filing a marriage registration after her friends advised to take time. Finding there were irreconcilable differences with her husband after about a year, she parted with him, knowing there would be no record of her marriage.

˝We decided not to file for a registration just yet, since unexpected things could happen down the road,˝ said 29-year-old Park who married just last month. ˝I have heard that many couples choose not to file a registration for some time.˝

Experts, however, raise the concern that young couples delaying filing a registration tend to feel less responsible and binding, therefore choosing to part with each other when things turn sour instead of trying to working them out.

˝The new trend of factual marriage seems to reflect the fact that people increasingly get selfish and try to avoid responsibilities,˝ Lee Hyun-jae, an attorney with Suh Seok Law Firm.