SEOUL, Mar. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — A growing number of couples over the age of 60 are applying for divorce counseling, data released by a provider of free legal consultation services showed Monday.
The Korea Legal Aid Center for Family Relations (KLACFR) said it handled 4,653 clients who wanted help with divorce last year, with women accounting for 70.7 percent, or 3,288 persons, and men for the remaining 29.3 percent.
Of them, people over 60 years old accounted for 23.5 percent of female divorce counselees and 36.3 percent of male clients, the center said.
In 1995, only 1.2 percent of female divorce counselees were older than 60, with 2.8 percent of male counselees in the same age bracket. The ratios then steadily rose, reaching 2.7 percent for women and 4.6 percent for men in 1998 and 5.8 percent for women and 12.4 percent for men in 2008, the center noted.
In other words, the ratio of elderly people seeking divorce counseling has soared by 8.7 times for women and 7.9 times for men over the past two decades.
Counselors at the KLACFR said many old men want a divorce due to cold treatment by their wives and children, while most elderly women seek to end marriage due to their unfaithful or violent husbands.
The KLACFR desrcribed some of its counseling cases on “twilight” divorce.
A 90-year-old man, the oldest person to visit the center for divorce counseling last year, complained that he was unable to withstand his wife’s constant suspicions about him having secret funds.
An 88-year-old woman told the center she decided to file a divorce suit because she wants to escape from her unfaithful and violent husband who has abused her physically and mentally throughout her life.