SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) -- The government is pushing to revise a law to allow minors abused by their parents to directly file for the termination of parental rights, the justice ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry made public its plan to revise the Family Litigation Act with a goal to submit the revision bill to the National Assembly for approval after collecting public opinions by June 13.
The current family litigation law, enacted in 1991 and little changed since then, has been widely seen as out of date and skewed toward parental rights, not children's.
Under the envisioned revision, minors will be given the right to directly file for a suit scrapping the parental rights of their mother and father if their wellbeing is hampered by parents' abuse of their parental authority.
The current law requires minors to designate a third person to represent them in such suits.
The planned revision also dramatically lowers the bar for detaining divorced parents who do not live up to their child support liabilities. A court now can order a confinement of a delinquent parent if the payment is overdue for three months or over, but the bar will be reduced to 30 days.
The envisioned law will also require the court to hear from children when determining a child's custody in a divorce case regardless of how young the children are. Currently, the court needs to hear from children aged 13 or older only.
"If the revision goes into effect, the voices of minor children might be more proactively reflected in family litigation procedures, helping ensure their rights are sufficiently protected and they grow in a healthy and safe environment," a ministry official said.
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