DEC 20, 2023
Korean government to seize crypto for unpaid child support
Starting next year, the South Korean government is set to begin seizing virtual assets such as bitcoin from parents who are obligated to pay child support but fail to do so.
Korea Credit Bureau to assist in crypto seizures
According to a report by local news outlet Dailian, the Child Support Agency (CSA) of the Korean Institute for Healthy Family (KIHF), which operates under the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, announced on Wednesday (local time) a partnership with the Korea Credit Bureau (KCB). This collaboration will empower the agency to confiscate virtual assets from parents who are delinquent in paying child support.
Since 2015, the CSA has been offering emergency child support for approximately a year to low-income single parents who have not received payments from non-custodial parents. In this process, the agency initially pays the child support on behalf of the non-custodial parents and subsequently pursues reimbursement from them. This system ensures that the immediate needs of the children are met while still holding non-custodial parents accountable for their financial responsibilities.
Before July 2022, the CSA was required to initiate lawsuits against non-compliant parents to recover child support payments. However, since then, the agency has been authorized to directly pursue reimbursements by following the compulsory national tax collection process.
Challenges in enforcing child support payments
Despite these improved measures, the government still encountered challenges in enforcing child support payments. Some non-compliant parents have resorted to earning income under other people’s names or deliberately concealing their properties, including virtual assets, to evade their child support obligations.
Against this backdrop, the recent partnership between the CSA and the KCB is a strategic move to enhance the enforcement of child support payments. This collaboration will grant the CSA access to KCB’s virtual asset management system. With this access, the CSA will be able to efficiently search for and seize the cryptocurrency holdings of non-compliant parents.
Jeon Joo-won, the head of the CSA, underlined the significance of the agency’s collaboration with the KCB. She pointed out that utilizing KCB’s financial transaction data will improve the CSA’s enforcement of child support payments. Jeon also emphasized that the mutual support between the two agencies will serve as a foundation for promoting social values, highlighting the broader societal impact of their combined efforts to ensure responsible child support compliance.