Even after the death of Choi Jin Shil, a battle is now being waged between her ex-husband Jo Sung Min and Choi Jin Shil’s family over her property rights and custody of the 2 children. This is currently being hotly disputed in Korea.
According to a close friend of Choi Jin Shil, Choi’s ex-husband Jo Sung Min met up with Choi Jin Young (Choi Jin Shi’s brother) yesterday afternoon for a discussion over Choi Jin Shil’s property rights and it gradually descended into a tense mental exchange. This close friend expressed, “Earlier, Jo Sung Min had visited Choi Jin Shil’s mother and suggested that Choi Jin Shi’s property rights should go to him. He also met up with Choi Jin Young yesterday to reiterate his stand. He also said that he would go through legal means to appeal and regain full custody of the 2 children whom he had given up on in 2004.”
According to the current Korean judicial system, if the mother passes on, custody of the children automatically goes to the father. But with Jo Sung Min having given up on full custody of the children in 2004 following his divorce to Choi Jin Shil, this has become much more complicated than it seems. According to a lawyer who specialises in cases like this, “If Jo Sung Min didn’t give up custody of the children, it will automatically be his by law. But this is a complicated situation right now and will probably be settled in court.”
What is the value of Choi Jin Shil’s property rights? Many estimate that it could be around 200 billion KRW. But Choi’s family denied that estimation and said the actual figure was only 1/4 of the estimated amount. They expressed that Choi had 10 billion in cash, her house was worth 30 billion, adding other properties and land that she owns, the total is just over 50 billion KRW.
With both parties stating their intention to manage Choi Jin Shi’s property rights and neither budging, this has led to an escalation in worsening relations between them. According to the close friend, “Jo Sung Min had warned Choi’s family that they are not to manage or withdraw any money under Choi Jin Shil’s name without his stamp. He claimed that the children’s mom (Choi Jin Shil) would have wanted him to manage her property rights after her death.”
With Choi’s children only 7 and 5 years old respectively, they aren’t of age right now. With them yet to reach 18 years old, who should manage their mom’s property rights? According to another close friend of Choi, “We knew that there would be a dispute over Choi Jin Shil’s property rights. But seeing this really happen really saddens and pains my heart. I sincerely hope that the dispute between the adults would not cause any hurt to the children in any way.”