Divorce in Japan

SONY DSCHere is the information about divorce procedure in Japan.

A divorce requires not only divorce papers but also a lot of work to sort out properties accumulated during the marriage.
You are also required to file for mediation when the above issues can’t be settled by mutual agreement.
Below is a list of the least things you should consider.

1, When you have a child /children

(1) Parental authority (Child Custody)

Either of the parents will obtain parental authority. There is child custody apart from parental authority, but the parent with parental authority is commonly granted with child custody as well in Japan. There is no system called joint custody adopted in Japan.

(2) Contact /Visitation

Contact / visitation are designed for the parent with no parental authority to meet their child/children after divorce. The frequency and place of contact/visitation and other details need to be specifically determined.

(3) Child Support

When the parent with no parental custody (A) has higher income than the parent with parental custody (B), (A) is required to provide child support. There are certain standards for the amount of child support. See the page about child support.

2, Properties matters in divorce procedure

(1) Damages

When a couple ends up with divorce led by problems such as act of unchastity and domestic violence, the one who caused the problem will have to pay the adequate amount as damages by the other one.

(2) Property division

All the properties accumulated during the marriage will be subject to the property division. (Separate properties with no marital contribution, such as inheritances from their parents or their assets owned before the marriage will not be subject to the property division. They can however be extremely exceptional cases.) Marital properties will be generally divided in half between the couple.
Please be aware that a claim for the property division needs to be filed within 2 years or less after the divorce.

(3) Pension division

Pension division will be made based on pension benefits division information provided by Japan Pension Service.

3, Visa matters after the divorce

When you have a spouse visa, your visa can’t be renewed after divorce. You are required to change your visa status if you plan to stay in Japan.

When you want to have divorce in Japan, you will need to know about the procedure. Please see this page for information.

Divorce procedure in Japan (Rikon)

If you are in need of legal help, do not hesitate to see an attorney for a consultation.