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Child custody and visitation

Here we would like to explain to you about general information on child custody and visitation under Japanese family law and our service for solution and costs.

General information

Parental authority and duty to support child(ren)

Visitation rights

Japanese family law has specific provisions that refer to the visitation of child(ren) and father or mother and any other parent-child interaction as items to be determined by agreement between the divorcing parents or by a family court. Legal practice in Japan considers the visitation rights of a parent who is separated from his/her minor child(ren) derives from this provision, even during the parents being married but separated. Japanese family law also provides that the visitation rights are subject to the best interest of child(ren) and sometimes are limited due to unwillingness of child(ren) to see the separated parent.

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Our service for solution

For the client seeking child custody

We assist the client seeking child custody, during divorce negotiation, mediation or divorce suit, by preparing allegations that the client should be determined as the person with parental authority. In court procedure, we assist by attending the mediation together as taking a role as an interpreter.

If seeking child custody by changing the person with parental authority, we assist the client to file a petition for mediation or a request for a Shimpan adjudication.

For the client having trouble on visitation

We assist the client having trouble on visitation by filing a petition for mediation to decide actual visitation plans and in case of unsuccessful mediation, by seeking a Shimpan adjudication in favor of the client. In court procedure, we assist by attending the mediation together as taking a role as an interpreter. If the counter party does not cooperate in giving opportunity for visitation even after the family court’s decision in the client’s favor, we assist the client by requesting a family court to urge the counter party to cooperate, or further, filing a request with a family court to decide penalty amounts when the counter party fails to comply with the court’s decision.

Costs for solution

Filing fees due to the court

If seeking child custody by being determined as the person with parental authority during divorce procedure, no additional filing fees are necessary besides the fees for divorce procedure. Filing fees for mediation seeking change of the person with parental authority are 1,200 yen per child and the court requires petitioner to deposit some amount of postage in advance.

Filing fees for mediation seeking visitation plan are 1,200 yen per child and the court requires petitioner to deposit some amount of postage in advance.

Our service fees

We provide clients with service for hourly rate at 20,000 yen plus tax and in case of service for seeking child custody by changing the person with parental authority or visitation in court, we would like to receive service fees for 10 hours in advance as initial retainer fees. Any other actual costs and expenses, such as application fees for obtaining certified copies of family register of a Japanese national, certified copies of residence certificate and any other official documents, postage, transportation expense, translation fees for any evidence written in other than Japanese language, will be additional.

Sakuma Law Office  3rd DMJ Bldg. 2nd Floor, 9-1 Kudan-Minami 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074 JAPAN   Tel: +81-3-6272-6916   Fax: +81-3-6272-6917