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Divorce and related issues

Here we would like to explain to you about general information on divorce and related issues under Japanese family law and our service for solution and costs.

General information

How to get divorced: Types of Divorce

Divorce in Court

Issues on Divorce

Unless the parties are getting divorced by consent or through successful mediation, it is a main issue in a divorce suit whether the parties can get divorced under Japanese family law. Paragraph 1 of Article 770 of Civil Code of Japan provides causes of divorce as follows: (1) if a spouse has committed an act of unchastity, (2) if abandoned by a spouse in bad faith, (3) if it is not clear whether a spouse is dead or alive for not less than three years, (4) if a spouse is suffering from severe mental illness and there is no prospect of recovery, or (5) if there is any other grave cause making it difficult to continue the marriage. Divorce cases involving disputes about either party’s or both parties’ adultery will fall under the cause of divorce (1) in the above; however, in most cases not involving such disputes, they are not necessary clear whether or not the cases have causes of divorce. Especially, since Japanese family law has no idea of legal separation, the parties’ separation for certain period of time does not automatically consist of a cause of divorce. In addition, Japanese court’s judicial precedents have ruled right of claim for divorce by a party who committed adultery in negative unless exceptional circumstances exist.


Our service for solution

For the client getting divorced by consent

We assist the client getting divorced by consent in deciding on terms of divorce, such as distribution of property, appointment of person with parental authority as well as payment of child support money. If the client agrees to execute a notarial deed between the parties, we assist in drafting the notarial deed and execution of the notarial deed at a notary public office on client’s behalf, if necessary.

For the client getting divorced in court

We assist the client getting divorced in court through attending the mediation together as taking a role as an interpreter, advising on terms of divorce for the client’s best and whether or not agreeable for the client; if the case goes to a divorce suit, we assist the client in drafting complaint or answer and briefs, preparing for production of evidence and examination in court as well as advising on settlement terms, if proposed, and whether or not the case to be appealed when the client lost the case.

Costs for solution

Filing fees due to the court

Filing fees for divorce mediation are 1,200 yen and the court requires petitioner to deposit some amount of postage in advance. Filing fees for divorce suit are 13,000 yen at the minimum and if the plaintiff also claims for distribution of property, child support money, and damages more than 1.6 million yen, the filing fees are increased.

Our service fees

We provide clients with service for hourly rate at 20,000 yen plus tax and in case of service for getting divorced 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.

In case of consulting for getting divorced by consent, please contact us for our fee arrangement.

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