FAQ

February 8, 2017

Is there any recourse for spouses in Japan who are facing domestic violence?

Domestic violence can take various forms, from physical abuse to mental abuse, and spouses who are victims of such abuse can feel as if there is nowhere to turn.  This is especially true if that spouse is a foreign national who might not have confidence in their Japanese language ability or have worries about their immigration status.  However, the Law on Prevention of Spouse Violence and Protection of Victims authorizes the Japanese government to support victims of such abuse through counseling, support and protective services. 
January 20, 2017

What happens to a spousal visa upon divorce in Japan?

Spousal visas are usually granted in 3 or 5 year terms and can be renewed over and over again to allow the spouse of a Japanese national to remain in Japan for an extended period of time.  However, a lot can happen in a span of 3 or 5 years and in some cases couples may decide to divorce while the foreign spouse still has time remaining on his or her spousal visa.  However, even if the foreigner spouse’s visa is still valid, once the couple divorces, the foreign spouse has a responsibility to report the divorce to immigration and […]
December 23, 2016

Does a wife have the responsibility to pay off a debt that her husband created?

Married couples in Japan are responsible for sharing expenses related to the marriage.  Specifically, if one spouse signs a contract with a third party regarding everyday household matters (such as a cleaning service) then the other spouse will also be a responsible party under this contract unless there is prior notice given that he or she will not assume any liability under the agreement. However, this sharing of costs for household necessities and daily expenses does not extend to liability incurred in other areas not related to the marriage.  For example, barring some special circumstance, a wife will not be […]
December 5, 2016

Can you claim damages as part of a divorce in Japan?

As part of a divorce proceeding in Japan, courts will sometimes award damages to compensate for mental and physical suffering.  However, these damages are awarded on a case-by-case basis and do not apply to every divorce.  Typically, damages in divorce cases will be awarded in cases where one spouse was cheating.  In these cases, the non-cheating party will be able to make a claim for damages from the cheating spouse.  This is especially true in cases where cheating forms the basis for filing for divorce.