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.
As international marriages and divorces increase in Japan, in order to lessen the difficulties for non-Japanese speaking spouses, most Japanese family courts are staffed with mediators that can speak English. However, these mediators may be of varying levels of skill and sometimes it may be easier to bring an attorney or bi-lingual friend to the mediation to help interpret. The court should be informed of this beforehand and in some cases the approval of the other spouse may be required.
Raising a child as a single parent is difficult for many reasons but one of the major hurdles is usually the economic strain of raising a child, or children, alone on a single income. In order to ease the economic stress of single parents, the Japanese government offers single parents a Child Support Allowance.
In Japan, married couples have a legal obligation to remain faithful to each other. Therefore, if one spouse is unfaithful, both the unfaithful spouse and the cheating 3rd party, may have an obligation to pay damages to the non-cheating spouse. This is also true in the case of couples who are merely engaged rather than married, especially when the affair causes the breakup of the engagement.