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 […]
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 […]
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.