In Japan, there are four possible ways to obtain a divorce. The first, and most common, is Divorce by Agreement (kyogi rikon 協議離婚). Both parties must agree to the divorce and the distribution of property. The second is Divorce by Mediation in a family court (chotei rikon 調停離婚). The family court will provide mediation to help divorcing couples who are unable to reach an agreement by themselves. The third is Divorce by Decision of the Family Court (shimpan rikon 審判離婚), which is used in cases where mediation is only partly successful and the Family Court judge fills in the remaining details of an agreement. However, this type of divorce is very uncommon. Finally, Divorce by Judgment of a District Court (saiban rikon 裁判離婚) involves a full trial at the district court level, rather than the family court. This type of divorce is common when the husband and wife cannot agree on divorce, the distribution of their assets or custody of children.
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