How does marriage affect separate and joint property in Japan?

Is there a waiting period for women to remarry after a divorce?
March 7, 2016
How do you become a permanent resident of Japan?
March 16, 2016
Show all

Marriage in Japan, like many other parts of the world, acts not only as a social union but as an economic one as well.  In generally, husband and wife are expected to share property as one joint economic unit.  However, even after marriage there are certain objects that couples like to think of as solely their own and to some extent the law recognizes this. 

Most property acquired by a married couple in Japan is treated as community property, jointly owned by both the husband and wife.  However, property that was acquired before the marriage or property that was obtained in the name of only one spouse during the marriage is treated as separate property.  Some examples might include a family heirloom passed down to one spouse after marriage or maybe the private summer home owned by one of the spouses before the marriage.  In those cases, the property remains the separate property of either the husband or the wife.  These distinctions normally do not play an important part in daily married life but become critical during a divorce.

If you have questions about how property is divided among spouses please contact our office for a legal consultation.