How are child support payments calculated in Japan?

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The basic premise behind child support payments in Japan is to give the child a standard of living enjoyed by the parent with the obligation to pay child support.  These payments can either be determined by a government schedule or through a calculation.  Because court-ordered child support payments are based on a formula and are fairly easy to predict, it usually allows divorcing parties to agree on the amount of child support payments relatively quickly.

A simplified explanation of the calculation of child support is as follows:

The court will compare the income of the custodial parent (the parent taking care of the child) with the non-custodial parent (the parent living apart from the child).  The court will then create a percentage to describe the difference between the non-custodial parent’s income and the total income of the two parents.

Next, then the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay a percentage of the child’s living expenses equal to his or her percentage of the total parental income.  The child’s living expenses can be calculated either based upon actual expenses when the family was living together or as an estimation of what those expenses would be if the family had lived together.

As an example, if the non-custodial parent is very rich, and the custodial parent is very poor, this formula will result in a very high child support payment.  On the other hand, if the non-custodial parent is very poor, and the custodial parent is very rich, the child support payment will be very low.

If you have any questions about child support in Japan please contact our office for a legal consultation.