In order to prevent a spouse from filing a forged divorce agreement, one needs to file a Petition for Non-Acceptance of Notification of Divorce (rikon fujuri moshidesho 離婚不受理申出書). Filing this petition with the local ward office will prevent the acceptance of any divorce petitions involving the applicant.
Because both parties to a Divorce by Agreement (kyogi rikon 協議離婚) in Japan do not need to be present to turn in the petition for divorce, this leaves an opening for unscrupulous parties to surreptitiously apply for a divorce by forging their partner’s signature or stamping their inkan (a stamp commonly used in place of a signature in Japan). This allows the divorcing party to grant custody of any children to themselves, without telling their partner.
If you have any questions about divorce in Japan please contact our office to set up a legal consultation.