How is total income determined when calculating child support in Japan?

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Child support in Japan is calculated by comparing the total income of each of the child’s parents.  Therefore, how the total income of each parent is calculated is critical to determining how much child support will be paid.  To set an easy to use standard for determining total income, the  Japanese courts use parents’ tax returns to prove total income.  For parents who are employed by a company, the “paid amount” as shown on the tax return will be used as the parent’s total income.  For parents who are self-employed, the “taxable income” will be used as the total income for purposes of child support calculations.

The tax returns used in these calculations will be the most recently available, usually from the prior year.  For parents who are in the middle of switching jobs, or have highly fluctuating incomes, it is advisable to work with legal counsel to draft a child support agreement that reflects these facts, or modify the child support payments after the parent’s salary has changed.

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