Divorce and property division in Japan are often dealt with as completely separate issues. Although the general rule for division of assets in Japan is a 50/50 split of assets earned during the time of cohabitation, it is not always easy to calculate. Also, it is possible that the time of cohabiting with a spouse prior to marriage could also be counted for this.
Divorce and property division in Japan is often resolved through mediation in the family court. In some cases both parties to a divorce may be convinced that they will never be able to work out their differences even through mediation due to disagreements about property division. However, the family court judge is the only person who can make the final decision regarding whether divorce mediation will not be able to produce an agreement between the parties. The judge will inform his or her decision by discussing with the mediators and family court investigator but the parties to the divorce do not get to choose when the mediation will end and a potential divorce trial can begin. This means that even couples who feel that they have no chance of reconciling or reaching an agreement on custody or distribution of assets will still likely have to participate in several mediation sessions before the judge will allow them to move onto a trial.
A trial for divorce in Japan can be a very long process and there is not always a guarantee that the divorce will be granted, or that property division will be ordered as you would like. The best results usually come from an agreement at mediation.
If you have any questions about divorce and/or property division of marital assets in Japan please contact our office to set up a legal consultation with one of our lawyers.