Specialist in Japanese Immigration

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Marriage and Divorce in Japan

Marriage

To get legally married in Japan, you have to get married according to the applicable Japanese laws.

Requirement

1) You have to attain to the age to get married legally according to your native laws.
2) You have to be single at the time of marriage.
3) In case of remarriage, the legally fixed period according to one of your native laws has passed after the divorce (Japanese law: 6 months for female)
4) No other obstacles exist to get married.

Procedures

1) Collect the supporting documents.
Koseki Tohon for a Japanese National
Certificate to show that 1) you are old enough to get married, that 2) you are single, and that 3) no other legal obstacles exist to get married. You need a Japanese translation of all the documents.
2) Go to the City Hall, fill out and sign the marriage notification form, and submit it with the supporting documents. When the form is accepted, now you are legally married.
3) In some cases, the official may receive your notification without accepting it. Your notification will be sent to the higher office for approval. A higher officer may call you for an interview. If everything is OK, your notification will be accepted and you are legally married.

Certificate

1) You can obtain a "Kon-in Todoke Juri Shomeisho" (or marriage notification acceptance certificate) to prove your legal marriage.
2) If one of you are a Japanese national, you can also prove your marriage by the Koseki Tohon of the Japanese national.
3) You have to report to your marriage to the embassy/consulate of your nation with either of the certificate. Then, you can also get a marriage certificate from your embassy/consulate.

Divorce

Love does not always last for ever. Even though both of you has started your marriage and promised everlasting love, time and environment may change your relationship. When it attains to the certain level, you may have no other option than getting divorced.

In Japan, there are mainly two legal way of getting divorced.

1) Divorce by Mutual Agreement

If both of you agree to get divorced and both of you have already decided what to do with your joint propertites and your children, getting divorce is very simple. You just go to submit a notification of divorce signed by both of you and two adult witnesses.

2) Divorce at the Family Court

If one of you do not agree to get divorced, or if there is dispute on your joint properties or the parental authority over your child, you have to bring your divorce matther to the court. Family court of your spouse's address jurisdiction takes care of your divorce case. First, you will have mediation. This is the process of trying to find solutions through discussion in the court. If mediation does not work, your case will be brought on to trial. In the trial, the judge will decide after hearing both sides.

However, as a non-Japanese, you need to check your native country's law in order to avoid future problems.

In some countries, "divorce by mutual agreement" is not recognized. In this case, you need to get divorced at the family court even if both of you no dispute on the divorce at all.

One more very important thing. Chek your visa status.
If you are permanent resident, nothing to worry about.
If you have working visa status, no problems.
If you have spouse to Japanese national visa status, you have to do something.. What to do? I will write later in the immigration column.

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