Divorce in Japan for Two US Nationals or Service members
When US nationals and/or US military servicemembers want to get a divorce in Japan, because the Court jurisdiction is determined by the residency of the parties, the couple must go through the Japanese Court System. The US embassy and consulates or legal offices on US military base will not be able to provide assistance with divorce procedures. This is the same even if the parties live on US military base(s).
Divorce ruling by a court in Japan is considered legal in the US. This is because the fact that the parties reside in Japan gives the applicable court in Japan to hold jurisdiction to order a divorce, even if the Petitioner and/or the Respondent is non-Japanese national. In addition, the Japanese court will review both parties’ US state divorce laws to ensure that the judgement complies with the US laws and is considered legal in the US.
To file for a divorce, the Petitioner and the Respondent must prepare all necessary documents requested by the court. Okinawa Translator will help you prepare all the necessary documents. As required by the Court, all documents that are in English must be translated into Japanese. In addition, the Divorce Decree issued by the Japanese Court will be in Japanese. We will translate these documents for submission to the Court and when you report the divorce to the US side. Upon submission of the documents, the court receptionist will review your documents and determine whether the application is adequate to be accepted.
The Japanese Court staff, including the clerk and the judge, are unable to offer the proceedings in English. Therefore, you will have to pay the Court a deposit to have a Court-Appointed Interpreter during the hearing. The Court will charge extra in advance, which means you will get some of that deposit back if the hearing goes smoothly and does not take up the whole time you paid for.
Hearing date is when both parties appear in court before a judge. The judge will go over every detail on the divorce application. The parties may mention anything they want to add to the divorce decree or matters that shall be decided in relation to divorce during the hearing. However, we recommend the parties settle everything between them by the time of hearing, if possible, as the longer the hearing takes, the higher the interpreter cost gets.
*For couples who have children: During the hearing, you will be able to determine matters pertaining to child custody, child support, visitation, etc.
*For couples who have assets such as properties, shared bank accounts, etc. or common pension plan: During the hearing, you will be able to determine matters pertaining to the division of such assets.
After two US service members get divorced through a Court in Japan, the Court will issue a Divorce Decree usually within 1 – 3 days. The divorce decree will contain the Petitioner’s and the Respondent’s basic information, case number, the divorce date (hearing date), court official including the judge who oversaw your case, and that the parties are divorced. In addition to this, if you have children or shared properties, particulars regarding such matter will also be stated in the divorce decree.
In Japan, unlike many countries, there is no waiting period between the hearing date and the date the divorce is finalized. Hence, the divorce decree issued from the Court is considered a Final Divorce Decree.
To get started e-mail us and we will send you the divorce affidavit and questionaire. Here is our e-mail: email@example.com
You will also need to include your passports ( or birth certiciates ) and marriage certificate.
Our office is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, closed Sat/Sun but please send us everything by e-mail as this is everything we need to get started,
Here is a google map to our office: https://goo.gl/maps/bPo9xXbNfLv (we are located near the Sunabe Seawall in Chatan Town ).
The budget to get divorced is as follows, you need to budget 1000USD for couples who wish to divorce with no children and 1500USD for couples with children.
The price may not be exactly as stated above, it may be less but please have the above amount in your budget.
Any additional questions please reach out to us by e-mail anytime.
-Dave ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), Hazuki and Kairi.