As a foreigner, If you are considering marriage in Japan It’s vital to familiarize yourself with the Japanese legal system. Indeed the Japanese legal system leads so much to confusion that you can be divorced without your consent, losing your visa for the country and even loose your children if you have some. In plus, if you are not familiar with the Japanese language you are really not equipped to handle a legal battle to contest your divorce. Today around 90 percent of divorces in Japan are “divorces of agreement” with both people signing a form known as a Rikon-todoke (divorce notice) which is submitted to the city or ward office. As joint custody is not recognized in Japan, the form gives the possibility to the pair to decide which parent will gain custody of the children legally.
Lately so many foreigner were victim of this « divorce without consent » where Japanese husband or wife fake their foreign spouse’s signature or tricks them into signing a form they can’t fully understand, that an awareness raising campaign has been started by Rikon Alert (Research Center for Issues on Divorce on a website offering legal advice in 11 languages.
The video shows how a theoretical “divorce without consent” can play out. If you are still thinking about marriage in Japan as a foreigner, one feasible way to protect yourself in advance is to post a report known as a Rikon fujuri moushidesho (non-acceptance of divorce motion). You can fin dit on the Rikon Alert website.
RIKON ALERT action group for divorce by agreement