Divorce procedures:Divorce between a Japanese and a foreign national living in Japan


[Question] I’ve been living in Japan for a long time with my Japanese spouse but I’m contemplating divorce now. I’d like to get general guidance on divorce procedures inside Japan.

[Answer]
The governing law of divorce will be ①the law of the country of the husband and wife when they have the same nationality, ②the law of domicile when they don’t have the common nationality or ③in the absence of such laws the law of the place on which they have the most material bearing, according to Article 27 of the “Act on General Rules for Application of Law.”  You can seek divorce in accordance with the Japanese Civil Code if you and your Japanese spouse are regarded as having domicile in Japan.

It is up to your country to decide whether divorce itself is legal or whether the divorce granted in Japan should be recognized in your country, so it is advisable you consult with your embassy or consulate general.

For details, please contact the Japan Legal Support Center (Ho terasu).