divorce coming I need advice

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My wife gave me some papers for divorce last friday..We have 2 boys 4 and 1 year. She has said that she will let me have the boys in past fights but for some reason I know this is not true. I did have her write it down once and hanko it. Will that help me in any way at all if we do go to court over this? Also what is a Kiyogi Rinkon? Mutual consent? Is that legal in the states.
I have been stationed here in Japan for about 8 years and I am due to rotate out in the next 2. I don't want to lose my boys, I have no problem with sharing custody or even frequent visitation. She is a good mother and children need mothers as much as fathers.
I finally found this site and it has given me a lot of information...basically I am never going to see my boys again if she runs off and I have to rotate back to the states..
Any and all help anyone could give me would be greatly apreciated.
Posted By:
Administrator (72 posts)
5/9/2004 11:52:56 AM
re: divorce coming I need advice   profile
Hi Justin,

Well according to CRNJapan, this is how they view Kyogi Rikon:-

"This is where the parties involved would go to the town hall and simply register their divorce. It requires both their seals and two witnesses to the document. This document contains a space to state who has custody of any minor (ie. under 20 year old) children. If there are minor children, the parties cannot divorce until who has custody is made clear. This is decided between them. Note that there is no joint custody in Japan - it is one parent or the other. "


Even though she may have written down that she wants you to have custody, I can't for the life of me believe a Japanese court would consider this (may be wrong though). The first question they ask is "WHO has full-time custody of the children at this moment in time?". This is key. Once they establish this, "possession" is almost 10/10ths of the law. They seek the most expedient solution.

If you are going to be stationed outside of Japan for the next couple of years (my understanding of your post), then I think Japanese courts will not look to kindly on you gaining custody because it will mean a change in the status quo as to how the children are currently brought up.

I think the most important thing is to keep relations with your wife peaceful so that whatever is agreed between you and your wife, your children will not permanently lose one of their parents. Once that happens, you will find there is no legal safety net for the non-custodial parent.

Anyway, good luck, and thanks for posting here. Another source of information is http://www.crnjapan.com/

Edited 09/05/2004 11:53:46
japchap (48 posts)
5/11/2004 6:48:50 AM
re: divorce coming I need advice   profile
Hello Justin:

>Also what is a Kiyogi Rinkon? Mutual consent?
>Is that legal in the states.

I have been told by someone at the Osaka Consulate that
the kyogi-rikon icj is NOT
valid in the States. You will need to go to family
court over this matter, if you must divorce in Japan.
Be prepared to spend at least the next six months to
two years of your life in family court if you do it here.

Can you get your family out to the U.S. and do the divorce
there? You will be on far better footing in that case.
Avoid divorcing here in Japan unless your wife
staunchly refuses to go to the States. You will be at a
serious disadvantage, and you may lose your children
as a result.

BTW, why does your wife want divorce? Do YOU want the
divorce? Your answers might give us a better idea of
whether you have any chance at all of getting custody of
your kids in the event you take your case to family court
in Japan.

- JC

Edited 11/05/2004 07:14:20

Edited 13/05/2004 10:47:51
crnjapan (26 posts)
6/9/2004 4:06:51 PM
re: divorce coming I need advice   profile
All the background info you need to start is on www.crnjapan.com. I agree with previous comments. Your best chance is to do whatever necessary to get them out of Japan for at least 6 months, preferably a year. Establish habitual residence in the US. Then get the divorce in a US court where you have a chance. Ther are people trying to establish legal strategies right now based on the situation in Japan, which may help you 6 months from now. (Check back on crnjapan.com at that time.) But swallow whatever pride you need to to get your family out of Japan and keep them out for at least 6 months. Youll save a bundle in legal and travel costs too, so its worth a lot of money.

Oh, I dont think anyone has said this yet. Dont ever sign anything you cannot read and understand. There is a box specifying custody of the child. (If "husband is checked - go ahead and submit the form, but make sure *you* are there to submit it. Kyogi rikon forms do not need both parties to be present.) See the sample annotated divorce form http://www.crnjapan.com/forms/en/.

It is also easy to forge a divorce form in Japan for a foreigner. But you can prevent that by filing another form. Details on this are reerenced someone on the following page


The form itself is on the above forms page. But make sure you have a story in case your wife finds out, so that you can still get her back to the US. Other must read info on here:

ngaire (3 posts)
6/13/2004 10:30:15 PM
re: divorce coming I need advice   profile
Hi (yes I am a woman, but have a vast understanding of divorce between Japanese Nationals and UK/Australian Nationals.
I was sent this form 9 years ago by my Japanese Husband. I was fortunate enough to have been based in Australia at that time, and thanks to legal advice by a Japanese Lawyer he promptly told me to return the (Kiyogi Rinkon) form unsigned and unstamped. I did so but attached a letter stating that I will not sign. I was afraid of loosing my two children to a family that was unusually weird for Japanese. Unfortunately I must say do not trust what has been said or promised, as responses above have stated get back to US asap with family. All the best and GANBATTE KUDASAI!!

FRIJ recommends you also visit crn japan, who are fighting international abduction to Japan and working to assure children in Japan of meaningful contact with both parents regardless of marital status