Child custody under Japanese laws is called “shinken,” which means parental rights over children. These rights are comprised of the right to make decision about your children and the right to control the children’s assets.
You and your spouse have joint custody of children born between you and your spouse. Decisions regarding your children must be made by you and your spouse together.
Even if you are separated from your spouse and your children, as long as
you are married, you still have joint legal custody of your children. It
is best if you and your spouse discuss and make decision about your child
together, if you can.
However, some parents are deprived of their right to joint custody by their spouses because their spouses leave home with their children without telling them in advance and refuse to let them see their children.
In many of such cases, the left-behind parents apply for mediation at the family court for:
1. Returning the children to them;
2. Appointing them as physical custodian of the children; and
3. In case both fail, visitation.
If and when mediation fails, the different procedure similar to litigation called “Shinpan” automatically begins and the judge will decide who should have the physical custody of the children.
If one of the parents has been the primary caretaker of the children and is living with them during the procedure, he/she is likely to be appointed as the physical custodian of the children.
You and your spouse must decide which one of you will have the custody of your children. If you cannot reach agreement, you can apply for divorce mediation at the family court and negotiate with your spouse through mediators. If you still cannot agree on custody, you may request the family court to make the decision.
After divorce, non-custodial parent has the obligation to pay the custodial parent monthly child support. If you and your former spouse cannot agree on the amount of child support, you may apply for mediation for payment of child support. If you do not reach an agreement at the mediation, the judge will decide whether you or your spouse has to pay child support.
FUKUYA BLDG 5th FL