International Family Law regarding Divorce, 1980 Hague Child Abduction Cases, and Inheritance

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International Jurisdiction in Divorce Cases

“International jurisdiction” means that the courts of a given country will be the most appropriate to hear and determine a case that has an international dimension.


Japanese statute law does not contain any provision regarding international jurisdiction in international or transnational divorce cases. 

If the respondent to a divorce action lives in Japan (is domiciled in Japan), then Japan will have jurisdiction with respect to that case. 

But what if the defendant lives outside Japan? 

The Supreme Court has held that courts should determine the issue of jurisdiction by taking into account matters of reasonableness, equity (fairness) between the parties, and proper andtimely justice.

Consider the following two examples:

(1) Suppose a wife is Australian and her husband is British, and the couple has lived in Japan for several years. Can she file for divorce in Japan? The answer is that she can because her husband has domicile (residence) in Japan.


(2) A British husband deserted his Australian wife in Japan and returned to his homeland a few years ago, but the wife continues to live in Japan. Can she file for divorce in Japan? This is a difficult question. If she can prove the fact of desertion, then it is highly likely that she could file for divorce in Japan following the principle of equity between the parties as well as proper andtimely justice.

Please click the button below to view more detailed
information on international divorce. 

Strategies for
International Divorce

The Need for Legal
Representation in
Divorce Conciliation
Proceedings and

Which Country’s Laws Will Be Applied?

Contact information

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Office hours 9:30~17:30 on weekdays