Politics | Mar 10

Japan Moves Toward Joint Custody

TOKYO, Mar 10 (News On Japan) - The Japanese government has decided to introduce a system of "joint custody" where both parents retain parental rights over their children after divorce, as a key feature of a proposed revision to the Civil Code.

This decision was made during a cabinet meeting on Friday.

Under the current system, known as "sole custody," only one parent—either the father or the mother—holds parental rights after a divorce. The proposed revisions would add the option of "joint custody," allowing both parents to maintain parental rights. The choice between joint or sole custody would be made through consultation between the parents, and if an agreement cannot be reached, the family court would determine the custodian, taking into consideration the relationship between the parent and child. However, the court would maintain sole custody if it recognizes instances of domestic violence (DV) or child abuse.

In addition, regarding child support payments, if there is a default, the new provisions would allow for priority in seizing assets. Furthermore, a "statutory child support system" is proposed, which would enable the claim of a fixed amount in cases where no prior arrangement was made before the divorce. The revisions also aim to facilitate trial visitations ordered by the family court, even when visitation rights are being contested in mediation or other proceedings, before a final decision is reached.

The government plans to submit the proposed revisions to the Civil Code and other laws to the current session of the Diet for deliberation.

Source: NHK

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