Divorce Certificates in Japan

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The Certificate of Acceptance of Divorce

Local city halls are handling divorce registration in Japan. The formal name of the divorce certificate is The Certificate Of Acceptance Of Divorce (離婚受理証明書). To obtain a certificate, you need to know which city hall your divorce was registered.

And you must provide either set of information of the following to the city hall.

Certificate of Divorce

Required Information

  1. The city hall your divorce was filed
  2. The names and the DOBs of both parties
  3. The exact divorce date

OR

  1. The Legal Domicile (Honseki)
  2. The name of the head of the family
Divorce certificate

If you are non-Japanese and your ex-spouse was Japanese, often the case, you have no idea which city hall your divorce was filed. And even if you do, it will be hard for you to provide above-mentioned information to the local city hall.

Therefore, in some cases, we need to get in touch with your ex-spouse for the required information. Please be advised that this process could be incredibly painful if you did not get divorced with your ex amicably.

For more details, please refer to the explanation of Marriage and Divorce in Japan in US Embassy Japan.

Contact for Obtaining Legal Documents in Japan

Divorce Certificates Fees

Rates can vary based on the degree of difficulty of investigation, for example whether the residing address is known, absence of family registry, etc..

Please check the Japan PI Pricing Page for more details.

FAQs On Divorce Certificates

  • Is English translation and apostille service available?

    Below is the price list for each service.

    Obtain a certificate of divorce
    US$500.00
    Turn around time: 1 week.

    Apostille of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    US$250.00
    Turn around time: 1 week.

    Translation
    US$240.00
    Turn around time: 3 business days.

    Apostille of the translated document
    US$240.00
    Turn around time: 3 business days.

    Shipping fee

    US$30.00.

  • Can I get a divorce decree from a court of Japan?

    No. Japanese courts do not document divorces. We are supposed to obtain divorce certificates from local city halls.

    There are two types of divorcee in Japan:

    • Divorce by agreement 
    • Divorce in a court 

    You can get divorced by mutually signing a divorce application and submitting it at a city hall in Japan.

    Only when you cannot mutually agree to the conditions of the divorce, you will go to a court. Even the divorce is settled in a court, the divorce is registered in city halls.

  • Is Koseki family registry certificate different from divorce certificate?

    They are different.

    Koseki family registry records include birth, marriage, divorce, and death. So they are a better document than divorce certificates domestically in Japan. But people in other countries may not understand this system because this system is unique.

    Some countries do not understand the divorce by the agreement that is only to be registered at a local city hall. Some of them have a prejudice that a divorce cannot take place outside a court. The documents issued by the Japanese city halls in Japan are as legally binding as the divorce judgment issued by family courts.

    Therefore, the independent divorce certificate is better in other countries. However, the Koseki family registry may work depending on the jurisdiction.
    Unless you specify the type of document, the Japanese city hall won’t issue an independent divorce certificate because it is only needed for other countries.

  • Can I have an Apostille of the certificate?

    This is how we work:
    First, we obtain the certificate from the local city hall. (US$500.00)
    Secondly, we bring the certificate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make it apostille. (US$250.00)

  • How do I find my Honseki (Permanent Domicile)?

    To obtain Koseki records, you need to provide “the permanent domicile (Honseki) of Mai” to the local city hall.

    To identify the permanent domicile, you need to locate the address of your ex or their parents.

    In Japan, personal information such as residence address is controlled as strict as guns. So, the personal address is not searchable in any of the government records such as electoral roll or utility records. All the government records are strictly confidential in Japan

    Here is how we proceed with this,
    1) Obtain residence registry record through the help of our allied attorney
    Our fee is US$500.00.
    2) Obtain your Koseki registry record through your letter of authorization. (You can do it for yourself if you don’t mind the nightmare like paperwork)
    Our fee is SU$400.00.00.

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