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Last update 2011.2.23

Can I get divorce by divorce paper.

H. Kawarazaki, esq.

I am a Japanese, working in California, USA.
I had married my American husband in USA. I still live in USA, but am returning back to Japan in a month or so. Is it possible to get a divorce in Japan ?
The US divorce process takes very long time and much money. I am wondering if I could get a divorce from my American husband once I am back in Japan. If I just get a divorce paper in Japan and send it to my husband in USA to have him sign the form, is it valid legally in Japan ?
I am sorry to ask you of your precious time, but would very much appreciate your feedback. I am in a desperate need for some legal help.

Case 1:You live in USA.
I think law of state where you live applies to your case. California law is applicable law. You can not get divorce by divorce paper according to Japanese law.

Case 2:You live in Japan.
After you return to Japan and live in Japan, registering your address in Japan. According to the article 16 of Japanese Horei, in this case Japanese law applies to your case.

Japanese law allows for divorce either through the family court procedure or through a simple registration procedure at the ward office or the city office. The latter is known in Japan as "mutual consent divorce" (kyogi rikon in Japanese), this ward office procedure is faster and less expensive than going through the court.
So you can get divorce by submitting the divorce paper signed by you and your husband to the city office where you live.

This divorce is valid in Japan, it isn't automaticlly valid in the USA.
The Unite States has no procedure for such extra-judicial divorce and the validity of the divorce through this procedure is not certain in variaus states in the USA. If it isn't valid in USA, your husband must get divorce through the procedure of the court in Japan or California.
So it's better for your husband to get US lawyer's advice about this in advance.
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