Japan Bolsters the Enforcement of Child Custody Handovers by Revising the Law

One of the things that couples have to contend with when it comes to filing for divorce is child custody. In Japan, the country aims to enforce the handovers by revising certain parts of the law.

Family attorneys would have to look at the new law in order for them to make a case for their clients that adhere to the new implementation.

Before the Revision

Before all of the new provisions have been enforced, the civil implementation law provided no clear stipulations regarding child custody handovers. The court officials would have to base their clause relating the child as part of the asset seizures to help them enforce the law.

This decision sparked controversy due to the fact that children were deemed as ‘property’ and not as human beings.
Originally, for the handover to commence, both of the parents should be present at the time of the handover. However, this has now changed with the revision as only one parent should be available during that time.

This new revision aims to prevent the parents without child custody rights from preventing child handovers by pretending that they are actually not at home (even though they are). Another provision that people have to know is that parents with custody rights should be present during the handover as this is done in consideration with the children’s feelings.

The newly revised law will mandate the courts and enforcement officials to ensure a smooth handover so as to not adversely affect the children’s physical and mental well-being. The new rules should be implemented as soon as possible.

A New Amendment

The Japanese government also aims to amend the legislation to incorporate the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction which is an international treaty that stipulates the base framework that mandates the return of a child that was abducted by a parent that is living in another country.

The amendment was created in response to international criticism that child handovers in Japan are not carried out as smoothly as in other countries. In Japan, most of their child custody cases are for sole custody only and what usually happens when the dispute reaches the court is that the mothers are mostly granted custody of their children. This is especially true after divorce.

The new civil implementation law was also amended to allow the courts to obtain important information on the debtors’ property and finances. The change was made to help authorities seize property and money from parents who fail to oblige to child support.

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