Japanese lower house approves bill to introduce joint custody after divorce

The House of Representatives in Japan passes a bill for joint custody after divorce. The bill allows divorced parents to choose sole custody or joint custody. If parents cannot agree on custody, a family court will intervene. The bill is now headed to the House of Councillors for further approval.

In a significant development, the lower chamber of Japan’s parliament approved a bill that will allow divorced parents to opt for joint custody. Currently, Japan’s Civil Code only grants parental custody to one parent after divorce. The proposed amendments aim to prioritize the children’s interests in custody decisions.

Under the new legislation, if parents are unable to agree on custody arrangements post-divorce, a family court will step in to make a decision. Additionally, in cases where there are allegations of child abuse or domestic violence, the family court will mandate sole custody for the other parent. This move is aimed at safeguarding the well-being of children in such situations.

The bill will now advance to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, for further deliberation. The goal is to have the legislation passed by the end of the current regular Diet session in June. If successfully enacted, the new law will come into effect by 2026 and will also be retroactively applied to individuals who have already gone through a divorce.


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