Regarding the issue of child support, this is governed by the Act of the Law Applicable to the Obligation of Support.
According to Article 2:(1) the obligation of support shall be governed by the law of habitual residence of the support obligee; provided, however, that if the support obligee is unable under his/her habitual residence, to obtain support from the obligor, the law of their common nationality shall govern.
(2) If the support obligee is unable, under the law applicable pursuant to the provisions of the preceding paragraph, to obtain support from the support obligor, the obligation of support shall be governed by Japanese law.
NOTE: The obligor is a mother/father who doesn’t live with her/his child/children after the divorce (Article 877 of the Civil Code). If a mother/father who lives with his/her child/children marries to a new spouse and the spouse adopts the child/children, the new spouse ought to support them; the mother/father who doesn’t live with the child/children are then discharged from the obligation of support.
Degree of the Obligation
In principle, both parents are mutually obligated to provide support/assistance for the obligee. However, the degree of obligation for other relatives, such as grandparents, cousins in-laws etc., is much less than that of parents.
Commencement and Termination of the Support
There are no provisions governing the commencement and termination of support, however, commencement is generally arranged to begin at the date of filing the mediation, and termination on the date (month) which the child (ren) turns 20 years old.
NOTE: If the child(ren) is over 20 years and is a student, or unemployed because of poor health etc., he/she/they can still be recognized as the obligee of support.
Calculation Method For Child Support
As it relates to the issue of calculation of child support, a Calculated Graphs for Living Expenses and Child Support, which was compiled in 2003 by a study group for child support consisting of mainly of judges from Tokyo District Court and Osaka District Court, is mainly used in both mediation and court trial.
Such Graphs address the;
a) recognition of the obligor’s and the obligee’s base earnings;
b) tentative calculation of living expense for the child/children if he/she/they live with the obligor;
c) division of the living expense for the child (ren), as calculated by the above b), according to the father’s and mother’s base earnings.