Request for Question Clarification by
29 Nov 2006 05:39 PST
First of all, did you save a copy of the papers? You can be sure that
it was Japanese divorce papers ("rikon todoke" in Japanese) if they
look like this:
As of a few years ago, all registration information has been
computerized as part of the Juki-Net system. What this means is that
you no longer have to go to the specific city in which your former
wife is registered to get this information; it can be done from
anywhere in Japan. Unfortunately for you, there are very strict
privacy laws in Japan, and there is absolutely no way you can get this
information via the internet. Basically, either you or someone else
in Japan would have to go to a Japanese ward or city office. You
would need to know your wife's Japanese name, and the city in which
she is registered to do this. You would then pay a small fee to
receive her family register ("koseki tohon"), which would contain the
information on whether the divorce papers were filed.
One thing I can tell you about divorce in Japan is that, if there are
no children involved and consent is mutual, it is an extremely simple
process. Once your wife submits the papers with proof of both your
consent, the divorce is complete in Japan. However, although Japan
would consider you divorced, you were married in Canada, and generally
the place of marriage is the place of jurisdiction. So you will
either need to complete divorce proceedings in Canada, or get some
legal council to determine how to proceed.
I believe that in your current state of affairs, since your wife is
Japanese and lives in Japan, she can consider herself divorced. But
you, being a Canadian living in Canada, probably cannot.
You are in a complex situation for which there is no easy answer. My
advice would be to contact a local divorce attorney for a more
thorough discussion on where to go from here.