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Visitation and Contacts
with Child

Simple steps from Navias for preparation and problem resolution

Preparation Step 1
To begin with, verify
whether it is possible
to initiate action
in Japan.
Preparation Step 2
Understand means
to realize visitation and
contacts with child.
Preparation Step 3
Understand counseling
flow and fees of Navias
and make an
Go to Navias
Check case studies
and be mentally

Preparation Step 1

Verify if it is possible to initiate action in Japan.
Action can be taken in Japan for the following

Adjudicative jurisdiction for visitation and contacts with child is held by the court having jurisdiction over the locality of where the child resides.

[Parent living with a child(Custodial parent) ]<-[Want to visit/contact!]-[Parent living separated from a child(Non-custodial parent)]
The child is living in Japan.
In a case where the child is living in Japan, it is generally held that the Family Court (domestic relations court) in Japan has adjudicative jurisdiction.
Governing Law
If action can be initiated in Japan, evaluate law of which country will apply in proceedings.
Begin checking Child holds single nationality Child holds U.S. nationality Is your domicile in the same state as your child's? Law of the state of domicile Is your nationality the same as your child? Law of the country of the child's nationality Laws of Japan

Preparation Step 2

Understand means to realize visitation/contacts
with your child.

A divorced or separated parent not living with his/her child (children) has the right to request visitation and contacts with his/her child (children) to the other parent living with the child (children).

Standards for visitation/contacts
Standards for
Generally, once a month visitation/contact is recognized. However, visitation/contact may be restricted in a case involving domestic violence or similar situations in which welfare of the child may become at risk. In a case where the child is an nursing infant, the mother will be allow to attend and duration is usually shortened to about 3 hours at a time. In a case where the child is about 14 years old or older, the wish of the child will be given precedence.
Mediated visitation/contacts
visitation/ contacts
A request for mediated visitation/contact will be filed to family court. In the event that the matter cannot be settled by mediation, a petition will be filed with the Family Court for the court to rule on conditions for visitation/contact. This process generally takes 4 to 6 months.
Realize visitation / contact through negotiation
Realize visitation /
contact through
In a case where the matter may be settled between the parties by negotiation without seeking mediation by the Family Court, the parties may negotiate out of court prior to filing a petition for mediation. If the non- custodial parent resides outside Japan, visitation/contact via SKYPE or video is available as an option.

Preparation Step 3

Flow for counseling with NAVIAS

After determining whether action can be initiated in Japan and identifying problem resolution procedures available, consider contacting Navias on specific issues.

Make an appointment for legal counseling

Make an appointment for legal counseling

Make an appointment for legal counseling using the Inquiry Form or by e-mail.
Please provide questions you have and background information pertaining to your problem by e-mail and attach data of reference materials. In some cases, problems can be resolved just by e-mail.


Resolution by e-mail or
multiple consultations shall be charged at hourly rates.

Initial counseling

Initial counseling

Navias will hear the details about the problem you are facing at the initial counseling session. The first session will be charged by our hourly rate. Please bring information on the status of both spouses as Navias will need to know those in carrying out our detailed investigation.


Charged at hourly rates.

Proposal for problem settlement by Navias

Proposal for problem settlement by Navias

Navias will determine whether proceeding can be initiated in Japan or not and law of which country will apply. If Japanese law is applicable, Navias will consider procedure that will be enforceable in the country of the other party. In a case where laws of the other country will take precedence, Navias may require about 1 month for research. Thereafter, Navias lawyers will propose procedure to be taken and advise the client. Should the client decide to proceed with litigation or negotiation, the client shall be requested to officially retain Navias.

Formal request

Formal request

Upon receiving formal notification of intent to retain Navias, Navias and the client shall enter into a contract of mandate and our lawyers will begin legal work to resolve the problem. Progress will be reported as needed.

Fee Schedule

Flat Fee is available for attorney fee.

Click here to reach Navias to inquire or for making an appointment.

Kindly refer to the following fee schedule for legal counseling.

Navias offers 4 major benefits
and full-fledged support.

  • Near-by and Convenient
    Localized to Yokosuka
  • Payment in
    US $ accepted
  • PayPal
  • US Embassy
    Listed Law Office
  • Can a lawyer be present at a mediation?
    Navias lawyer can attend as an attorney of the client.
  • Can I learn of the proceedings of a trial or mediation?
    Navias shall report on the proceeding by e-mail or documents.
  • The client is residing outside Japan.
    Navias can proceed to process an action using e-mail, Skype or telephone.
  • I suddenly received documents from a Japanese court. It is written in Japanese and I cannot understand what is written. Called the court, but no one understood English.
    I do not know what to do next. Do I need to go to the court? Do I need to submit any documents?
    Navias will explain, in English, what is written in the documents you received from the court. Then, we will explain what procedures need to be taken. Should you wish to attend the arbitration or trial by yourself, we can advise you based on our charge by hourly rate system. If you retain Navias and sign a Power of Attorney document, we can negotiate, prepare documents, and attend court representing our client. The client need not attend the court in person.

Click here to reach Navias to inquire or for making an appointment.

Navias Legal Trivia for Your Benefit

Assuming Japanese laws are applicable.

  • Compared to other countries, there is a significant difference in the frequency for visitation/contact with a child generally recognized in Japan.
    In a case where the child is still a nursing infant, the court generally applies the principle of status quo, resulting in deeming the mother to be the custodial parent in most cases. In addition, based on the principle of siblings matching, older siblings are placed under custody of the mother as with the younger sibling in many cases. However, ruling by the court in recent years have become more flexible, e.g. the court awarded custody of child to the father in a case where the mother was very reluctant on granting the father his right for visitation/contact. In a case where the child is 14 years old or older, the wish of the child is given first precedence. Generally, visitation/contact starts with once per month and frequency is gradually increased or expanded to even include over-night stays in.
  • Joint custody after divorce is not recognized in Japan.
  • Japan became a signatory to the convention on civil aspects of international child abduction in 2013, which took effect as of April 1, 2014. If a parent takes away a child residing in any of the signatory countries to Japan after April 1, 2014, the left behind parent has the right to demand the parent who took away the child to return the child. In addition, it is possible to demand visitation and contact with a child abducted prior to April 1 2014. Navias takes on cases involving Hague Convention.

Case Studies

The following are cases picked out from many cases that Navias handled in the past

Realized interim visitation/contact by father with child

The client was U.S. military personnel who had quarreled with his Thai wife. The wife petitioned for a protection order with the military. Consequently, the client could not contact his wife other than through his attorney. The client wanted to see his child and retained Navias for the purpose. Navias filed for mediated visitation/contact with child and interim visitation/contact was allowed. The parties subsequently talked with each other and decided in the end not to take divorce action.

Set up contact with a child in Japan for a father residing in the U.S.A. using Skype.

A case for setting up child visitation/contact with child for an American husband who was divorced from his Japanese wife in Japan. The couple had a boy. The husband resided in the U.S. after the divorce, while his former wife and son resided in Japan.
Navias arranged for the father to contact his son by video chat using SKYPE. On the day of video chat, Navias arranged for the former wife and son to visit Navias Office, while the father activated SKYPE in America and was standing by. The father and son communicated over SKYPE.

Prepared a bilingual (Japanese & English) divorce agreement

The client was an American husband. Navias was retained to negotiate a divorce from his Japanese wife and to prepare a divorce agreement. In compliance with the client's wishes, the agreement covered a wide range of items such as timing and method of distributing assets, payment of consolation money, visitation/contact with child and child support.

Click here to reach Navias to inquire or for making an appointment.