How to obtain Official Certificate of Marriage or Divorce in Japan

In Japan, there are no exact documents named Marriage Certificate or Divorce Decree (except in the case of divorce through a court procedure.).

Instead, the marriage or divorce status in Japan can be proven by the following documents:

1) Certified Copy of Family Registry (KOSEKI)

If your former spouse is a Japanese national, your marriage or divorce has been registered to his/her Family Registry which is in the location of his/her registered domicile (HONSEKI which is different from the residence address), and a certified copy of Family Registry is available. In many cases, this document is used to prove a marriage or divorce. Certified copies can be obtained from the city hall which has jurisdiction over his/her registered domicile.

2) Certified Copy of Acceptance of Marriage or Divorce

This is a document issued by a city hall to certify that a marriage/divorce report itself was accepted. It can be obtained from the city hall where you have filed your marriage/divorce report with. 

3) Certified Copy of Marriage or Divorce Report

This is a certified copy of the marriage/divorce report you prepared and filed. In order to obtain it, a “specific reason” is required (such as “it is required to submit to get remarried in a foreign country”).

We can assist you with obtaining the above documents.

Below are the necessary documents or information (however, depending on the case, additional documents may be required):

1. Power of Attorney
2. Your current resident address
3. Your former spouse’s and your name

(Kanji names are required for Japanese nationals)
4. Your former spouse’s and your date of birth
5. Either below 5a. or 5b.

5a.Former spouse’s current or previous address
5b. Former spouse’s registered domicile (Honseki)
6. Copy of your identification 

Even if the above information is not available, there are cases where we can support obtaining certified copies.

We also provide support obtaining apostille and also translation services.

The marriage or divorce documents frequently need apostilles or translations to be submitted to authorities in foreign countries. Depending on the authorities or countries, apostilles and translation may NOT be necessary. We do not have information about the country where you submit the document. We recommend you check before using our services.

Our fees are generally around 33,000 yen to 66,000yen for obtaining 1 certified copy. There may be additional translation and apostille fees, actual expenses, shipping, tax. Please contact us for the detail about our fees for your particular case.