I'm a retired USAF, USA citizen. Ex-wife, Japanese citizen. Japan (JP) child custody laws prevents joint custody in JP divorce. I, being a foreigner was a big strike against me. JP law/culture awards mothers full legal/physical custody. Father has none, especially as a foreigner. JP court wouldn't put joint custody in the decree. I asked if they could state that I have unlimited visitation rights. But what ended up being in the decree is "applicant accepts visitation with the child to the respondent". There are times when we have disagreements and she would say she's his mother and can do anything she wants because Japan law awarded her full custody. All I want is 50% legal and physical custody in the U.S. I just want my son and I to be protected. I have rights as a father but not in JP.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.