What is property division?

When divorcing under Japanese law, property is divided under Civil Code of Japan. The Civil Code of Japandescribe the right of one divorcing party to petition the other party for the division of property. Property that was acquired by the husband and/or wife during a marriage should be generally equally divided when the marriage ends.
However, there are meanings to property division that goes beyond simple division.
First, it means a payment to the party that will be economically weaker after the divorce. For example, in the case of a woman who became a full-time homemaker after her marriage, it is unfair that her former husband has no duty to support her after the divorce when they are living separately. (Under Japanese law, after divorce, one party no longer has the duty to support the other party, and has only the duty to support the children. Therefore, there is no economic support by husbands of their former wives after divorce.) This is because once the wife loses her occupation, she cannot easily get it back, and in many ordinary cases she cannot attain the same income level as her former husband, even if she does work. Therefore, property division is handled so as to economically support the party who will be in the weaker position after such a divorce.
Furthermore, it also carries a meaning of consolation money when a person was divorced due to any fault by the other party . It is possible to petition for consolation money separately from the property division, and it is also acceptable to petition for a consolation money portion within a property division petition.

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