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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34120
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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Hi Claire We really appreciate yr reply to the lady who

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Hi Claire

We really appreciate yr reply to the lady who married in Japan, had the marriage registered in the UK (as the Brit Embassy recommends), then divorced in Japan and can find no record of the divorce in the UK.

My situation is similar, but the British Consulate in Tokyo today gave me the same 'information' as it did 30 years ago. We need a lawyer (of unspecified speciality and purpose).

Why is the Consulate doing this, if paper documentation is all that is required?
Thank you for your question
The only reason I can give is that the Embassy cannot give any legal advice on Family Matters and I dare say that they view answering this question as giving legal advice especially as it may involve deciding whether or not the Japanese divorce would be recognised in the UK.
(I understand there is one form of divorce in Japan that is not recognised in the UK unless both spouses were in Japan when it happened)This is
Foreign Divorces cannot be registered in the UK (and indeed there is no compulsion to register foreign marriages) so it is simply a matter of ensuring that the documentation is officially translated and kept safe
I hope that this is of assistance do please ask if you have further questions
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Claire


In our case both marriage and divorce took place in Japan, with both of us present. The divorce application was amicable, and mutual, and was granted by a Family Court. The Japanese Family Court decision was issued (we have copies), and entered into my former wife's Family Register, that in Japanese law shows the state of affairs (births, marriages, divorces, deaths, residences) as of the date of issue of a copy, which is always dated. Only up-to-date transcripts are recognised.


The British record, as sent to London by the British Embassy, shows that the marriage took place, but there is no record either of the Japanese divorce, or more seriously, of my subsequent remarriage, which again took place in Japan. I assume the Embassy did not send notice of the second marriage to London (where I can find no record of it), as they knew it would appear to be bigamous. That marriage is entered in my second wife's Family Register, with my name as the counterparty, as are the births of our children (in the UK).


My second wife is understandably unhappy with a state of affairs that has the British Government recognising a brief marriage dissolved 30 years ago, but not our present, longstanding one.


So, I need both the divorce and second marriage to be recognised in the UK. I first tried with the British Embassy in Tokyo 30 years ago, and am now trying again, but so far with no more success than at that time. My children, who are very English, would be mortified to discover they are bastards in English law, as some day they surely will if this is not fixed. Their British Birth Certificates show the correct mother and father, but not (I think) their married status.


I am in Japan now, but being blown off by the Brit Consulate - I suspect this is a common problem they just don't want to know about. I think they should have registered both marriages in London, or neither.


There also are obvious inheritance implications. I am confident Wife #1 will not contest, but who knows about subsequent generations?


BTW. Where are the records kept these days that used to be at Somerset House (Clarence House)? It is many years since I inspected them, and the web is being unhelpful.


Thanx for yr attention.


In fact the divorce and the remarriage is recognised in the UK.
There is no compulsion to register a foreign marriage in the UK and it is many years since Embassies have done so
There is no risk that your children will not be viewed as legitimate and there is no problem involved
Clare and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you