Published: 15:04, May 18, 2024
Japan's parliament passes bill to allow joint custody for divorced parents
By Xinhua
In this file photo dated April 22, 2023, children held by their parents start their "Baby-cry Sumo" match, resumed for the first time in four years due to the coronavirus pandemic, at the Sensoji temple in Tokyo. (PHOTO / AFP)

TOKYO - Japan's parliament has enacted a bill into law that will allow divorced parents the option of joint child custody, marking the first law change regarding parental authority in 77 years.

The bill to revise the country's Civil Code and other laws was approved by Japan's upper house of parliament on Friday, paving the way for the adoption of a practice widely seen in many other countries.

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Under the legislation, parents will discuss whether to choose joint or sole custody of their children after divorce, a shift from the current system that allows only either of the couple to exercise parental rights.

If there is a dispute, a family court will intervene and decide on custody arrangements. In cases where domestic violence or abuse by either parent is suspected, sole custody will be granted to the other parent, according to the revision.

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The revised law will enter into force within two years of its promulgation and be applied retroactively to those who have already divorced.