Departmental Bulletin Paper Joint custody and child visitation after divorce : focusing on DV cases

Yamaguchi, Sawako

Domestic Violence has been a private matter for long periods. Grassroots voluntary women’s organizations began to support DV victims in the 1990s. The Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims was enacted in 2001. Coincidently, the joint custody movement was activated and the number of petitions for rights of access after divorce increased because Japan does not apply joint custody. In 2014 Japan became a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Convention will influence the present single custody system and rights of access after divorce because the majority of member states apply the joint custody system and the Convention premises that children should be raised by a father and a mother in any case. This paper discusses the relationship of DV, and joint custody and rights of access, including the results of the questionnaires collected from the counselors who assist DV victims. It also implies the recommended policies which would not be detrimental to DV victims and their children concerning joint custody and rights of access.

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