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Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/14 14:33
Hi everyone,

This may not be the best place to ask, but I just want to hear some other peoplefs thoughts about this.
Also, Ifm not here for marriage counseling, so please donft start about that.

I want to divorce from my wife.
Long story short, she does many irresponsible things, mainly with money.
We came to many disagreements and Ifm pretty fed up with it.Basically, she created many debts which I am mostly all paying right now.

Wefve actually talked about divorce in the past (donft ask why), but at the time she said that before we would divorce, she wants me to zero everything out (as in, paying the debts).

Clearly, I donft want to pay the debts (reasons explained below).
I donft care if she will divorce or not (even though shefs better off if we do divorce).

My question is, can she legally demand money from me if I refuse to pay?

My/our situation:
- Perhaps the most important part,
Ifm not financially bound to Japan in the sense that I am no citizen of Japan, nor do i have a Visa.
Essentially, Ifm just a tourist. We did try to get a VISA, but never completed it, mainly due to above reasons.

- Aside from our marriage papers, I have never signed any contracts or financial agreements (which I think is even impossible as a non-resident); everything is on my wifefs name.

- Very important to note, she has 3 kids from a previous marriage.
HOWEVER, these kids are not bound to my name. This has to do with my age. Basically, my wife is a few years older then me, and because the kids were born before I was 18, I legally couldnft be changed to their father (something that might very well come in handy now)

- In the past 2 years, I have paid over 6.000.000 Yen for our family, while she hardly paid anything.

Seeing this situation, would it be possible for her to legally demand money from me?
Would she have any success if she would take it to court?

By the way, it will not influence my decision of divorcing her.
I will be returning to my home country in any case.

Thank you in advance.
by Myeong (guest)  

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/14 15:52
In my opinion you see a lawyer for advice.
I wish you if this mess over soon.
by Art and Art rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/15 05:31
5 minutes with a lawyer and you'd have all of your questions answered.

Or you can continue to ask random internet strangers who may or may not know Japanese law.
by curious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/15 11:29
Yes a lawyer would be the best place to ask.

Some things like this go the same though. Debts in her name need to be paid by her. Debts in your name need to be paid by you. If you want the other party to pay your debts, they have to agree on it, and vise versa. If you cannot agree, you go to mediation/court.

A lawyer will give you the same run down.

If your description is correct for your situation. It sounds like you have little debts in your name. And depending on where you got married eg- in Japan, then it probably wouldn't be recognized outside Japan. You could just board a plane and run away with no "real" legal attachments.

But again, seek out proper legal advice from a lawyer.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/16 19:00
I believe that if everything is in your wife's name, meaning whatever purchases or debt she has, is in her name only, and you are not mentioned as a guarantor or anything, you don't have any liabilities, first of all.

I assume you got married according to the Japanese law? Then if the two of you agree, you should be able to divorce by agreement (reporting to the city hall).
There are papers people often draw up upon divorce to document their agreement, over the assets, children, etc. In your case it might be wise to draw one up that says that you will not be liable for any repayment of debt or for raising her children, and that you will not be the guardian for the children, etc., if she agrees to it.

But even without this written agreement, if you do divorce by "agreed divorce" and it is accepted at the city hall, then the former couple would not have any mutual support obligations at all, so the divorce should leave you with no finaicial or whatever obligation.

However, somehow if she manages to make divorce difficult (by not agreeing to divorce unless you pay, etc.) she could take it to court... but what can she claim? You are not at fault, so she cannot file for divorce due to: any circumstances on your part that makes it impossible to continue marriage, adultery, etc. So if she lacks causes for filing for divorce. She tries to sue you for... what damages have you done to her, none, right?

She might try to file at a court demanding money from you (for whatever, compensations for whatsoever). However, (it goes back to the first paragraph) she is not entitled to anything.

All she can do is to deny you the divorce and give you trouble. I don't think she can claim anything from you, but if she acts like she might try to, keep notes of every purchase/debt she incurred unreasonably, done unreasonably, everything you've paid for the family, so that you can present the facts in a credible way to the family court. Better consult a lawyer, of course, but the above is what I know. Best wishes.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/18 18:26
In addition to what AK said, even if she sues and manages to get a court to agree with her claim... so what? Without any assets in Japan, there's really nothing she could seize, and without income in Japan there's nothing that can be garnished. She would have to come after you in your home country's courts, which would likely be prohibitively expensive not to mention futile.
by gfoulk rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/19 15:38
Thank you for your replies.
It seems most people have the same thoughts as me.
Just on a side-note, most of these debts were created BEFORE we were even married.

In any case, I'll (initially) won't contact a lawyer unless she's being really difficult, even though I don't see a reason why she would, aside from the fact that she probably can't claim anything from me.
If she reclaims her "single mother"-status she'll have many merits, including a monthly alimony from the country and many discounts on payments (school, city, etc.) and perhaps it'll push her to actually go to work (which she doesn't at the moment).

The only thing I do worry about; even though my love for her is over, that doesn't mean I don't love Japan anymore. I definitely want to come to Japan again in the future. But I'm afraid that if she actually will try to reclaim money (possible or not), I'll be in trouble the moment I go through the passport control.

Not that I'm planning to come again anytime soon.
I guess for now all I can do is wait and see how she will handle it.
by Myeong (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/19 19:37
You might just want to be sure that she on her own doesn't try to create some document that states that you'd pay, or something like that, and get you to sign it. Would it be ok to assume you don't read Japanese? It might be wise to retain a lawyer to help you through the divorce process, so that you don't inadvertently sign anything that you don't agree to.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/19 22:43
I think she knows more than you, because she has a divorce experience.
if she does not agree with the divorce, you can't do anything.
you can't get married with another woman.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/4/21 01:50
You can't get married with another woman... *in Japan*. This may be a serious issue for someone living in Japan, but for an expat returning home probably not so much.
by gfoulk rate this post as useful

Re: Can my wife legally claim money from me? 2017/5/2 20:57
This information is not totally related to the topic, but worth taking note, it doesn't go into detail much.
by kms899 rate this post as useful

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