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Late Registering Family Name Change 2017/11/1 07:08
My wife (Japanese) and I have been married for about two years and living in America. We completed K-1 and Green Card paperwork with residency status completed. During the process, and in the short period after marriage where the name change is easily completed, we did not realize that additional paperwork was needed to complete her legal surname change. We are now far past the window for doing this paperwork through the mail.

The needed steps for visiting a judge and making visits to change records after completed must be done in Japan. From reading some online resources, my understanding is that it is best to live in Japan for a full month in order to complete the following:

1. Schedule an appointment with a Judge to make an appeal to make a name change.
2. Draft a written letter for what reasons the name change is necessary.
3. After receiving the date, making an appearance before the judge to make an argument.
4. Wait to get approval
5. If approval is granted, visit all necessary departments/banks to update records
6. Gather any final paperwork, return to America

My questions are:

Are there any recommended resources (in English or Japanese) that cover the above steps (and possibly some that I may be forgetting)? The Japanese embassy in Portland can be helpful for my wife, but will not answer my questions as I am not a Japanese citizen. Something that my wife and I can review together would be very helpful.

Has anyone ever heard of applicants using any specialized lawyers or firms that assist with these processes, such as form preparation, counseling and review of preparing reason for name change, or even something as extreme as attending or signing on behalf of a Japanese citizen with American residency?

Responses greatly appreciated - My wife and I know that this will likely be a long process, but we want to make sure that we are able to get it done correctly in one trip to avoid paying for multiple plane tickets back and forth to Japan.
by guidochi  

Re: Late Registering Family Name Change 2017/11/1 12:17
Im sure you have good reason to want to do this but in case you didn't know, many Japanese women keep their surname in Japan after marriage to a foreigner. Your wife can use your name on all US documents even if she doesn't change her name in Japan. It doesn't cause any problems. It seems unnecessary and a whole lot of hassle to try to change her name, in my opinion.
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Late Registering Family Name Change 2017/11/2 02:54
Yeah, I believe the main reason my wife was looking to change her Japanese name to mine was due to complications for the legal last name of children we may have later (especially for them if travelling to Japan with their mother). Other than that I think that most of the reason is a very strong personal preference on her part to have her passport and Japanese documents have my surname.

For children born in the United States from a Japanese mother, and having American citizenship, does this typically cause issues?
by guidochi rate this post as useful

Re: Late Registering Family Name Change 2017/11/2 09:51
she can ask her parents to solve this problem. they may consult an appropriate person (i@m judicial scrivener or or ٌm lawyer).
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Late Registering Family Name Change 2017/11/3 06:09
//For children born in the United States from a Japanese mother, and having American citizenship, does this typically cause issues? //

Having different surnames did not cause any problems for us, even when my Japanese wife took our son to Japan for a visit (aged 4).
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Late Registering Family Name Change 2017/11/3 09:14
Even if she kept her surname, in the States she can go as... let's say, if you were John Smith and she were Hanako Yamada, "Hanako Yamada Smith," right? So the child would be (given name) Yamada Smith.

As far as Japan goes, your wife can remain Hanako Yamada, but on her passport she can have her name written as "Hanako Yamada (Smith)" to make it easier to show that the two of you are married, and on all other official papers she stays "Hanako Yamada" (no hassle with changing her name at banks, city halls, etc...).

I am married to a non-Japanese husband, and I have kept my maiden name (by coincidence - I wasn't really think about it at the time), and I have had no problem, but this may be because we don't have any children.
by AK rate this post as useful

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