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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

JAPAN UPHOLDS LAW THAT COUPLES MUST HAVE SAME LAST NAME


Japan is once again making headlines in family law.  (See previous post regarding Japan and child custody).

The Supreme Court of Japan has held that a 19th century law mandating couples to have the same last name (usually that of the husband) is not unconstitutional.  This is a ruling resulting from a 2011 case filed by 5 women who claimed forcing them to have the same last names violates their rights.  One of the stated it was losing her identity, "it's as if part myself vanishes".

There is no such law in the United States.

A minor victory for women in the latter part of the ruling shortened the requirements for remarriage after a divorce to 100 days (down from 6 months).  Incidentally, there is no law stating when men can remarry.