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What is exactly Recognition of Divorce?

Recognition of Divorce is a proceedings of divorce to be recognized by the Philippine government. As you know, there is no DIVORCE in the Philippines. Though you divorced in the foreign country, the record of divorce will not automatically be forwarded in the Philippines unless you will make a proper report using the legal method. It used to be a simple Report of Divorce but it is now a judicial proceeding you must make in the Regional Trial Court in the Philippines and this proceeding is called "RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN JUDGEMENT".

What do you have to do to make it?

You cannot file a petition for Recognition of Divorce by yourself. You must have a Philippine lawyer who has a knowledge of Civil Code of Japan. Civil law related to divorce in Japan is very unique. Courts are usually involved in the proceedings in most of the countries in the world but there is a divorce obtained by mutual consent in Japan. All you have to do is just to put your signature on the divorce paper, so does your spouse, then just submit it to the counter of City Hall. That's it. So the Philippine government may not believe the divorce is legally obtained with such a way. That is why your lawyer must know the law of divorce in Japan.

You also have to prepare some evidences to prove your divorce under Japanese law. There are only a few documents to prove, KOSEKI TOHON, RIKON TODOKE KISAI JIKO SHOMEISHO and RIKON TODOKE JURI SHOMEISHO. They are all written in Japanese and it must be very hard for you to interpret the contents. So you have to bring KOSEKI TOHON to the embassy of Japan to get the Certificate of Divorce. This Certificate of Divorce is written in English and the court in the Philippine accepts it as an evidence. BUT the fact is most of the time it is hard for Filipino party to get it. That is because this document is only issued to the Japanese person written on the KOSEKI TOHON. So you have to have an authorization letter issued by your ex husband upon application of Certificate of Divorce in the embassy.

How much and how long will it take to have the case finished?

It will actually cost you because you have to ask lawyer's help. It is not an ordinary proceeding that you can do it by yourself but something you must ask for professional's support. Petition for Recognition is usually filed in the court where your residence in the Philippines belongs. Every RTC has its own jurisdiction and ruling. So it depends on the RTC system how long it will take the case to be finished. It usually takes more than 6 months and even last up to one year.