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International Prenuptial Agreements in Japan

Prenuptial agreements are not common in Japan, however Japan does have extremely detailed laws governing their application. This distinguishes Japan from many other countries, such as the United States where the laws are not clear cut, and can leave many couples finding their agreements are invalid.

Japan has extremely detailed laws that govern the conflict of law issues of international prenuptial agreements. Conflicts of law arise w here there are two or more countries that have an interest in the case or jurisdiction to decide a case and they have conflicting laws to apply to the case.

If a conflict of law issues arises with a prenuptial agreement in Thailand  then courts will rely on the Thailand Conflict of Law Act.

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Prenuptial Agreements Increasing

73% of survey respondents from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) noted an increase in prenuptial agreements with 52% of AAML members stating that more women are initiating requests for it and 36% cited a rise in pensions and retirement being included in prenup agreements.

According to Marlene Eskind Moses, an AAML representative, prenuptial agreements are becoming more generally accepted as a normal decision to protect assets. Requests for prenuptial agreements are no longer limited to specific genders or groups. As our society sees more people marry or remarry, there is an increasing emphasis on protecting pensions and retirement benefits if the marriage does not work.

Persons who marry outside their home country may have special issues concerning the applicable law for the prenuptial agreement. Conflict of Law is the field of law that determines the law of what nation or state will be used in a divorce case or a prenuptial agreement. This important subject is often ignored by persons entering into prenuptial agreements as well as by attorneys unfamiliar with international practice.

In Thailand, conflict of laws in Thai prenuptial agreements  need to be considered carefully. Applicable laws that may be significant to a prenuptial agreement include:

  1. The law of the state of signing of the prenuptial agreement
  2. The law of the state of marriage
  3. The law of the state of residence
  4. The law of the state of divorce
  5. The law of the state where assets are located

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