Please see the attached epoch making judgment rendered by Judge Shoji of Matsudo branch of Chiba Family Court dated March 29, 2016 (“Matsudo Judgment”).
Matsudo judgment appoints non-custodian father as a parental authority of his daughter and orders the transfer of the child from the sole custodian mother applying friendly parent rule.
The Children are required to keep close relationship with both parents even after the divorce or separation between their parents. Therefore, the sole custody should be awarded to the parent most likely foster the child’s relationship with the other parent comparing the visitation plans provided by both parents.
The friendly parent rule is not new but adopted previously in the courts of Japan. What is new is that Matsudo judgment preferentially applied the rule to the child who is under the sole custody of her mother for around 6 years and enjoys stable life both in her family and in school. Previous doctrine of continuity, which has been applied widely in Japan, was not used in Matsudo judgment.
This is the epoch making judgment and gospel of the left behind parents in Japan, so called abduction heaven.
Please note that the friendly parent rule, similar to the Parental Alienation Syndrome, is a controversial concept not only in Japan but also US, Canada and Australia.
Therefore, the actual custody determination proceedings after Matsudo judgment have been still case by case basis. It is, therefore, highly recommended to find the true expert, like us, to use Matsudo judgment or the Friendly Parent Rule in your case.