DNA tests and the 300 days after divorce problem①

離婚後300日問題

I want to confirm the paternity of a child born after a divorce.(300 days after divorce problem)

The `300 days after divorce` problem refers to the Civil Code provision in Japan that regards a baby born within 300 days after the mother`s divorce as a child born to her former husband.
Article 772 of the Civil Code states that if a child is born within the 300 day period following a divorce, the child is to be registered as the child of the former husband, and it is presumed that the child was a product of the married couple. Even if the mother has remarried, and the new husband is the actual father, the child cannot be registered as his child.
Awareness of the 300 days after divorce issue has been spreading thanks to television and news coverage, and it was even a main theme in a television drama series. At seeDNA, many of the consultations we receive are from people dealing with this problem.

Revision of the Prohibited remarriage period and the 300 days after divorce problem

On June 1, 2016 a civil code amendment was established to shorten the prohibited remarriage period following a divorce from 6 months to a period of 100 days. If the woman was not pregnant at the time of divorce, then she is now allowed to remarry within 100 days of the divorce.
The law was criticized in the past for being outdated, and the change came about in reaction to the pressure received to review the legislation. The new amendment reflects the current issues in today`s society.
However, although many believe otherwise, the amendment does not necessarily solve the 300 days after divorce problem.

Before and after the law changes, a child born within 300 days of the mother`s divorce (or a child born within 200 days of the mother`s remarriage) must be registered as the child of the former husband.

Future Issues

Originally, article 772 of the Civil Code is a law created with the interests of the child in mind. It was created in order to ensure that a child is registered in the social security system as early as possible. Whether the parents are married or divorced, the parents are made aware of their responsibility to the child.
The person who would suffer the most would be the child.

However, many couples have found themselves in complicated situations due to the legislation. Although progress has been made in women`s rights with the 2016 amendment, it is clear that there is still need for discussion.
The 300 days after divorce problem still remains, and when parents submit their birth notification to the city office, they will find out for the first time that they too are involved in this problem.

Another issue wrapped up in the 300 days after divorce problem is the problem of unregistered children. If a child is born and is not registered to a family register within 300 days, they can no longer be registered. They become an unregistered child, which basically means that on paper they do not exist. They are unable to attend school or obtain a driver`s license, and will face with many obstacles in their life.

We will post another article about solutions to the 300 days after divorce problem soon, DNA tests and the 300 days after divorce problem ②(Solutions)

Unregistered Children – NHK Close-up Today