Professional Translation & Interpreting Services for Family Law Attorneys, Child Custody and Visitation in a Foreign Environment

With globalization come not only increased movement of families but also an increase in transnational marriages, and therefore, a need for professional translation and interpreting services and legal translation services by family law practitioners. When kids come into play, the issues as custody and visitation may arise and, depending on the country involved, different laws, languages and customs apply. To illustrate this point, we will briefly look at Japan.


As a general rule, Japan’s legal system does not provide the same level of protection to parental rights and children as American courts do. For instance, unlike in the U.S., all issues in a family law action (divorce, visitation, custody, etc.) are viewed as separate actions. More so, Japan’s legal system tends to favor mediation as the method for coming to an agreement on such issues as visitation and custody – with the court being reluctant to get involved. Thus, it is essential to bring in a foreign language translator/ interpreter, as the mediation is often the only available route for obtaining legal resolution.

This general rule can be applied across the board, as each foreign jurisdiction will have a unique approach to family law – often heavily tied to culture and tradition. To best protect your client’s interest, it is essential to use foreign language translators and interpreters who are not only familiar with the language, but also with the culture.

To read our earlier legal translation blog entry “Professional Translation Services for Matrimonial and Divorce Attorneys, and Having a Foreign Granted Divorce Recognized in a U.S. Court”, click here.  And to read “Professional Translation Services for Matrimonial and
Divorce Attorneys, and Having a Foreign Granted Divorce Recognized in a
U.S. Court”, click here.

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