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Japanese couples use 'Divorce newspapers' to announce breakups

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 One of Japan's leading divorce lawyers offers a popular 'divorce newspaper' service that helps couples break the news of their split to friends and family. (Hiroki Terai / a marriage can be painful enough without the added stress of having to explain what happened to every friend, family member and acquaintance who asks.

In an effort to make things easier for splitting couples in the social sphere, Japanese divorce lawyer Hiroki Terai developed something called the "divorce newspaper."

Tokyo's RocketNews24 reports that these papers are gaining popularity in Japan as a quick, efficient way to let one's contacts know when their marriage has ended.

The service works as follows:

When a couple signs their divorce papers, they are interviewed about their marriage, the reasons for their split and their memories as a couple.

This information is then compiled into a single-page or two-page newspaper report which offers readers an analysis into the failed marriage and, more importantly, lets all of a couple's contacts know that they're divorced.

"Have you ever bumped into an acquaintance and asked how their spouse was, only to find out they got divorced a month earlier?" wrote RocketNews24. "Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to avoid these social landmines which multiply with the ever growing divorce rate?"

Couples can choose between several different formats for their newspaper, such as "English headline" or "Japanese sports page," and for an extra fee Terai will convert the couple's past life together into a board game style graphic.

 (Hiroki Terai /

Each square on the game board represents a relationship milestone with the final square marked off as "Happy Divorce!"

Divorce newspapers cost between $140 and $200, take approximately one week to prepare, and are delivered to a splitting couple's acquaintances, family members, friends and anyone they choose immediately upon approval.

According to Terai, who also offers divorce ceremonies through his website, these newspapers put a positive spin on divorce to help all parties involved move on to the next stage of life comfortably.

Are divorce papers valuable? Can you think of any times this service would have saved you from embarrassment or confusion?

Tags: POV

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