Making a long-term relationship work in Japan is a big challenge, but for those marriages that don’t succeed, there’s always one option left at the couple’s disposal: divorce.

It’s an option that more and more couples in Japan have been exploring, although there are practical, mental health and legal concerns that any foreign resident should be aware of if they see no choice but to dissolve their marriage.

Although once a severe stigma in Japan, divorce began to shake off that reputation in the 1980s. Between 1980 and 2012, the divorce rate increased by more than 60%, though it has fallen by a few ticks in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, divorce rates among older couples are the highest they've ever been.