Family Life

Ultimate Guide To Navigating Divorce in Hong Kong

A Guide To Understand How The Divorce Process In Hong Kong Works

Best Guide To Getting A Divorce In Hong Kong

A divorce is never a pleasant process to experience. When one or both people in the partnership decide that it is right to move on from the relationship, then going through this legal process is necessary. In Hong Kong, there are key procedures to undertake, and when you have a general idea of how to go about it, it will make the divorce process much easier. Our guide to divorce in Hong Kong shares the accepted grounds for divorce, family and financial consideration, the process, and even recommended lawyers to help you. This will allow you to navigate this difficult time with more clarity and comfort with the knowledge of what to do.

More Guides Related To Divorce And Marriage Therapy In Hong Kong:

  • How to get a divorce in Hong Kong

    Understanding Grounds For Divorce In Hong Kong

    Understand The Accepted Reasons For Filing For Divorce

    To file for divorce in Hong Kong, there are certain legal grounds that need to be met in order to prove that there is a reasonable cause for divorce. The courts are looking to accept that there has been a breakdown in the marriage that is irretrievable. The Hong Kong courts generally accept the following causes as grounds for divorce:

    • Adultery
    • Desertion for one year or longer
    • Unreasonable behaviour
    • Separation without consented (where they have been apart for two years and one spouse wants a divorce)
    • Consented divorce (with proof that both parties agree to the separation).

    What about residency?

    • For the divorce to take place in Hong Kong, one or both parties must be living in Hong Kong, have been a resident for three years before the divorce date, or have some kind of substantial (often professional) connection with Hong Kong.

    What about in cases where you are married less than a year?

    • Also, unless deemed a special circumstance, a couple cannot file for divorce in Hong Kong if they have been married for less than one year.

    What will you need to file?

    • You will need a certified original copy of your marriage certificate to file the divorce petition.
  • Hong Kong Divorce Family Arrangements

    Understanding Child Custody And Family Arrangements In Hong Kong

    Handling A Divorce In Hong Kong When Children Are Involved

    If you and your spouse have children together, it’s vital to understand how custody, maintenance, childcare, relocation, and other circumstances work in Hong Kong.

    Custody can be sole or joint (joint custody is encouraged where there are siblings). Visitation rights and childcare needs to be outlined. Child maintenance (financial support) must also be determined by the parents mutually, or by the court’s decision in the case of disagreements.

    In the case of custody, the courts consider the following:

    • How the stability of the child will be affected (when it comes to schooling, travel, etc)
    • The age of both the child and the parents
    • The accommodation options
    • The mental health and financial position of parents
    • The child’s desires (if expressed)
    • Third-party reports such as education or medical documents.

    If parents cannot agree on custody terms, the Director of Social Welfare will give recommendations based on a social worker’s report.

    Hong Kong is a part of The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which means that civil procedures are put in place for a child that's taken without the consent of the other spouse. This is for children under 16 years of age that is considered habitual resident of Hong Kong.

  • Handling Finances in Divorce in Hong Kong

    Understanding Divorce Financial Considerations

    How To Manage Finance Agreements In The Divorce

    One of the biggest (and often most challenging) aspects of a divorce is the financial agreement. In Hong Kong, there is even more complexity because courts even have the power to call for the parties to disburse assets that are held overseas, in some cases. The courts take into account the following information when making their decision on financial arrangements:

    • Earning capacity, resources, and income of the couple
    • The obligations and needs of each person
    • The standard of living that both people experienced together before the divorce
    • The duration of the marriage
    • The age of each person
    • Any individual contributions that were made by each person to the family’s benefit
    • Physical or mental disability or health issues of both people
    • Loss/benefit for each person because of the divorce.

    This will contribute to the courts deciding to issue orders for lump-sum payments, maintenance payments, secured/unsecured periodic payments, and any sale/settlement/transfers of property.

    Both parties must exchange and file financial statements disclosing relevant information in thecae 28 days after they appear in court. In the case that one spouse is denying financial claims and concealing assets, an application can be made to the Hong Kong Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance.

  • How To Get A Divorce In Hong Kong?

    The General Steps To Take To Get Divorced
    1. An individual or the couple presents a petition for divorce. It will either be a joint application for divorce (if both parties apply) or the spouse that presents the petition needs to present multiple forms.
    2. After the petition is started, it is then served (delivered to the other spouse) by a third party.
    3. Application to the registrar, issued by the Family Court Registry.
    4. The case is filed as a ‘Defended or Special’ list (depending on the actions of the respondent).
    5. The court grants a decree nisi, and a form can be filled for the decree to be made ‘absolute.’

    When you have an experienced divorce lawyer to handle the process, these steps are taken care of. All you need to do is provide the information when requested, be present for the negotiations, and show up to the meetings and court procedures, where needed.

  • Finding A Divorce Lawyer Hong Kong

    Finding A Divorce Lawyer In Hong Kong

    Receive Legal Support For Your Divorce

    There are many fantastic divorce lawyers in Hong Kong who handle high-profile and complex cases.

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