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Divorce/ Separation

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The breakdown of a relationship is a serious matter that is sometimes complicated and challenging. We aim to protect and advance our clients’ interests, striving to achieve the most reasonable, favourable outcome in every case. We will support all your legal needs. The knowledge of broad legal concepts, rules and procedures is required to secure your interests. We are prepared to assist clients in all aspects of family law, including custody and access, maintenance issues, assets division and wealth protection. 

Unless the court allows otherwise, you can start a petition for divorce only if you have been married for at least 1 year. Legally, there is only one ground for filing for divorce, which is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The court will accept that a marriage has irretrievably broken down under the following circumstances:

  1. adultery

  2. unreasonable behaviour

  3. one year’s separation with consent to a divorce

  4. two years’ separation without consent to a divorce

  5. desertion for a continuous period of at least a year

The time for the completion of a divorce application will vary from case to case. It is subject to the length of the hearing, the Court’s caseloads, and the fact that if there are children of the marriage. If there are no disputes between the two parties, it can usually be completed in about 6-10 months.

Do I need a lawyer for divorce?

Although you can file a petition for a divorce on your own account, legal proceedings will begin once a divorce petition is filed in court. It is prudent to seek legal advice in advance. A lawyer can help you identify the disputed areas, let you understand your rights and interests, assist you to select feasible and most appropriate solutions, and draw up your agreement to secure your interests.

 

You will particularly need a lawyer in the following situations:

1. Spouse does not agree to a divorce

2. Have minor child

3. Have arrangements to be made on financial matters

4. Unable to fully reach agreement with spouse

Does divorce have to divide assets with partner?​ How much maintenance/ alimony do you need to pay?

Hong Kong law does not clearly provide for estate distribution, alimony child custody. This means that people are not legally obligated to share their estates with their partners, nor do they have to provide alimony to them. But it is generally based on  50/50 rule. Maintenance for spouse will take into account the age of each party and the duration of the marriage; the incomes, earning capacity, property, other financial resources, financial needs, obligations, and responsibilities, and contributions to family welfare of each party, and will be preserve the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage in general. Usually, it is only when both sides cannot come to an agreement that they would resort to taking the case to court. To protect your own rights, you should seek legal advice first. Talk to us and we can help.

Are the chances of getting custody of child and child maintenance high?

When the Court handles child custody, the welfare of the child is the first. Factors which the Court would take into account include: the ages of the parents and child; the parents' financial resources, living conditions, personality, capability and character, physical and mental condition; the child's own wishes and views. Medical, school, or court welfare officer's reports will also be considered. The Court generally prefer to preserve the status quo. The parent with custody is entitled to claim for financial support for that child from the other parent, whether within divorce or judicial separation proceedings. Talk to us and we will provide you with advice on how to obtain custody and child maintenance on a case-by-case basis.

Our services:

  1. Consultation on family and divorce matters

  2. Drafting and witnessing the signatory of pre- and post-nuptial agreements

  3. Issuing notice of separation to spouse

  4. Drafting and witnessing the signatory of a separation agreement/ deed of separation

  5. Applying to the District Court for a separation order together with maintenance orders

  6. Drafting and witnessing the signatory of a divorce petition, divorce agreement and other forms and documents

  7. Applying for certified copies of Hong Kong birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate, or proof of divorce

  8. Filing a divorce application with the Family Court Registry

  9. Serving (delivering) petition to spouse/ respondent

  10. Applying and arranging substitute mode of service if spouse has disappeared

  11. Arranging family mediation 

  12. Filing an application to convert the decree nisi to a degree absolute

  13. Handling litigations relating to divorce, custody and access, and maintenance issues 

  14. Striving for custody, access (including staying access or supervised access) and maintenance

  15. Striving for property distribution

  16. Applying for a prohibition order within the divorce or separation proceedings to prohibit the removal of the child from Hong Kong

  17. Handling the transfer of ownership of property from financial arrangement

  18. Application for variation of alimony order or custody order

  19. Recovering arrears of maintenance payments

Our service charges:

  • Consultation on divorce matters: HK$3,800 per hour

  • Divorce petition: from HK$6,800 (Varies according to the complexity of cases)

In divorce or matrimonial proceedings, if you cannot afford to retain legal representation in court, you may try to apply for the Legal Aid Scheme provided by the Legal Aid Department. Our divorce lawyers are on the panel list of lawyer of the Hong Kong Legal Aid Department and are available for nomination.

Looking for a divorce lawyer?

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