Frequently asked questions about divorce in Hong Kong
Jaerey Velasco, a Filipina lawyer qualified in Hong Kong, leads the family and matrimonial law practice at Payne Clermont Velasco. Jaerey is experienced in a wide range of family law matters, both contentious and non-contentious, often with an international element.
We have partnered with Jaerey to shed light on a few burning questions that our readers have about divorce and separation in Hong Kong.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a Filipino married in the Philippines get divorced in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong, the place of marriage is not the primary concern as long as you can prove that your marriage was valid in the country where it was celebrated.
2. How long must I have been married before I file for divorce?
Except for some exceptions, no divorce petition can be submitted to the Hong Kong Court less than one (1) year from the date of the marriage.
3. Should I explain why I want a divorce?
You must be able to prove that there are reasons for saying that the marriage is ending.
Under Section 11A of the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance (Cap. 179 of the Laws of Hong Kong), the sole ground for making an application or petition for divorce shall be that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
4. What are the grounds for divorce that you can rely on?
b) unreasonable behaviour;
c) one year separation with consent;
d) two years separation without consent; or
e) desertion for a continuous period of at least 1 year.
5. How can I apply for divorce?
To start with divorce proceedings, it is recommended that you consult a lawyer before submitting relevant documents.
In particular, you will need a lawyer in the following situations:-
a) Your spouse does not agree to a divorce
b) Before you start any divorce proceedings, it is recommended that you consult a lawyer who can assist you with preparing the documents.
6. How long will the divorce process take?
The time varies as each case is unique. It is affected by many factors such as the complexity of the case, the relationship between the parties, and the issues concerning the children and finances. Your lawyer should be able to give you an idea of the procedure and timelines of your divorce. Typically, the process for a straightforward, uncontested divorce will take around nine months from the filing of the Petition to the Decree Absolute.
7. Can I remarry after the divorce has been finalised?
You are free to remarry once Decree Absolute is granted. However, please consult a lawyer in the Philippines if you wish to remarry in the Philippines.
Kindly note that this is for information purposes only and should not be relied upon on as legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought at all times in relation to the above.