A publication “How to Apply for a Divorce?” can be obtained from the Family Court Registry. Further information can also be obtained by calling the Family Court Registry at Tel: (852) 2840-1218 or 2582-5377, Fax: (852) 2523-9170 (home page: Hong Kong Judiciary).
Who can file for divorce
In order for a divorce to take place in Hong Kong at least one of the two parties must be a resident in Hong Kong. Ordinarily residence of three months will meet this requirement.
What constitutes grounds for divorce in Hong Kong
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage must be established before a court decree nisi of divorce can be issued. Evidence of such breakdown is demonstrated by proof of any of the following conditions:
- Unreasonable behavior,
- Separation for a continuous period of at least one year (if both parties consent to the divorce) or two years ( if the divorce is contested). The separation need not be documented by court decree. It is sufficient that the parties simply not be living with each other for the required length of time.
Is it necessary to hire an attorney
In all but the simplest cases it is advisable to employ an attorney to handle the divorce action. A list of attorneys practicing in Hong Kong and Macau, including those who handle family matters, is available on our website at: Lists of Legal Services Providers in Hong Kong and Macau.
Legal advice on an informal basis from the Hong Kong Law Society may be applied for through any District Office.
How long will it take to obtain a Hong Kong divorce
Given the heavy backlog of cases on the dockets of the Hong Kong Family Court Registry, located at M2 Floor, Wanchai Law Courts, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, Tel: 852-2840-1218 or 2582-5377, Fax: 852-2523-9170 (the office which has jurisdiction over divorce cases), it normally takes about two to four months to obtain a preliminary divorce decree, known as a “decree nisi”. This decree becomes final after six weeks if no objection is raised. This period of time would be extended if the divorce were contested.
Last modified: July 15, 2005