Family and Divorce

We are experts in financial and children matters relating to relationship breakdown. Although we are experienced litigators, we also actively promote alternative dispute resolution options such mediation and collaborative law.

The firm combines specialist knowledge with first class client care and pragmatic solutions. We offer each client a tailor-made approach to their particular circumstances and we deal with every matter sensitively and constructively.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Divorce
  • Financial consequences of divorce
  • Judicial separation
  • Separation agreements
  • Pre- and post-nuptial agreements
  • Jurisdiction disputes
  • Children/ parenting disputes
  • Child abduction
  • International relocation of children
  • Unmarried co-habitants and parents
  • Enforcement and/or variation of court orders

Frequently asked questions

Under Hong Kong law, you can file for a divorce once you have been married for at least 1 year, unless otherwise allowed by the Court.

To divorce in Hong Kong, you must be able to prove to the Court that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.

Your divorce will be based on one of the following grounds:

  1. Your spouse behaved in such a way that you cannot be reasonably expected to live with him/her
  2. You and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 1 year before filing the divorce petition and he/she agrees to a divorce
  3. You and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years before filing the divorce petition (your spouse’s consent is not required)
  4. Your spouse deserted you for a continuous period of at least 1 year before filing the divorce petition
  5. Your spouse committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with him/her
  6. In the case of a joint application, you and your spouse must prove to the Court one of the following:
    • you and your spouse have lived apart from each other for a continuous period of at least 1 year before making the joint application; or
    • you and your spouse have filed at Court a notice (Form 2E) signed by both parties not less than 1 year prior to the making of the joint application and the said notice was not subsequently withdrawn.

The duration of divorce proceedings varies and depends on the circumstances of each case.

For parties that have reached an overall agreement prior to filing for divorce, the process should take approximately 6 months.

Find a family and divorce lawyer who specialises in Family Law – who is experienced and trained to tackle relevant issues – to represent you.

Lawyers have different styles in handling their cases. Feel free to meet a few lawyers for initial consultations before choosing the one you’re most comfortable with.

Your family and divorce lawyer will provide you with practical solutions for issues arising from your case and will be about to help you navigate through the entire divorce process. Look for someone you feel totally comfortable with, who you can trust, who has relevant skills and experience, a strong track record and who communicates clearly.


Despite being married in Hong Kong, you may not be able to apply for a divorce here. To be able to get divorced in Hong Kong, either you or your spouse must be:

  1. Domiciled in Hong Kong at the date of the divorce petition or application;
  2. Habitually resident in Hong Kong throughout the period of three years immediately preceding the date of the divorce petition or application; or
  3. Have a substantial connection with Hong Kong at the date of the divorce petition or application.

Gall is a first-class firm, offering practical and cost-effective advice in complex and high value matrimonial finance, as well as children’s matters.

Caroline McNally is brilliant and highly sought after. She is very experienced and gives practical, effective advice.

Notable Firm, Private Client – Asialaw Profiles 2020

Tier 2, Family & Matrimonial

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific, 2020

Caroline McNally named a “Preeminent” Lawyer, Gall named in Tier 2

The Doyles Guide to Leading Family & Divorce Lawyer and Law Firm Rankings – Hong Kong 2019-2020

Tier 2 Firm, Family and Matrimonial

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2019

“Compact team known for its expertise in dealing with the breakdown of relationships. Acts for clients going through a divorce, assisting them with the financial aspects, also usually handling complex international relocations where children are involved. Renowned for its emphasis on using collaborative law and mediation as alternative methods to resolve a dispute. Remains a popular choice for expatriates, HNW individuals, and local clients for assistance in family-related disputes and settlements.”

“They are very easy to work with and have a broad spectrum of experience,” a client reports, further adding: “They are very knowledgeable about the matter at hand and definitely make you feel at ease.”

Leading Firm, Family/Divorce – Chambers Asia Pacific 2019

“Charming, articulate and insightful” Caroline McNally is “the first choice for many clients,” according to a market source.

Leading Individual, Family/Divorce – Chambers Asia Pacific 2019

Tier 2 Firm – Family and Probate, Caroline McNally named “Dispute Resolution Star”

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2018

Gall listed as a Recommended Firm and Caroline McNally named a “Leading Lawyer”

Doyle’s Guide to Leading Family Lawyer and Law Firm Rankings – Hong Kong 2018

“They are very good and organised and they have the right amount of empathy with clients.”

Another market source highlights the team’s key strengths: “Approachable and very professional. No-nonsense.”

Leading Firm, Family/Divorce – Chambers Asia Pacific 2018

Head of practice Caroline McNally is renowned for her work in the family law field, and particularly recognised for her negotiating skills while working on prenuptial agreements. She was also elected chair of the Hong Kong Family Law Association in 2017. One market commentator states: “She is fantastic to work with: she is measured, reassuring to clients and has a very quick command of the important issues of the case.”

Leading Individual, Family/Divorce – Chambers Asia Pacific 2018