Hong Kong has one of the highest percentage of expatriate populations in the world. Expatriates come to Hong Kong to explore opportunities. Unfortunately, Hong Kong also has the reputation as the ‘graveyard of marriages’.The question then becomes where should they file for divorce? Can they get a divorce in Hong Kong or do they have to return home? This article will set out the eligibility for filing for divorce in Hong Kong and examine the similarities and differences between the regime of the Hong Kong and the Courts of England and Wales.
Not everyone can get divorced in Hong Kong. Section 3 of the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance (Cap 179) sets out when the Hong Kong Court has jurisdiction over divorce proceedings.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hong Kong Courts were closed for several months and thousands of court hearings were adjourned during this General Adjourned Period (“GAP”). Although the Family Court has now reopened there are social distancing measures in place which mean that hearings are continuing to be adjourned. We expect this to be the ‘new normal’ for some time to come.
Gall has been ranked a Tier 1 firm for Commercial & Transaction Disputes in Benchmark Litigation’s 2020 rankings. The firm was also ranked a Tier 2 firm for Family & Matrimonial and Insolvency. Nick Gall, Chris Wong and Caroline McNally were recognised as Litigation Stars.
The Doyles Guides to Family & Divorce and to Employment have been released with Gall named as a Tier 2 firm for Family & Divorce and a Recommended firm for Employment. Executive Partner Caroline McNally, who leads the firm’s Family & Divorce team, was recognised as a Preemminent Practitioner. Partner Andrea Randall, who leads the firm’s Employment Law practice, was recognised as a Recommended Lawyer.
Caroline McNally wrote a letter to Hong Kong Lawyer exploring why it is critical for family lawyers to support colleagues with mental-health challenges, how to identify when peers or clients may need help, and the need for removing the stigma around mental health issues in Hong Kong.
Caroline McNally and Catherine Tso wrote an article for Family Law Journal exploring key considerations in private children law proceedings in Hong Kong, giving special attention to jurisdiction matters, in particular in cases involving expats with regards to custody, care, control and access.
Loretta Ho wrote an article for Hong Kong Lawyer examining the Court's view on the use of confidential documents and information obtained by self-help means. This article was first published in Hong Kong Lawyer's February 2020 issue.
Caroline McNally and Chantelle Woo outline the steps to register and enforce England and Wales maintenance orders in Hong Kong in the context of the growing number of international families, amidst recent changes in procedure. The new procedure for enforcement of a maintenance order in Hong Kong by way of judgment summons is complex and will take time to be dealt with by the Hong Kong Courts.
Executive Partner and Head of the Family and Divorce practice Caroline McNally explores why it is critical for family lawyers to support colleagues with mental-health challenges, how to identify when peers or clients may need help, and the need for removing the stigma around mental health issues in Hong Kong.