29 Jan 2021 by Kimberly Ann Dasse

[Matrimonial FAQ] The How of Divorce

At JC Legal, we take pride in serving matrimonial clients from a variety of backgrounds.  In our experience, no matter where you come from or your financial situation, when it comes to divorce, the questions are often the same for everyone.

We do not have children, agree on the divorce, and know how we want to divide our assets, are there alternatives to filing a petition for divorce?

If you have been separated for more than one year, Parties can file a joint application.  Doing so will give them the opportunity to tell the court how they want to manage matters from the date of filing.

What is a Form E?

If parties are divorcing by way of petition for divorce, each side will be required to provide full and frank disclosure of their assets, liabilities, and income.  This is done by filling out a Form E.  The parties are required to fill out and exchange their respective Forms E prior to the first court hearing in their matter and is sworn under criminal penalties for perjury.  It is very useful in resolving financial difference between parties because, when filled out frankly – as required, the parties have a realistic view of each other’s assets, liabilities, and income, which can help them create realistic financial arrangements.

My spouse wants to mediate, should I?

Mediation allows the parties to discuss their differences, find creative solutions, and reduce court costs. Parties can also maintain more control over the outcome than litigating, but it is best to discuss this option with your solicitor first.

How long will it take to get a “final divorce”?

After all the proceedings are finished, which can take several months or over a year or more, depending on how litigious the parties are, the first stage of obtaining a final divorce is to apply for a Decree Nisi.  This acts a kind of announcement that the divorce is about to happen.  About six weeks after that, a Decree Absolute will be issued.  This is the document that makes the divorce final.

We are not married and have decided to split up, what rights do I have as a father?

Unmarried fathers do not have the same rights to their children as unmarried mothers in Hong Kong.  Unmarried fathers must apply to the courts to secure parental rights.

This summary is for information purposes only. Its contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for detailed advice in individual cases. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between JC Legal and the user or browser. JC Legal is not responsible for any third-party content which can be accessed through the hyperlink provided in this summary.