When a marriage goes sour it is important to know how to manage your emotions and when to seek legal advice. Rita discusses some the implications and complications for Chinese citizens when getting a divorce in Hong Kong as well as in the PRC.
Note: We have provided a transcript of the video if you are unable to listen to the audio. This transcript is generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors.
When a spouse receives a petition for divorce they will be shocked, hurt, angry. Especially when there was no prior discussion between them. And in the midst of all these emotions, what we often see is they will defend for the divorce that there is no irretrievable break down of the marriage or they will be arguing on the facts of the unreasonable behaviour. So this often happens. The solution is that because there's hardly any divorce fight on the divorce itself so we would usually advise clients to agree with the other side on a watered-down petition on very mild unreasonable behaviour, or we agree to a no fault divorce. If there is no settlement after rounds of negotiation, what we can do is to fight in court unfortunately, but at the same time we advice clients to seek professional advice, or counselling to deal with their emotions.
What happens if your spouse or assets are in China?
I've seen a lot of families coming from China to Hong Kong since 1997 for all sorts of different reasons. Like a family decision to explore more business opportunities in Hong Kong, or the other way around for the children to receive better education. If these families have a divorce in Hong Kong, the implications could be huge and the process would be complicated because they have connections both in Hong Kong and the PRC. It's likely that they will end up with a divorce in Hong Kong as well as in the PRC, which will be expensive and lengthy. Due to the complications of these sorts of divorce in Hong Kong, my best advice would be to seek legal advice earlier rather than later because it depends on the circumstances of each case. It may support your situation or work against you.