The breakup of a relationship often have great impacts to the child. The welfare and interests of the child are paramount consideration. Anisha gives you some insights on how it can be approached if a parent wishes to relocate the child.
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.
In the event of marital breakdown, it's possible for a parent to remove a child from Hong Kong. Either the other parent must consent, and in the absence of consent a court order is required for the permanent removal of the child. If a couple have not married, the situation is a little bit different. In this situation, for example if you have an illegitimate father, the couple are not married, his name's on the birth certificate, he's not a custodial parent. This means that he would need to apply under the Guardian Minor's Ordinance, the GMO, to make a formal application to be a custodial parent. But in addition to that, the mother can make decisions for the child until the father becomes a custodial parent. She could have the child removed from Hong Kong, so in addition to the GMO custodial application he'll also need to make the application to bring the child back to Hong Kong, which would be the child's place of habitual residence.
If you do want to go about making an application to the court in the absence of the other parent's consent, we would make an application to the court for a permanent removal application. This entails the court looking at an application and how genuine that application is. The court will look at certain factors, the paramount consideration is the best interests of the child and whether the removal from Hong Kong would be in the child's best interest. The court would look at certain factors, some of these would be whether a child has been enrolled in a school, whether the child has a support system, whether the child has friends and relatives, what are the supporting circumstances that would enable the child to feel happier in that country for example. Those are just some of the few factors.
If a child has been wrongly removed from Hong Kong, it is possible to make an application to the court. If the child has been removed to a Hague Convention country, for example the United Kingdom, it possible to get a Hong Kong court order, and with reciprocal arrangements with that country and immigration, to bring that child to Hong Kong. Unfortunately there are circumstances where a child has been removed to a non-Hague country. The obvious example being China, just across the border, and in situations like that those are often slightly more difficult and complex applications. You'd need specialist legal advice, and that's something we can assist with.