Registration of the order in Hong Kong
There are detailed provisions in respect of how and when the registration can be made. The order must be enforceable on the Mainland, made by the appropriate court and not subject to an appeal. An application can be made to register the Mainland judgement by application to the District Court in Hong Kong after first obtaining a certificate from the Mainland court. With a care-related order or a status-related order, the application can be made straight away and should be made within two years of non-compliance. A maintenance related order can only be applied for on non-compliance.
Registration of a Mainland order can be set aside on certain grounds including situations whereby a party has not had sufficient time or opportunity to make submissions, if there has been fraud, or proceedings have already started in a Hong Kong court or a judgment has already been given by a Hong Kong court or elsewhere in respect of the same cause of action between the same parties or if the judgement has been subject to appeal.
The registration will also be set aside if the recognition or enforcement of the specified order is manifestly contrary to the public policy of Hong Kong. In respect of applications concerning a child under the age of 18, the registering court must take into account the best interests of the child.
Once the care or maintenance related orders have been registered, they will be enforceable in Hong Kong as if they had been originally made in Hong Kong. A status-related order will be recognized as valid on registration, so long as the time limit to apply to set aside has expired.
If there are proceedings pending before the Hong Kong court relating to the same cause of action and the same parties, these will be stayed until the issue of registration of the Mainland order or setting aside application has been dealt with.
Also, the court has a discretion to make orders to maintain or restore the status quo, ensuring the welfare and best interests of a child or preventing an irremediable injustice. An exception to the restrictions on parallel proceedings is an application under Part IIA of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (Cap. 192) where financial relief can be sought in Hong Kong after a foreign divorce.