Hong Kong residents can start a petition for divorce only if having been married for at least 1 year and be able to prove reasons (or "grounds") for saying that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. They have to fill in a petition form and take it personally to the Family Court Registry. If the couple jointly apply to the court, they should together fill in a joint application form.If there are children of the family who are under the age of 18, Their custody and access must be included. Petitioners seeking legal advice can contact The Duty Lawyer Service's free Legal Advice Scheme for preliminary legal advice including matrimonial law in District Offices.
The Family Court holds family mediation designed to help couples who are divorcing or separating reach their own mutually acceptable agreements about ongoing arrangements for their children and / or how to resolve financial matters.
It is a voluntary process in which a specially trained, impartial third person, the mediator, seeks to help both sides to communicate effectively and to negotiate issues in dispute, all in a completely confidential setting.