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J. Overseas divorce and legal separations

Courts in Hong Kong will recognise parties who have divorced or have had a legal separation overseas if:

  • Either spouse was a habitual resident in the place where divorce was obtained; or,
  • Either spouse was a national of the place where divorce was obtained.


However, a divorce (or legal separation) obtained overseas will not be recognised in Hong Kong if one of the spouses were not given sufficient notice or opportunity to take part in the divorce proceedings or if it is against public policy.


Parties who have obtained an overseas divorce that is recognised by Hong Kong courts can also apply for financial/ancillary relief against their former spouse through Hong Kong courts. However, if one of the divorced parties remarries, he/she cannot make an application for financial relief against the other divorced party.


If a divorced party wishes to make an application for financial relief, he/she must show that Hong Kong courts have the jurisdiction to deal with the claim. The requirements are that at the date of making this application or on the date the overseas divorce was obtained, either of the divorced parties:

  • Was domiciled in Hong Kong, or
  • Was a habitual resident in Hong Kong for the previous 3 years, or
  • Had a substantial connection with Hong Kong.