If you are petitioning for divorce on your own account, fill in a petition form and take it personally to the Family Court Registry.
Except in the case of a Joint Application for divorce, the Court shall not hold the marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless the applicant for divorce (i.e. the petitioner) satisfies the Court of one or more of the following facts:
- that your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with your spouse;
- that your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot be reasonably expected to live with your spouse; Usually it is a series of misconducts or intolerable behaviour. However, a single incident of grave misconduct is enough;
- that you and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 1 year before filing the petition and that your spouse consent to a divorce;
- that you and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately before filing the petition for divorce (in such a case your spouse's consent to a divorce is not required);
- that your spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of at least 1 year immediately before filing the petition for divorce.
In general, subject to the following exceptions, no petition for divorce could be presented to a Hong Kong Court before the expiration of the period of 1 year from the date of the marriage.
There are 2 possible exceptions to this "one year rule":
- exceptional hardship being suffered by the petitioner (“petitioner” being the applicant or the party presenting the petition for divorce); or
- exceptional depravity on the part of the respondent (“respondent” being the applicant's spouse / petitioner's spouse).