HK Divorce with Philippine Complication

Posted by TaratanGaz 11 yrs ago
I am currently wrestling with a complicated divorce scenario. My filipina girlfriend (an HK permanent resident) was previously married to a US citizen (married in US). She successfully petitioned for divorce that was granted in HK. She still however carries her married name in her Philippine's passport and HK ID card. She recently tried to change the passport to her maiden name but was informed by the Philippines Consulate that she must apply for "recognition of foreign divorce" through the courts in the Philippines.

Under HK rules she can remarry however I am not sure of the implications of this re the Philippine's if she does this before the above recognition is granted ? What obstacles will she face in upgrading her passport and HK ID to a new married name ?

Any advice appreciated on how to move forward.

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cookie09 11 yrs ago
why not call the government? i would think the HK govt is less of an issue but the Phil gvt might cause problems.

why not marry in hk now with the US divorce papers on hand but each one of you retain your current name (which is the former married name in her case).

then she proceeds to get the divorce confirmed in the phils. once done, you do a deed of poll in hk to have her (and your name maybe) changed to your new common family name, and then she proceeds to change her passport/hk ID.

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TaratanGaz 11 yrs ago
Beancurd, marriage was in US but Philippines passport was changed to reflect new married name. Issue is to get this changed we require Philippines court to recognize divorce. Apparently this is an additional process over and above the actual divorce that we have already completed.

Cookie09, thanks for the comment. Problem I am facing is that HK Immigration will only change the HK ID card if the Phil's passport is changed. To do this I need the divorce recognized in the Phils. If we go ahead and get married in HK before this (which we are entitled to do) I am concerned that Phil's Consulate will say that the Phil's acceptance of divorce is after the HK marriage date. Technically my fiance will therefore be committing bigamy in the eyes of the Phil's. This will therefore cause potential problems later in my fiance changing to my name.

Any thoughts welcome ?

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cookie09 11 yrs ago
am not sure but I think you need to split the issue of the name from the issue of marriage/divorce.

in hk you can make a name change pretty much at will (deed poll) and i would think that almost every country will change the name in the passport based on this deed poll made under HK law, regardless whether they allow such a name change under their own country's laws at home.

marriage/divorce is a separate issue. i would personally never register my marriage in my home country except if there is a real benefit to be had. e.g. by registering a HK marriage in germany, the spouse can apply for german citizenship after some time and then travel more freely in many countries.

now I dont think you want to register your marriage in the Phils to get the Phils citizenship, right? I don't know whether there is another good reason but as long as you don't register the marrage in the phils, the phils govt should also never find out that she got married in hk before the phils courts approved her divorce.

the big question is of course whether the phils govt accepts a name change under hk law (without a marriage involved) and whether the process to make the deed poll and get the phil passport changed takes less time than simply going through the phil court divorce process.

sorry can't help really but just some ideas.

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Sade111 11 yrs ago
There is no divorce in the Philippines. However, through an amendment to the Philippine Family Code, a divorce in another country could be recognized in the Philippines. However, such divorce needs to be recognized by the Philippine courts. Hence the advice of the Philippine Consulate in HK. If you have the right papers (i.e. authenticated papers to prove such divorce), this process could take from weeks to a few months. So the sooner you start the process, the better.

I am not familiar with the legal process in HK but if it's like any other jurisdiction, any foreigner wanting to marry would most likely be required to give proof of "capacity to contract marriage". And this document can be obtained from the Philippine Consulate in HK. Obviously, with your fiance's current state, without getting her US divorce recognized by a Philippine court, the Philippine Consulate will not give this. So it's not as simple as the " Philippine government never finding out that she got married in HK".

Assuming HK law allows you to marry without such proof of capacity to contract marriage, your wife would technically be committing bigamy under Philippine law and that will open doors to a few more complications.

Since your wife-to-be still carries a Philippine passport, she is a citizen of the Philippines and is subject to its laws, including capacity to marry and change names. In the Philippines, marriage is still a constitutional matter so the state will always step in the dissolution, hence the need to be recognized by a Philippine court.

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cookie09 11 yrs ago
I am 99% sure that the divorce papers obtained in HK are good enough under HK law as a proof of 'capacity to contract marrage'. So you can get married under HK law for sure.

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TaratanGaz 11 yrs ago
Thanks for your helpful responses this has helped clarify my understanding. We are now underway with the process of "recognition of foreign divorce" in the Philippines. Marriage was in the US and divorce in HK is ok to allow HK future marriage.

Beancurd, does your HK ID card show your old married name same as the passport ? OR did you change that to your new married name ? Do you plan just to keep your passport to your old married name for the future ?

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TaratanGaz 11 yrs ago
Good luck in your cert of finality. Hope comes soon. Is there no problem that your marriage cert is dated before your cert of finality ?

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ayessa 9 yrs ago
good day.,.

i know you have idea about this situation.

im a filipina.

i need your help how can i file a petition for divorce.

im suffering for almost 12 years of marriage no any complain from me just because i want to save my family with my two kids, but suddenly i found it that its not working the reason is psychological incapacity, financial problem, third party etc.

im working 1 1/2 years here in hk. i want to file a petition but i dont know what is the first step for doing that.,

hoping for your response thank you so much..

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Loyd Grossman is Miss Venezuela 9 yrs ago
Sorry but this is classic Philippines - a simple situation made complicated a thousand times over.

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ice_freezzz 7 yrs ago
hi beancurd want to know some details about divorce here in hk.

we marry in phils. i have filipino husband but we separated long time ago,

i already apply my divorce paper here in hk. a few days ago. my question is,

if my ex will not sign to the papers that the family court gave it to me, to send to him, is the divorce will still granted? and im using his surname in my passport,

and one more thing my boyfriend want to marry me and he is a resident here in

hk, is there any possibility that after we married here in hk and he will process my paper to be his dependant, is there any chances? eventhough im still using my ex surname, and also in applying to get married here in hk.? it will not be complicated?


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sweetheart123 6 yrs ago
Ice.. you can go Legal aid here in hongkong for divorce ...

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shajami 5 yrs ago
Hi ice I have a same situation like I read this post is already a year your divorce granted?and have u process your dependant visa?i want to know more information on how did you do all from the beginning.coz I want to file a divorce here in hongkong and my boyfriend is a HK resident and want to marry me so he can apply my dependant of now I am working as a domestic helper.thank u so much and hope u can help me on this..

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ice_freezzz 5 yrs ago

my divorce is already granted last oct 2014 it took 9 months
and we already marry here in hk, and my dependant visa is
on processing right now, 2 weeks pass already, and i'm waiting
for the second letter from the immigration. if you want to divorce
your husband here in hk, i can introduce to you my atty. if u want
just leave your contact no.

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shajami 5 yrs ago
Hi ice here is my number 56854336.thanks

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ladyrose05 5 yrs ago
hi guys,I'm new here,I just want to ask about diverse,I'm marriage in the Phil but my x husband and I was separated about 9yrs.and he's living with the other gal already while I'm here in hongkong for work,I have American boyfriend and we want to get married and live together, my concern is if we are going to get marriage here in hongkong and he's going back to USA can he sent he an spouse visa?
or what is the best easier, just in case my diverse is granter,spouse visa or fiance visa,we still have second thought about getting married here on in USA,pls give some idea.thank you

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ladyrose05 5 yrs ago
sorry what I mean us divorce not diverse.

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love2901 5 yrs ago
can anyone know a number of an atty here in hk...coz i want yo have a divorce here in hk..thanks

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Nice87 5 yrs ago
Hello miss ICE_ FREEZZZ..Im Janice working here as DH in hongkong..
Can you please help me to introduce to your Lawyer here in HK? I want to get a divorce here..Im married in Philippines too but separated already..I hope this.message.of mine..
here is my contract number 55051487 if anyone knows atty. In here for processing Divorce..thank you

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Indiaboy800 5 yrs ago
She must have to apply for the annulment in the philippines.
And there will be a possibility that she was registered her marriage in the Philippines thats why she
carries the name of her husband.
What she has to do is she need to prove it to the philippines that her divorce in the abroad (Lets say US) has been approved. Provides the documents so she is cleared with the divorce there. Secondly has has to apply for the name changes. (From her ex) for which she need to prove that the divorce has been approved by the Philippine court as well.

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dell137000 5 yrs ago
I too was previously married in the Philippines. I was supposed to get a divorce in HK but I contacted a lawyer in the Philippines and she told me that since I am still a Filipino Citizen. even if I obtain a divorce in HK, it would be useless because the divorce will not be recognized in the Philippines. She said that I cannot petition for the recognition of my divorce in the Philippines because I am a Filipino Citizen and that ONLY DIVORCE obtained by foreigners can be recognized by the courts in the Philippines. In other words, a divorce obtained by a Filipino Citizen anywhere, cannot be recognized by the Philippine court. I asked the Philippine embassy if they would change my name in my passport if I would submit a divorce decree and the Phil Embassy said that they would not because my divorce will not be recognized in the Philippines.
My Philippine lawyer advised me to instead file a petition for annulment of marriage in the Philippines. I was hesitant at first to file a case for annulment of my marriage because of the many horror stories I heard. I however had no choice and so I engaged the services of a Philippine lawyer I found online who provided me free legal advice by email. I filed the petition and in about a year, my petition for annulment was granted. After that, I was able to change my name in my passport. The lawyer I hired is Atty. Jeanie Pulido. Her email address is and her cellphone number is 0917 7947849. I asked permission from her if I can post her name and contact details and she said I could.

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mjdean 5 yrs ago
Hi everyone..hi to Ice_freezzz. please contact me ,98531026.thanks

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trixie7506 5 yrs ago
Hello MJDEAN i guess we have in the same situation please let me know if u have lawyer, i need also... Have a nice day☺

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jbell1985 4 yrs ago
Hello Everyone,

Thanks to all that have posted here. It has given me a lot of useful information.

My Girlfriend and I have been together for over 2 years now, very much in love. She is Filipino and has been working in HK for over 6 years. She is married to a guy in Philippines but they have been separated for 8 years. I go over to see her for a few weeks every year. I have never been married.

I would like to marry her and get her a spouse visa so that she can come and live in the UK with me. We have plenty of photos from our time together and our relationship is genuine so no problem with that. I am just worried about whether or not we need a CENOMAR. Is it true that a CENOMAR is only needed when the person is single and never married before?

We are starting divorce proceedings in HK soon and the husband has agreed to sign the paperwork when it is ready for him to sign. So getting the divorce shouldn't be a problem.

What I am wondering is. When we come to get married in HK. Will the divorce papers be enough to allow us to get married? Also, once we are married will the marriage certificate along with divorce papers from her previous marriage be enough for the spouse visa application for the UK?

Thanks for any help you can provide me.


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dell137000 4 yrs ago
Hello All,

As I have earlier posted, I went through the same process.
Getting divorce in HK is an option. However, the divorce obtained by a Filipina will not be recognized in the Philippines. Only divorces obtained by foreigners married to Filipina can be recognized in the Philippines.

If a Filipina would get a divorce in HK and if under HK laws, the Filipina can get married, that will solve your problem. However, if the Filipina is carrying the surname of the ex-husband, the Philippine Embassy or our Department of Foreign Affairs will not change the surname of the Filipina, even after the divorce. If that is no problem for you, I guess getting a divorce in HK and remarrying will be an option.

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jbell1985 4 yrs ago

That shouldn't be a problem for me. On all my partners documents including her passport and OEC etc she is single and has her maiden name. The only document she has with her married name is her marriage certificate. So once we get the divorce it should be fine to get married in HK and get her to the UK on a spouse visa.

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attyalice 4 yrs ago
I am a law practitioner in the Philippines. I specializes in Family law and Division of assets.
you may reach me here or via email.

I will be happy to answer your questions pertaining to Philippine family law. Including annulment.

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Zynab15 4 yrs ago
Hello AttyAlice,
This is Zynab, can i have your email address and phone number please,
If you don't mind. I need your advice for my situation.
Hope to hear from ypu Atty.. Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon


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attyalice 4 yrs ago
@Zynab15, here is the link where you can find me:

You may reach me at +639174113318

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