Family, Matrimonial and Cohabitation
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C. Matters affecting children

In general, child custody refers to a court order for care and control over the child / children. The parent who is given custody after divorce shall be responsible for the daily care of the child and for making routine everyday decisions about his or her welfare. Joint custody may also be given.

In order to give a child maximum stability, in practice, it is usually in the interests of a child for the child to live in one parent's home and to visit the other parent on a regular basis ("visiting access").

However, such visits can, and often do, extend to a number of days or even weeks during school holidays.

In reality, where the circumstances warrant, it is possible for a child to spend half of his or her time in one parent's household and half in another parent's home. Parents are encouraged to reach amicable agreement , whenever possible, to avoid making costly application to Court.

If both parents want a joint custody, where both parents together make all the important decisions regarding their child's upbringing, the Court would grant a joint custody if it can be assured that the arrangement will work.

Joint custody is now generally encouraged as it is considered good for parents to realize that they both have a responsibility towards their child and their parental duties do not cease on the breakdown of the marriage. Obviously, no matter what kind of custody is granted, a high level of agreement and cooperation between the parties is encouraged and required.

  1. What factors will be considered by the Court in awarding custody of a child to either or both parties?
  2. My wife wants to apply for divorce and she plans to take our only daughter out of Hong Kong during the waiting period. Can I stop her?
  3. My wife refuses to see me and let me know where our daughter is, what should I do? How can I prevent my spouse from snatching our child?
  4. Can one parent take a child out of Hong Kong upon the grant of a custody order?
  5. My daughter has been living with my husband since I separated from him two years ago. How likely is that I will be granted custody of my daughter if I apply for a divorce now?
  6. How is a child's maintenance (financial support) determined?
  7. What factors will the Court consider in assessing the provision of child maintenance?

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