Divorce Support

We are committed to serving women with marriage problems, including setting up a women's helpline to provide prompt emotional support and counselling, offering free legal consultation service for women in need, and assorted counselling and support groups to bond together women with similar problems.

Back
未命名-5_工作區域 1 複本 5

Divorced women's plight in collecting maintenance payments

The number of divorce cases has risen from 2,062 in 1981 to 20,019 in 2014. According to the data of the Census and Statistics Department in 2010, nearly half of the maintenance payees failed to collect all the maintenance payments, while more women faced insult or even violence in seeking it. Ways of collecting maintenance include attachment of income order, judgment summons and bailiff but these measures obviously were not effective enough. In 2016, there were up to 13,900 cases of defaulting maintenance. Yet there were only 844 judgement summonses in that year, and only 78 attachment of income orders between 2012 and 2016. Collecting maintenance requires creditors to actively collect and adduce evidence, as well as the co-operation of the debtors, plus the complex legal procedures and the lack of pertinent and deterrent measures. Hence it is a great disturbance to both the creditors and their children mentally and economically.

1

Setting up an intermediary body to handle maintenance issues

We suggest establishing an intermediary body to collect and pay maintenance, instead of having the debtors to collect the maintenance payments themselves. It can simplify the process and the maintenance payees do not have to rush back and forth between the court and the welfare department in case of a default. The body should at least possess the following four functions:

 

  • Collecting maintenance: to be vested with the right to collect maintenance payments and trace the whereabouts of the payers under the request of the payees in the event of a default.
  • Collecting maintenance on behalf of the payees: even if there is not yet any default, the payees can still request the body to collect the payments.
  • Education: educate the public about the responsibilities of the maintenance payers, the rights of the maintenance payees, the consequences of disobeying court orders, and the services the payees can seek when they fail to collect the payments.
  • Coordination with different departments: currently the payees need to rush between different departments to collect maintenance and seek financial supports in the event of a default. We suggest that the payees do not have to prove the default to different departments. Instead, the body can notify relevant departments such as Social Welfare Department so that corresponding administrative support measures can be taken such as postponing reducing comprehensive social security assistance. As for the structure of the body, such kind of organization is usually under a government department in foreign countries, such as Tax Bureau or Social Protection Department.

Related Press Releases / Statements

policy address 2018 response
Press Releases

HKFWC's Responses to Policy Address 2018

Please refer to Chinese version

DSCF5429拷貝
Press Releases

Women's Forum 2018

Please refer to Chinese version

pregnant-2720433
Press Releases

HKFWC's Responses to Policy Address 2017

Please refer to Chinese version

Press Releases

Legal Advice Clinic Service's Statistics

Please refer to Chinese version

Statements

Stalking - Protection vs Freedom

Please refer to Chinese version

Related Events & Programmes

倡議

Roundtable on the Maintenance

We conducted a survey on alimony from July to October 2016; 185 divorced women responded to the survey. The survey found that more than 60% of respondents found it difficult to collect alimony payments, generally due to the payments being in arrears. More than four-tenths of respondents (86%)...

Photo 22

Roundtable on the Proposed Legislation on the Parental Responsbility Model

In November 2015, the Labour and Welfare Bureau held a public consultation on the proposed legislation with respect to custody and alimony and on proposals set out in the Law Reform Commission's Report on Child Custody and Access Report. The legislation sets out a joint parental responsibility...

Related Publications