Application for Custody of Legitimate or Illegitimate Child

According to Article 10 of Guardianship of Minors Ordinance, on the application of either of the parents of a minor, the Court may make an order regarding custody of the minor having regard to the best interests of minor and to the conduct and wishes of parents. The best interests of the minor are regarded as the paramount consideration. The Court hence give due consideration to the views of the minor if it is practicable having regard to the minor’s age and understanding, and to any important information, such as reports of the Director of Social Welfare available to the court at the hearing.

The rights and authority of the mother and father of a child are equal, except where the child is born out of wedlock, which the mother has all the parental rights and authority. On the application of the unmarried father, however, the Court may order to grant some rights or authority to the father as if the child is legitimate. The Court may also make orders for financial provisions against a parent not having custody, including lump sum, periodical payments, transfer or settlement of property.

In MG v LHH [2008] HKFLR 256, the parents were not married and lived apart. The mother had difficulty in looking after two very young children so she agreed to let the grandmother take care of one child. The mother applied for custody of both children when she was not allowed to take the child back. Though the mother had the sole custody of children born out of wedlock, the court recognized the father’s legal rights; hence the court gave care and control of the children to the mother and awarded joint custody.

If necessary, you can also apply for legal aid. Ms. Ngan is a member of the lawyers at the Legal Aid Department for Criminal, Divorce/Family Law, Employees’ Compensation, Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, and Land Disputes. If legal aid is approved, the aided person has the right to choose a lawyer to represent.

Please feel free to contact us at 69776708 for Mr Lam or make an appointment.

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