Cl v Clkh Also Known As Ckhl

CourtFamily Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date22 Feb 2017
Judgement NumberFCMC6640/2015
SubjectMatrimonial Causes
FCMC6640/2015 CL v. CLKH also known as CKHL

FCMC 6640/ 2015

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

MATRIMONIAL CAUSES

NUMBER 6640 OF 2015

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BETWEEN
CL
Petitioner
And
CLKH also known as CKHL Respondent

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Coram: Deputy District Judge PANG in Chambers (Not open to public)
Date of Hearing: 3 February 2017
Date of Judgment: 22 February 2017

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J U D G M E N T
(Maintenance Pending Suit)

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The application

1. This is the hearing of the petitioner wife (“W”)’s application for maintenance pending suit (“MPS”) by the Summons dated 25 November 2016 for W and the child of the family, a daughter, (“child”) in the sum of $350,078.69 and from December 2016 onwards in the sum of $40,000 per month. Her application was amended by adding the prayer for an order that the respondent husband (“H”) shall also pay her the sum of $20,000 per month from May 2015 to November 2016.

Background

2. H is aged 37 and W is 43. The parties were married in June 2013 in Canada. The child was born in January 2015. Unhappy difference has since arisen and W issued the petition for divorce in May 2015, amended in September 2015. The Decree Nisi was pronounced on 18 November 2015. W filed the present application on 25 November 2016. On 28 November 2016, as a stop gap measure, it is ordered that H shall pay W the sum of $5,000 per month as MPS, the 1st payment to be made in December 2015. W said that during the period from the parties’ separation in April 2015 to the Order dated 28 November 2016, H had only paid $10,000 for the maintenance of W and the child. The Children Disputes Resolution hearing was scheduled to take place on 11 April 2017.

The Law

3. The law in this subject is well settled. The wife’s application for herself is governed by section 3 of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (“MPPO”), Cap.192. Provision for the child is under section 5 of the MPPO.

4. The court has a wide discretion in the matter, subject to the result being reasonable. In TL V ML & Ors (Ancillary Relief: Claim Against Assets of Extended Family) [2006] 1 FLR 1263, Deputy High Court Judge Mostyn QC (as he then was) stated at 1289: -

“The sole criterion to be applied in determining the application is ‘reasonableness’ (s 22 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973), which, to my mind, is synonymous with ‘fairness’.”

5. The court will consider all factors that may influence the outcome of the application so as to make such order as it regards reasonable in all circumstances of the case. In C v F [2006] HKFLR 41, HHJ Bruno Chan stated at 45: -

“Although the sole statutory guideline in considering maintenance pending suit is that the award shall be ‘reasonable’, the court will nevertheless bear in mind all the factors drawn to its attention relating to the marriage and the parties to it and perhaps the two most outstanding matters in every case, as in this one, are the standard of living of the parties, and the ability of the husband to pay.”

My view

6. I shall deal with the present application in accordance with the principles of law mentioned in the above.

The wife and the child’s needs

7. H accused W of being greedy. To him, the breakdown of the parties’ relationship was caused by his failure to extract further financial assistance from his family to support what he called W’s insatiable appetite for gifts and extravagant living standard. W denied his accusations.

8. The court might take into consideration the parties’ standard of living during marriage in making a determination on their reasonable needs. W said the parties had maintained a comfortable living standard during the marriage, that the parties lived in a rented apartment, about 1,100 sq. ft. with 3 rooms, in the urban area, the rent of which was $26,500 per month, that they employed one live-in domestic helper and one baby-sitter, and they travelled overseas every year. She said that the family expenses including household expenses, personal expenses and the expenses for the child were over $100,000 per month, that H paid the rent and took care of all of the general expenses and child expenses that were about $52,500 per month, and he additionally gave her $10,000 per month as pocket money.

9. In contrast, H said there were 3 sources of contributions to the family expenses, to wit, profits of the Japanese ramen shop (“Ramen Shop”), carried on and run by W, his parents’ and his financial contribution. However, I take notice that: -

(a) W disagreed with H’s assertion that the profits of the Ramen Shop were used to meet the family expenses.

(b) W accepted that H’s father made contribution to the parties living expenses. H estimated that his father, who...

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