Cyyj v Ckc

CourtFamily Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date14 Jan 2016
Judgement NumberFCMC6799/2015
SubjectMatrimonial Causes
FCMC6799/2015 CYYJ v. CKC

FCMC 6799/2015

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

MATRIMONIAL CAUSES

NUMBER 6799 OF 2015

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BETWEEN

CYYJ Petitioner

and

CKC Respondent
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Coram: Her Honour Judge Sharon D. Melloy in Chambers (Not open to public)
Date of Hearing: 10 November 2015
Date of Judgment: 14 January 2016

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J U D G M E N T
(Maintenance pending suit and interim maintenance)

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Introduction

1. This is an application by a petitioner wife for maintenance pending suit for herself and interim maintenance for the three children of the family. In the wife’s Notice of Application dated the 25 August 2015 she only refers to maintenance pending suit, which strictly speaking means that she is only entitled to make an application for interim support for herself. Counsel for the husband has referred to this in her written submission and says that consequently the wife may only rely on section 3 of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance, Cap 192 (MPPO) when making this application. Counsel for the husband has countered this and has said that she is referring to both sections 3 and section 5 of the same ordinance. Section 5 deals with interim maintenance for children.

2. For the avoidance of doubt I am approaching this application on the basis that the wife is seeking maintenance pending suit for herself in accordance with section 3 and interim maintenance for the three children of the family in accordance with section 5 of the MPPO. This is self evident from the papers. Indeed the order for interim interim financial support was made on that premise. I will therefore give leave for the wife to amend her Notice of application retrospectively so that there can be no misunderstandings in that respect.

Background

3. The parties married on the XX May 2009. They are both 34 years of age. They have three children – the eldest daughter M, who is nearly 3 years of age and twin boys who are almost 1 year old. The wife has not worked since the eldest child was born, but previously worked as a merchandiser/secretary. The husband is a fireman. The wife is now a full time mother and housewife. There is therefore no dispute that the only source of income comes from the husband.

4. The divorce petition was issued on the 2 June 2015, based on the husband’s unreasonable behaviour. This was later amended twice and the parties are now proceeding on a milder form of particulars. There have also been difficulties with respect to the arrangements for the children in part because the children are so small. The respondent is however currently seeing the children on a regular basis. In so far as the interim finances are concerned, by virtue of a court order dated the 21 September 2015 the husband is currently paying the wife a total of HK$30,000 per month (i.e. HK$9,000 per month for herself and HK$7,000 per month for each of the three children) plus he has undertaken to continue to pay for the mortgage on the former matrimonial home in the sum of HK$15,512 per month. In total then the husband is paying HK$45,512 per month by way of interim financial support for the wife and three children.

5. The wife is now seeking HK$60,512 per month – i.e. HK$45,000 per month in maintenance plus ongoing payment of the mortgage. The husband for his part is offering a total of HK$40,000 per month inclusive of the mortgage. The parties are therefore over HK$20,000 per month apart.

6. I should say at the outset that cases like this are always very difficult to determine. It is clear from both parties Form E’s that historically they have enjoyed a comfortable, but not an overly lavish life style. Now that the parties are living apart and there are three children to support, it is clear that the same lifestyle cannot be maintained. The difficulty is identifying where exactly economies can be made. Longer term it seems to me that the parties will need to make some very difficult decisions about how their life style can be sustained, if at all. In the meantime I am asked to make an order on an interim basis designed to see them through to a final hearing or preferably to a final agreement on ancillary relief.

The law

7. The law is not in dispute (subject to the caveat in paragraphs 1 and 2 above). Applications of this nature are set out in s 3 and 5 Matrimonial...

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