A. Requirements for getting married in Hong Kong
The minimum age for getting married is 16 years of age. If either party is between the age of 16 and 20 years, written consent from parent or guardian, or order of the court is required. There are no residential requirements for marrying parties and the parties may be of any nationality. The marriage has to be heterosexual and monogamous, and the parties cannot be within the prohibited degrees of relationships defined as kindred or affinity.
As the parties have to declare their marital condition on the Notice of Intended Marriage, when a divorced person remarries, he/she must disclose the fact that he/she is ‘divorced’ on the marriage certificate.
Kindred and affinity
The marriage is invalid if there is a relationship between two persons defined as kindred or affinity. Generally speaking, parties that have kindred relationship i.e. parents/grandparents and children (including adopted parent/children), brothers and sisters (including those of half-blood), and sisters/brothers of parents (blood related uncle and auntie) along with children of brother/sisters (nephews and nieces) could not be married.
The concept of affinity is more complicated, it is a relationship created by bonding of marriage. Examples are children and grandchildren of former wife or husband (step-children/grandchildren) and former wife or husband of parents or grandparents (step-parent/grandparent). A marriage is not void by reason only of affinity if both parties are over the age of 21 and the younger party has not been “a child of the family” (living in the same household and treated as children) of the other party before the age of 18.
For marriage with parents of former wife or husband, or former spouse of children, it is not void by reason only of affinity if both parties are over the age of 21 and the marriage is solemnized:
- In the case of marrying the mother of a former wife, after the death of both the former wife and her father;
- In the case of marrying the father of a former husband, after the death of both the former husband and his mother;
- In the case of marrying the former wife of his son, after the death of both his son and the mother of his son (i.e. his own wife);
- In the case of marrying the former husband of her daughter, after the death of both her daughter and the father of her daughter (i.e. her own husband).