July 2016

Legal Update: Prenuptial Agreements and Hong Kong

by Monica M. Potter
According to the U.S. Census estimates, San Francisco and its surrounding areas, are one of three U.S. areas with the largest Chinese American populations. Many moving to the Bay Area come from Hong Kong.
Given the transient nature of an ever increasing mobile and technologically advanced society, many people from Hong Kong are choosing to live in California and Hong Kong-splitting their time between both places.
This has resulted in the need for couples living this bi-country lifestyle to consider having a prenuptial agreement. There are special considerations for these couples since should they decide to end their marriage, a divorce action could be filed in California or Hong Kong.
Prenuptial agreements, if prepared and executed properly, are enforceable in California. It is unclear whether prenuptial agreements will be enforceable in Hong Kong. However, although not required to be upheld, the existence of a valid and enforceable California prenuptial agreement may be evidence submitted to and taken into consideration by the Hong Kong courts.
It is important that clients retain a California family law attorney who will work with family law counsel in Hong Kong when drafting a prenuptial agreement which may be used as evidence in a Hong Kong dissolution.