4 Grounds To File A Single Petition Divorce In Malaysia
There is no doubt that marriage is one of the most beautiful things in life. Everyone has pictured themselves with the perfect one at some point of life. If you are lucky enough, you may have already found your Mr or Mrs Right and decided to recite the marriage vows in front of all those people whom you love- your kin and kith. Nonetheless, not all marriages necessarily lead to happy endings. Some ends in death, some ends in divorce. Yours may just be one of them that do not work out, and that is completely fine.
There are two types of divorce- Joint Petition and Single Petition Divorce. This article solely focuses on the latter involving civil marriages in Malaysia and not Islamic marriages. Also known as Unilateral Petition Divorce, Single Petition Divorce is when either spouses files a petition to divorce without the other party’s agreement, reason being the marriage has broken down.
Watching Hong Kong dramas is a norm in Malaysia as a source of entertainment. From the law-themed TVB dramas, we have picked up the misconception that living separately for more than two years is a requirement to file for divorce. In actual fact, that is only one of the four grounds for divorce. At least ONE out of the four grounds for marriage breakdown accepted by the law needs to be proven in order to get a decree of divorce.
Ground 1: Adultery
The first ground for divorce is adultery. Under this ground for divorce, your spouse has committed adultery and you deem it intolerable to keep living with them. The act of your spouse voluntarily having sexual intercourse with a person from the opposite sex is considered adultery. However, proofs are required to show that your spouse has committed adultery. Your sheer doubts of presuming that it has happened is unacceptable. Since it is rather difficult to catch people committing adultery while they are in the act (literally having sex), proofs that an adultery has taken place could include seeing your spouse holding hands with another person from the opposite sex, and hearing obscene noises from the bedroom.
Ground 2: Behaviour
The second ground for divorce is behaviour. To use this ground for divorce, you must show that you are unable to live with your spouse because of their behaviour. You ought to provide proofs of your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour. Generally, “unreasonable behaviour” is based on what a sane, right-minded person would deem inappropriate. Therefore, this ground is subjective and it largely depends on current values, morals and norms. For instance, it could be lack of trust, fond of giving the silent treatment, as well as frequent quarrelling, causing you to lead a miserable life owing to the constant unhappy environment at home.
Ground 3: Desertion
The third ground for divorce is desertion. Under this ground for divorce, your spouse has deserted or in layman’s term, abandoned you for two years. Desertion is not necessarily physical, meaning not living together. Staying under the same roof but leading separate lives can be considered as a form of desertion as well. You ought to prove that your spouse has the intention to permanently leave you; did not obtain your consent to leave; doesn’t have a good reason to leave you; and has left you for two years continuously.
Ground 4: Separation
The last and simplest ground for divorce is separation. To use this ground for divorce, you need to show that you and your spouse have lived separately for 2 years continuously. As simple as that.
These are the four grounds for divorce accepted by the law in order to issue a decree of divorce. Choose at least one that suits your situation.
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