Annulment or Nullity of Marriage in Malaysia
What is Annulment or Nullity of Marriage in Malaysia?
To simply put it, annulment or nullity of marriage in Malaysia is an application to the High Court in Malaysia to “cancel” the marriage as if the marriage never existed.
This is different from divorce because even after a divorce order is granted, the marriage existed legally before the divorce. On the other hand, an order for annulment or nullity of marriage means that the marriage has never “existed”.
Briefly, for annulment or nullity of marriage in Malaysia, the law states that some marriages are void (never existed at all) and some are voidable (existed until either party chose to apply to the High Court to annul the marriage).
For this article, we shall discuss solely on voidable marriages.
Grounds for voidable marriage in Malaysia
So you might ask what are the requirements to start an application to annul a marriage in Malaysia.
To start a petition for annulment in Malaysia, the petitioner (applicant) must satisfy the High Court in Malaysia that his/her case falls under one of the grounds mentioned in S.70 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 namely:
(a) that the marriage has not been consummated (marriage completed by sexual intercourse) owing to the incapacity of either party to consummate it;
(b) that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the wilful refusal of the Respondent to consummate it;
(c) that either party to the marriage did not validly consent to it, whether in consequence of duress, mistake, unsoundness of mind or otherwise;
(d) that at the time of the marriage either party, though capable of giving a valid consent, was a mentally disordered person or to such an extent as to unfit for marriage;
(e) that at the time of the marriage the Respondent was suffering form veneral disease (sexually transmitted disease) in a communicable form;
(f) that at the time of the marriage the Respondent was pregnant by some person other than the Petitioner.
Above are the grounds / requirements to start a petition of annulment in the High Court in Malaysia and you need to satisfy only either 1 of the grounds mentioned. It is also important to know that even if both parties agreed to the ground of annulment, the High Court in Malaysia has the discretion to inquire or request for evidences further to prove the allegation or ground for annulment.
On another note, there is no requirement that you must be married for at least 2 years to start a petition for annulment in Malaysia unlike a divorce.
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