How Can A Wife Sue The Husband’s Mistress For Adultery In Malaysia
For as long as relationships have existed, infidelity has been occurring throughout history and across cultures. We see it in movies, read about it in newspapers and tabloids, and we hear it from gossips and whispers. It is common to see people stray from their marriage into the arms of another, and this can often cause heartbreaks and the breakdown of a marriage.
The law defines adultery as the voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other, but at least one of them is married at the time of the act. For civil marriages (non-Muslims marriages) in Malaysia, adultery happens to be one of the legal grounds to file for a divorce.
While adultery itself is not a crime in a strict sense, Section 498 of the Penal Code states that it is a crime if a man seduces or entices a married woman for illicit intercourse, and this offence carries a 2 year jail sentence, a fine or both. Interestingly, although a man could be charged for cheating with someone else’s wife, there is no provision against the woman who is found to be cheating with someone else’s husband.
Even so, a wife can still pursue legal action against her husband’s mistress, albeit in a different manner. Under Section 58(1) of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, in a divorce scenario where adultery is alleged, the alleged third party can be made a co-respondent. What this means is that, firstly, the wife must establish a divorce case against her husband on the ground of adultery. The husband will be made the respondent in the matter, and then, the mistress as the co-respondent. If the adultery in question is proven to have taken place, the mistress can be liable to pay a monetary sum that the court thinks fit to the wife.
So in Malaysia, while a mistress may not be charged for getting involved in an extramarital affair, she can still be ordered by the court to pay monetary compensation. It should be noted that this provision on adultery would apply to an adulterer as well as an adulteress – if a man has an affair with someone’s wife, the husband can similarly sue him in court.
Infidelity is a common reason for the breakdown of a marriage, and it is understandable that an aggrieved spouse would wish to be compensated in some way. It can be challenging to prove adultery, and the court has to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the claim is true. Therefore, if a woman intends to sue her husband’s mistress for adultery, it is wise to collect any and every evidence that would support the claim. Useful evidence may include intimate pictures of the husband and the mistress and the birth of an illegitimate child in the extramarital affair.
If your marriage has fallen apart due to an unfaithful partner, it is not the end of the world, and a divorce may set you free from a meaningless relationship. Talk to a lawyer after amassing as much evidence of the adultery as possible, so that you can build a strong case to submit to court and get a judgment in your favour.
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