How to Divorce in Malaysia if Your Spouse Deserted You and Cannot be Found?
Getting a divorce in Malaysia as a non-Muslim may get complicated sometimes. This is especially if your spouse deserted you or disappeared from your life totally without saying anything. In other words, he or she has gone “missing in action” or MIA.
So what should you do in this case?
If you believe that it is time to move on with your life by getting a divorce in Malaysia, what action should you be taking? Afterall, how can you get a divorce if your spouse cannot be contacted after deserted you and your children (if any)?
In such circumstances, worry not. You can still apply for a divorce by way of a single petition for divorce in Malaysia.
Generally, before one can file for a single petition for divorce in Malaysia, it is necessary to go through the marriage counselling with the JPN required under the law. This is in order to allow parties to reconcile, if possible.
If the other party deserted you and cannot be found or contacted at all by any way, it is necessary to first file an application to the court to seek for exemption from the marriage counselling required under the law based on the fact that you are being deserted and the other party cannot be found or contacted at all.
Subsequently, if the court allows your application, then only you can proceed to file for a single petition for divorce where this is the actual process to apply for a divorce in Malaysia unilaterally. In such cases, you may want to rely on the grounds of desertion as well as the fact that your husband cannot be found at all. In addition, this petition should also include other reasons on why you are seeking a divorce.
Having said that, the court shall have full discretion to ensure that all reasonable means to contact or reach your spouse has been attempted including serving the divorce petition to the last known address of your spouse and advertising the divorce petition on a selected newspaper portal (or any other ways deemed reasonable as directed by the court).
In these cases, your divorce lawyer shall guide you through the whole process in order to obtain a divorce order from the court by proving to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down due to the act of your spouse. This is also commonly known as uncontested single petition for divorce where the petition cannot be contested in any way since the other party cannot be found at all.
If you have a similar situation and are seeking to get a divorce, you are encouraged to seek advice from a divorce lawyer on how to navigate the divorce process in the event your spouse cannot be contacted at all in Malaysia.