Marriage Counselling Before Filing A Single Petition Divorce In Malaysia
Have you been told to attend a marriage counselling in Malaysia before filing a single petition divorce in Malaysia?
Under the Malaysia Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (‘the Divorce law’), parties must go through marriage counselling first before either party can file a single petition divorce in Malaysia. Such requirement is not necessary for a joint petition divorce where both parties agree to divorce and all its divorce terms.
If there is no agreement to divorce or there is no agreement in any of the term of divorce, you will be advised by your divorce lawyer to attend a marriage counselling with the JPN Marriage Tribunal.
After 6 months or 3 sessions of the said marriage counselling, if the JPN Marriage Tribunal fails to reconcile both of you or if any of the party is absent during the 3 sessions of counselling , they are required to issue a certificate and/or letter to certify that both parties cannot be reconciled.
Once the certificate and/or letter is issued by the Marriage Tribunal, you can now send this certificate and/or letter to your divorce lawyer to start and file a single petition divorce in Malaysia.
Essentially, this is important to convince and satisfy the High Court in Malaysia that the marriage is over and broke down irretrievably.
However, there are circumstances where either party may apply to the High Court for an exemption from attending a marriage counselling. Under the Divorce law, either party may apply for an exemption from attending the said counselling if any of the ground below can be proved:
a) where the petitioner alleges that he or she has been deserted by and does not know the whereabouts of his or her spouse;
b) where the respondent is residing abroad and it is unlikely that he or she will enter jurisdiction within 6 months next ensuing after the date of the petition;
c) where the respondent has been required to appear before a conciliatory body and has wilfully failed to attend;
d) where the respondent is imprisoned for a term of 5 years or more;
e) where the petition alleges that the respondent is suffering from incurable mental illness; or
f) where the court is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which make reference to a conciliatory body impracticable.
You may also speak to your divorce lawyer on what is your reason to get an exemption and your divorce lawyer shall advice and apply for an exemption on your behalf accordingly.
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