Preparation of a Prenuptial Agreement in Malaysia: Divorce in Malaysia
(Updated on November 2017)
Imaging a couple is getting married in less than a week. Suddenly the groom-to-be popped the question and asked if the bride-to-be would sign a prenuptial agreement in Malaysia before their intended marriage.
It is not surprising that the bride-to-be would be furious and started questioning what is this all about. Who would sign a contract to decide on how to distribute their assets after a divorce if the marriage is going to take place soon!
There are many misconceptions that prenuptial agreement is not valid in Malaysia!
This is however, not true.
Firstly, what is a prenuptial agreement?
In short, a prenuptial agreement essentially dictates what and how both parties’ personal and jointly owned properties are to be divided among both parties in the event of a divorce.
The next question is, is prenuptial agreement valid in Malaysia?
Although there is no mention on the validity of a prenuptial agreement in Malaysia, it is still essentially valid as long as the agreement does not contravene any provision of the Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976 (the 1976 Act) and a prenuptial agreement is highly persuasive to the Court to make decision should there be any dispute.
Besides, under S. 56 of the 1976 Act, it does provides that parties may refer an agreement (such as a deed of separation) to the High Court of Malaysia in regards to the parties’ matrimonial proceedings on agreement or arrangement for the Court to express opinion if it is reasonable or otherwise.
Therefore, in order to protect both parties’ personal assets, both parties can consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. In a prenuptial agreement, both parties can spell out and disclose all their personal assets (or separate assets) as well as how to distribute their matrimonial assets in the event of divorce.