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What Should You Do If You Receive a Divorce Petition in Malaysia?

What Should You Do If You Receive a Divorce Petition in Malaysia by TYH & Co. Best and Trusted Divorce Lawyer in KL Selangor Malaysia

What Should You Do If You Receive a Divorce Petition in Malaysia?

If you are reading this, it is likely that you may have received a legal notice or documents indicating that the documents to be divorce papers. You may be thinking what should you do if you receive a divorce petition in Malaysia and wish to know what are your options.

Before we proceed to answer this question, it is important to note that there are essentially 2 types of divorce procedure in Malaysia for non-Muslim divorce. This is commonly known as:

  • Joint Petition for Divorce (Mutual Divorce)
  • Single Petition for Divorce (Non-Mutual Divorce)

So, what should you do if you receive a divorce petition in Malaysia and when should you appoint a lawyer to protect your rights and interest?

To answer this question, it is important to first determine what legal documents you have received from the lawyer appointed by your spouse.

Joint Petition for Divorce

In the event if you receive a joint petition for divorce, the heading of the documents shall state ‘Petisyen Perceraian Bersama’ (Joint Petition for Divorce in Bahasa Malaysia). This is basically a proposal from your spouse to seek for divorce settlement.

In such circumstance, there is usually no need for you to appoint a divorce lawyer yet since you may communicate with the lawyer or law firm directly to negotiate on the divorce terms. Consent from both parties is required before the lawyer can proceed to file the divorce papers in the court.

On the other hand, if you are not comfortable communicating with the lawyer appointed by your spouse or you wish to understand your rights better in order to negotiate a better term for yourself, it is advisable to engage a divorce lawyer to propose your terms in order to protect your rights better.

Generally, it is advisable to seek for divorce settlement and file for joint petition for divorce in order to save time and cost for divorce if parties are unable to reconcile.

Single Petition for Divorce

In the event if you receive a single petition for divorce, the heading of the documents shall state ‘Petisyen Perceraian’ (Divorce Petition in Bahasa Malaysia). This is usually accompanied by other legal documents and generally there are more documents received compared to a joint petition for divorce.

Other than that, you will also realise that you are required to attend or present yourself in the court (or appoint a divorce lawyer to represent yourself) for the first case management in the court or hearing (depending on the status of your case). This will be stated in the divorce papers/cover letter prepared by the opposing lawyer.

In this scenario, it is important to find and engage a divorce lawyer in order to understand your case and rights better. Since time is already running and there is a deadline for you to find a lawyer to represent/defend you in the court, it is advisable to seek and engage a divorce lawyer soonest possible in order for your divorce lawyer to have sufficient time to understand and prepare reply/defence for your case accordingly.

It is extremely important to take note that you should not ignore these divorce papers or documents completely (single petition for divorce). Failing to appear in the court or appointing a lawyer to represent you may result in the court granting orders in favour of your spouse against you.

In single petition for divorce, this will usually take 6-12 months (or more if it is complicated) to complete the divorce process since this process is procedurally lengthier and more complex.

Conclusion

In essence, it is highly advisable to engage a divorce lawyer in the event if you receive any legal documents from your spouse and/or lawyer of your spouse. This is to ensure that your rights are protected and in order for you to know your stand better especially if you are not comfortable communicating with the lawyer of your spouse.

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You may select based on what type of divorce papers you received in the event you have already received a divorce notice from the lawyer of your spouse.

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