Divorce in Malaysia
Essentially, under the law of Divorce in Malaysia, specifically the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (‘LRA’), there are only 3 grounds of divorce:
- Dissolution of Marriage due to conversion to Islam.
- Dissolution by Mutual Consent (Both husband and wife agreed for divorce).
- Grounds of irretrievable breakdown of marriage (Adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion of a party to a marriage for at least 2 years OR parties to the marriage lived apart for at least 2 years continuously).
Dissolution of Marriage due to conversion to Islam
Under Section 51 of the LRA, it is mentioned that the non-convert spouse can apply for divorce after 3 months of conversion of the converted spouse. This is because under the same Act, the converted spouse cannot apply for such divorce as the LRA does not apply to a Muslim. Hence, the marriage is not dissolved until the non-convert filed for a divorce petition in the High Court of Malaya.
Dissolution by Mutual Consent (Both husband and wife agreed for divorce. Also known as Joint Petition)
Under Section 52 of the LRA, both husband and wife can mutually agree to dissolve their marriage or divorce after 2 years. The Court will grant such an order if it is satisfied that both parties freely consented and that proper provision or maintenance is made to the wife for support and care and custody of the children.
Grounds of irretrievable breakdown of marriage
Under Section 53 of the LRA, either party can file for a petition of divorce (also known as contested divorce or Single Petition) by alleging the breakdown of marriage by proving to the Court one or more of the following facts as below:
b) Unreasonable behaviour
c) Desertion of a party to a marriage for at least 2 years
d) Parties to the marriage lived apart for at least 2 years continuously
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Malaysia
Q. How long does it take to be divorced in Malaysia?
A. For a joint petition (both husband and wife agreed to divorce), the divorce process will be less than 6 months typically. However, for a single petition (or contested divorce where one party of the marriage filed for divorce only), then the process will be much more lengthy and also costly. In average, the process can take up to 12 months or more.
Q. How much does it cost to hire a divorce lawyer in Malaysia?
A. You can now get your FREE Legal Quotation instantly in less than 2 working hours and we are committed to provide reasonable and affordable legal service to all.
Q. Is it true that my spouse can claim half of my assets after divorce automatically?
A. No it is not true. However, this will depends on the Court to assess how much the spouse contributed to the matrimonial assets (monetary and non-monetary contribution will be assessed).
Q. Can I claim for maintenance and also the maintenance of my children after divorce?
A. Yes. You can claim for your maintenance and also the maintenance of your children (if any) from your spouse after divorce. However, the amount shall be up to the decision of the Court to decide depending on the means of living during the marriage, the assets owned and earning capacity of your spouse etc.
Q. Can I apply to have my children to be under my custody, care and control after divorce?
A. Yes. Under the law in Malaysia, the Court is more favored to grant custody, care and control to the mother if the child is or below the age of 7. However, this can be disputed if the husband can prove that the mother is not fit to be granted such order. Most importantly, the welfare and best interest of the children is the Court’s ultimate consideration.
Q. Can I still visit my children after divorce if the Court granted my spouse the custody, care and control?
A. Yes. You can have reasonable access of visitation if both parties agreed to it. However, if your spouse objected to it, then the Court shall decide based on the facts and circumstances.
Q. My husband/wife is not in Malaysia anymore. Can I still file for a divorce petition in Mlaaysia?
Q. Can I file for a divorce in Malaysia if I am legally married in other country?
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