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What You Need to Know About
Uncontested Divorce in Malaysia?


Areas of Expertise in Family Law

A divorce is contested when both spouses failed to reach a consensus on any of the terms in relation to children, wife maintenance, and/or assets division. This would mean that the divorce is a fault-based divorce.

A spouse may file a petition to dissolve a marriage only after satisfying the requirements and pre-requisite as set out by Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976.

To learn more about contested divorce click here.

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FAQ on Contested Divorce in Malaysia

What is Contested Divorce?

A divorce is contested when both spouses cannot reach a consensus on the terms such as children's maintenance, custody and visitation, wife maintenance, and division of matrimonial assets. Hence the terms are to be decided by a High Court Judge sitting in Family Court prior to dissolving the marriage by granting a Decree Nisi.
A Decree Nisi is an order given by the Court to be absolute at a further date upon filing a Certificate to Make Decree Nisi Absolute.

Is there any pre-requisites to satisfy before I file for divorce in Court against my spouse?

Yes! For a contested divorce, the following pre-requisites are to be satisfied before filing a Petition for Divorce against your spouse:- 1. You may only present a petition for divorce in Court after two years from your marriage registration date. Speak to us if you would like to know how to file a petition for divorce in Court before the expiration of 2 years from your marriage. 2. Both husband and wife must domicile in Malaysia. 3. Refer your marital difficulty to a conciliatory body. The conciliatory body has certified that it has failed to reconcile the parties. An absence of a husband/wife does not qualify the requirement. You will need to seek your lawyer's assistance in obtaining an Order in High Court. If you have failed to get a certificate from or refer to the conciliatory body, you may speak to us.

Is there a need to state who and what caused the breakdown of the marriage?

Yes. To file a petition for divorce against your husband/wife, you will need to state satisfy one of the following grounds:- i. adultery; ii. unreasonable behaviour; iii. desertion; or iv. two years separation.

Do I need to separate with my husband/wife before divorce?

No, separation is not a pre-requisite to file for divorce. In fact both husband and wife may still live under the same roof during the process of divorce. If this is your arrangement, you would need to inform your lawyer as there are other considerations to be taken into account in preparing your divorce.

I am a Malaysian that married a foreigner. Can I file for divorce in Malaysia or do I have to go to back to the country where we got married?

You are able to file for divorce if both of you are domiciled in Malaysia or that the husband is a Malaysian who has not given up his domicile of origin. If your husband is not domicile in Malaysia, then you, the wife, must be a resident in Malaysia for a period of two years.

At many times, it is not possible to go back to the country where both of you got married if one of you does not assume your domicile in that country and that the country where you got married.

We have vast experiences in dealing with foreign divorces. You may click here to speak with our Award-Winning Lawyers.

My spouse has abandoned/deserted me. Can I file for divorce?

You may file for divorce if your spouse has abandoned you for two continuous years and such desertion is deemed to be the breakdown of marriage. You will need to prove to court that:- i. there is physical separation of between you and your spouse; ii. the intention of the part of the deserting spouses to remain separated permanently; iii. you do not consent to the desertion; and iv. absence of any reasonable cause for withdrawing from cohabitation on part of the deserting spouse.

Can I or my spouse refuse to divorce? Will the court refuse to dissolve our marriage?

If you are able to prove that the marriage has irretrivably broken down then the Court may not refuse to dissolve the marriage. However, your spouse may contest that the marriage has not broken down by adducing evidence to substantiate.

Dato Fion Wong Malaysia best divorce law

Dato Fion Wong



Want to know more?

Read This
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Handbook on Family Law Practice in Malay

  By: Dato Chris & Dato Fion  

A complete hands-on guide with insights, procedures, and samples on family law practice to be used by judiciary, legal practitioners, students, or anyone who wants to know more about  Malaysia family law i.e. divorce in Malaysia.