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JURISDICTION OF MALAYSIA COURT WITH REGARDS TO OVERSEAS ASSETS

Updated: Sep 25, 2023


In granting a divorce order, the Court has the power to order the division of matrimonial assets between parties under section 76 Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976. The 2017 Amendments to section 76 of Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976 provide as follows:-


76 Power for court to order division of matrimonial assets

(1) The court shall have power when granting a decree of divorce or judicial separation, to order the division between the parties of any assets acquired by them during the marriage or the sale of any such assets and the division between the parties of the proceeds of sale.


The Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976 does not differentiate matrimonial assets between assets in Malaysia or assets located overseas. There were several precedents where the Court ordered the division of foreign assets. Thus, so as long as the assets fall within the meaning of matrimonial assets, they will be subjected to division. (click here to read more)


Upon obtaining the order for the division of matrimonial assets, the challenging part would be the enforcement of the order for the division of foreign assets as the party has to enforce the Malaysia court order in the country where the assets are located and there is a possibility that the foreign court will not recognize Malaysia court order.


Hence, it is important to take additional steps to circumvent the enforcement issue in claiming foreign assets. In some circumstances, instead of obtaining an order to divide the foreign assets, it is advisable to claim a share in monetary form ds such order is against the more accessible local assets, or to execute certain statutory forms or trust documents prior to recording the divorce order.


Dealing with the division of assets may be complicated especially when involving foreign properties. Our experienced lawyers are able to assist you through the process and tailor a practical strategy to deal with your foreign assets. To know more…

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