9 Things You Must Know About Non-Muslim Divorce in Malaysia

9 Things You Must Know About Non-Muslim Divorce in Malaysia by TYH & Co. Divorce Lawyer Malaysia

Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process for anyone. Here, we unravel 9 things you must know about non-Muslim divorce in Malaysia, aiming to provide clarity and insight into the process and the rights and responsibilities it entails.

  1. Applicable Law: Non-Muslims in Malaysia are subject to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, which governs divorce proceedings, including issues related to matrimonial property, custody, and maintenance.
  2. Grounds for Divorce: Under this act, you can file for divorce on several grounds, including adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, and living separately for at least two years.
  3. No Ground Needed If Divorce is Mutual: There is no need to give ground for divorce if the divorce terms are agreed between parties.
  4. Counseling: Before filing for divorce, non-Muslim couples are required to attend counseling sessions preferably conducted by the National Registration Department of Malaysia (NRD). This is aimed at exploring reconciliation possibilities.
  5. Filing for Divorce: You can initiate divorce proceedings by filing a divorce petition in the Civil Court. Consult with a lawyer to guide you through the process.
  6. Property Division: The court will consider the division of marital assets and property based on contributions of parties and are typically divided fairly, not necessarily equally.
  7. Child Custody: The court will decide child custody arrangements based on the child’s best interests. It may grant joint or sole custody, considering factors like parental capability and the child’s wishes. The court will favor the mother if the child is below the age of 7.
  8. Child Maintenance: Both parents are legally obligated to provide child maintenance, as per the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. The amount and terms are determined by the court, taking into account the child’s needs and the parents’ financial capacity.
  9. Maintenance for Spouse: The court may order one spouse to provide maintenance for the other if it is deemed necessary, based on factors like the duration of the marriage, reason for the breakdown of marriage and financial circumstances.

Remember that divorce can be emotionally and financially challenging. If you are a non-Muslim in Malaysia and you are considering divorce, it is important to understand your rights and options. You should also seek legal advice to ensure that you are protected throughout the process.

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