Frequently Asked Questions About Non Muslim Divorce In Malaysia
If you’re a non-Muslim considering divorce in Malaysia, you may have questions about the legal process, your rights, and what to expect. This FAQ page is designed to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about non-Muslim divorce in Malaysia. From understanding the grounds for divorce to navigating child custody and property division issues, this page is a valuable resource for anyone seeking clarity and guidance during the divorce process. Whether you’re just beginning to consider divorce or you’re in the midst of a complex legal battle, this page can help you better understand your options and make informed decisions.
General Questions About Divorce In Malaysia For Non Muslim
- What are the grounds for divorce in Malaysia for non-Muslims?
The grounds for divorce in Malaysia for non-Muslims are set out in the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. The grounds for divorce include adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion for a continuous period of at least two years, and living apart for a continuous period of at least two years.
- How long does the divorce process typically take in Malaysia?
The divorce process in Malaysia for non-Muslims can vary depending on a number of factors, including whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. In general, an uncontested divorce can be finalized within a few months, while a contested divorce can take a year or longer to resolve.
- What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?
In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the divorce and are able to come to an agreement on issues such as child custody, support, and property division. In a contested divorce, one or both parties do not agree to the divorce or are unable to reach an agreement on these issues, which may require court intervention.
- Can I get a divorce if my spouse is not willing to cooperate?
Yes, you can still get a divorce even if your spouse is not willing to cooperate. However, the divorce process may take longer and be more complicated if your spouse contests the divorce. This is known as a single petition for divorce in Malaysia and you will need to prove your ground(s) for divorce.
- What is the role of mediation in the divorce process?
Mediation is a process where a neutral third-party mediator helps both parties to negotiate and reach an agreement on issues related to the divorce, such as child custody, support, and property division. Mediation can be a helpful tool in resolving disputes and avoiding a costly and time-consuming court battle.
- What is the process for obtaining a divorce decree?
To obtain a divorce decree in Malaysia for non-Muslims, one party must file a petition for divorce with the court. The other party will have an opportunity to respond to the petition, and if the divorce is contested, the court will hold a hearing to resolve any disputed issues. If the divorce is uncontested, the parties can submit an agreement to the court for approval.
- What are the legal fees and costs associated with a divorce in Malaysia?
The legal fees and costs associated with a divorce in Malaysia can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. It’s important to discuss legal fees and costs with your lawyer and understand what services are included in their fee.
- Can I get a divorce if my spouse is not a Malaysian citizen?
Yes, you can still get a divorce in Malaysia even if your spouse is not a Malaysian citizen. However, it is important to seek for legal consultation on the issue of domicile with your divorce lawyer before you proceed to file for a divorce in Malaysia.
- What happens to my immigration status if I get divorced in Malaysia?
Your immigration status in Malaysia may be affected by your divorce, especially if your status was dependent on your spouse’s immigration status. It’s important to consult with a divorce lawyer to understand how your divorce may affect your immigration status and what steps you can take to protect your rights.
- Can I remarry after getting a divorce in Malaysia?
Yes, you can remarry after getting a divorce in Malaysia and your divorce status must be updated with the National Registration Department of Malaysia.
- Can I file for divorce if my spouse lives abroad?
Yes, you can file for divorce in Malaysia even if your spouse lives abroad, as long as you meet the requirements for jurisdiction. The court will need to have jurisdiction over the matter and the court must be satisfied that both parties are domiciled in Malaysia.
- Can I change my mind about a divorce after filing a petition?
Yes, you can withdraw a divorce petition at any time before a court order is issued subject to the consent of the other party.
Custody Of Children
- Who is typically granted custody of a child in Malaysia?
Under the law in Malaysia, it is common for the mother to be granted custody of young children below the age of 7 unless if the mother is unfit to be a parent.
- How are child custody and visitation rights determined in a divorce?
Child custody and visitation rights in a divorce are determined based on the best interests of the child. The court will take into account factors such as the child’s age, health, and education, as well as the parents’ ability to provide for the child’s needs and maintain a stable and healthy relationship with the child.
- Can custody be changed after it has been granted?
Yes you may apply to change the custody order if you can prove that the custodian is not fit as a parent subject to proofs.
- Do both parents have to agree on custody arrangements?
It is best if both parents agree on custody arrangements. However, if they are unable to come to an agreement, the court will make a decision based on the best interests of the child.
- Can grandparents or other relatives be granted custody?
Yes it is possible if the court thinks that it is in the best interest of the child.
- Can a child’s wishes be taken into account when determining custody?
Yes, if a child is matured and able to give its own independent opinion although this is not the only factor considered by the court.
- Can I get custody of my child if I am not a Malaysian citizen?
Yes, as a non-Malaysian citizen, you can still seek custody of your child in Malaysia. However, the court will consider what is in the child’s best interests and other factors before making a decision.
Alimony and Maintenance Support (Spouse & Children)
- What is maintenance support in divorce cases?
Maintenance support refers to the financial support provided to the spouse and children (if any) after the divorce. It is intended to ensure that the dependent spouse and children are able to maintain their standard of living after the divorce.
- Who is eligible for maintenance support in divorce cases?
It is usually the wife who receives the support. The husband can claim for maintenance under limited circumstances from the wife. Children are also eligible for maintenance support until they reach the age of 18 or complete their tertiary education, whichever is later.
- How is the amount of maintenance support calculated?
The amount of maintenance support is calculated based on several factors, including the income and financial needs of the dependent spouse and children, the standard of living during the marriage, and the ability of the paying spouse to provide support.
- Can the amount of maintenance support be changed after it has been determined?
Yes, the amount of maintenance support can be changed if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a loss of income or an increase in financial needs. The party seeking a change must apply to the court to modify the amount of support and must provide proof to support his or her application.
Division Of Matrimonial Property
- What factors are considered when dividing marital assets and property?
When dividing marital assets and property in a divorce, the court will consider factors such as the length of the marriage, each party’s contributions (monetary and non-monetary contribution) to the marriage, and each party’s needs and ability to support themselves after the divorce.
- What happens to the joint assets and properties acquired during the marriage?
In Malaysia, joint assets and properties acquired during the marriage are subject to division during divorce proceedings. The court will take into account factors such as the length of the marriage, each party’s contributions (monetary and non-monetary contribution) to the marriage, and each party’s needs and ability to support themselves after the divorce.
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