Overview of Divorce for Non-Muslims in Malaysia

Overview of Divorce for Non-Muslims in Malaysia by TYH & Co. Divorce Lawyer Malaysia

Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process that can happen to anyone. This article will provide an overview of divorce for non-Muslims in Malaysia, explaining the law, the steps involved, and some important considerations.

Understanding the Law

In Malaysia, the law for divorce for non-Muslims are primarily governed by the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. This Act provides the law on custody, alimony, maintenance of children and division of matrimonial property during the course of a divorce proceedings.

Eligibility for Divorce

Before proceeding with a divorce, it’s crucial to understand who is eligible to file for divorce in Malaysia. Non-Muslims who wish to divorce must meet certain criteria:

  1. Marital Status: You must be legally married to your spouse. In Malaysia, this means that the marriage must be registered under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. Foreigners may also file for a divorce in Malaysia if they are legally married in foreign countries. Also, the marriage must be registered for more than 2 years.
  2. Domicile: Parties must be domiciled in Malaysia during the filing of the divorce petition. For foreigners, this can be proved usually by the fact that one is residing in Malaysia, working in Malaysia, possessing assets in Malaysia and others.

The Divorce Process (Joint Petition or Single Petition)

  1. Consulting a Divorce Lawyer: The first step in the divorce process is to consult with a divorce lawyer. They will provide legal advice and guide you through the process whether to file for a joint or single petition for divorce.
  2. Filing the Petition: The spouse who wishes to initiate the divorce must file a single petition at the High Court in Malaysia. This petition should outline the grounds for divorce and other relevant details. If both parties can reach an agreement, your divorce lawyer will proceed to prepare to file for a joint petition.
  3. Court Proceedings: If a settlement cannot be reached, the divorce case will proceed to trial. Both parties will present their arguments and evidence, and the court will make a decision based on the evidence presented. For a joint petition, the process is relatively much simpler and straightforward without the need to fight or litigate in the court.
  4. Final Judgment: Once the court makes a decision, a final judgment of divorce will be issued. This judgment will outline the terms of the divorce, including child custody, alimony, and property division.

Important Considerations

  1. Child Custody: Child custody can be a complex issue in divorce cases. The court will prioritize the welfare and best interests of the child when making custody decisions.
  2. Property Division: For property division, the court will primarily decide based on the contribution of parties. Contribution in this case includes monetary and non-monetary contributions.
  3. Alimony: The court may order the husband to provide financial support to the wife based on the needs and income of parties.
  4. Post-Divorce Matters: After the divorce is finalized, both parties must adhere to the court’s orders regarding child custody, support, and other matters. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences.


Divorce is a challenging process that can have a significant impact on the lives of those involved. Understanding the law, eligibility criteria, and the steps involved in the divorce process for non-Muslims in Malaysia is crucial for a smoother transition through this difficult period.

Consulting with a divorce lawyer and seeking amicable solutions can help minimize the emotional and financial toll of divorce and ensure that the best interests of any children involved are protected.

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