Contested Divorce? Here’s what you need to know.

Contested Divorce Malaysia also known as a Single Petiton


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Generally, a petition for divorce may be done after two years of marriage unless there is an exceptional of hardship suffered by the Petitioner in which we will elaborate further below.

On the side note, feel free to click on this article Divorce in Malaysia: What is Uncontested Divorce (Joint Petition) to know more on Uncontested Divorce in Malaysia.

1. What is Contested Divorce/Single Petition?

Contested divorce is exactly what it sounds like: one or both parties cannot agree, either about getting divorced, the terms of the divorce such as the division of assets child support or the custody of children. Therefore, the divorce proceedings take much longer to complete, and typically legal fees will increase.

2. Law Reform Act 1976 (“LRA”)

a) Section 53 of the LRA provides that either party to the marriage may petition for divorce on the ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

b) Section 54 of the LRA further provides the facts and circumstances to which the Court shall deem the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

3. Marriage Tribunal

a) Before you can file for a Single Petition Divorce in Malaysia, there must be a reference of the matrimonial difficulty to the marriage tribunal pursuant to Section 106 of the LRA.

b) If the matrimonial difficulty cannot be resolved by the marriage tribunal, then the tribunal shall issue a certificate to affirm

4. Petition for Divorce

Since the marriage cannot be resolved by the conciliatory body, then the next step is for the Petitioner to file a divorce petition;

i. the divorce petition must be served to the Respondent personally or by post.

ii. If the Respondent wishes to defend the petition or to dispute the facts, the Respondent shall give notice to defend within 8 days. Then, the Respondent has 21 days to file an answer to the petition. Petitioner may file a reply within 14 days after receiving the copy of the answer.

iii. The Petitioner or any party who is defending will then seek for directions from the Registrar for a trial date.

iv. The Court will give its decision in respect of the maintenance of the spouses/children and of the custody of the child.

v. A decree nisi may be granted by Court after the trial but this shall not be made absolute before the expiration of three (3) months.

vi. A Notice of Application for decree nisi to be made absolute shall then be filed.

vii. Lastly, a Certificate of Making Decree Nisi absolute by Divorce shall be granted.

viii. The Single Petition Divorce is now completed.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”- maya angelou


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