guideline to divorce by way of joint petition for non muslim in malaysia


Both you and your spouse have tried your very best to salvage the marriage but all attempts seemed futile. Divorce seems to be the last resort. Here is the all you need to know guide towards understanding the divorce process and procedures (for non-muslim) by way of a Joint Petition in Malaysia. Be sure to get further advice from any law firm in Kuala Lumpur or us or any one near you who handles divorce and matrimonial cases.

1. Divorce for non muslim in Malaysia is governed by the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164).

2. Divorce is a process to dissolve a marriage. There are 3 types of dissolution of marriage in Malaysia. 

    • Divorce
    • Judicial separation
    • Nullification of marriage

3. There are two ways to apply for divorce in Malaysia:

    • Joint Petition
    • Single Petition

4. Divorce by way of a joint petition means that both, the husband and wife agree to dissolve the marriage whereas divorce by way of a single petition is when the petition was filed by either spouse.  


5. When both the husband and wife have agreed to dissolve the marriage and have agreed to the arrangements pertaining to the maintenance of spouse, division of matrimonial assets as well as the custody and visitation rights to children, it is encouraged that the divorce is made by way of a mutual petition.

6. There are 4 conditions before any mutual petition can be filed:

    • The marriage was registered in accordance with the Act.
    • The marriage is monogamous.
    • Both husband and wife domiciled in Malaysia.
    • The marriage is two years of age or more.

7. There are 3 main arrangements that needs to be sorted out between the parties:

    • Maintenance of spouse
    • Division of matrimonial assets
    • Custody and visitation rights to children

8. Important and required documents that you need to bring along with you when you go and see your lawyer is the following:

    • Copy of the marriage registration certificate.
    • Copy of children birth certificate (if any).
    • Details of matrimonial assets (if any).

9. Matrimonial assets are assets acquired by joint effort of the parties during the course of the marriage. It can be anything from matrimonial home, lands, houses, cars, monetary savings, shares, jewelries as well as gifts.

10. There are several documents that you need to sign:

    • Joint Petition
    • Affidavit Verifying Petition
    • Appointment of Solicitor
    • Arrangement for Children (if any)

11. Your lawyer will then file the required documents and will later obtain a date for case management. You need not attend the case management as it will be attended by your lawyer. During the case management, if all the documents are in order, the court will fix a date for the hearing of the petition.

12. You and your spouse are required to attend the hearing date. If any one of the party could not attend the hearing, the court will then fix a new hearing date. You have to consult your lawyer as to your availability beforehand.  

13. The court, however, may proceed with the hearing with the absence of any one of the party, provided that an Affidavit is filed by the absentee to explain his absence. The court is under no obligation to accept the reasons provided for therein and may fix a new hearing date.

14. During the hearing, after the court is satisfied that all documents are in order and with any further explanation provided by the parties pertaining to their mutual consent, a decree of divorce called Decree Nisi.

15. The Decree Nisi will remain valid for 3 months. If you and your spouse decided that filing for divorce was a bad idea and wanted to get back together, you can have the decree rescinded.

16. After the expiry of 3 month, you can have your decree made absolute by way of an order called Decree Nisi Absolute.

17. You then have to update the National Registration Department of your divorce. The documents that you need to bring along with you is the following:

    • Mykad
    • Passport (if applicable)
    • A copy of Marriage registration certificate
    • An original copy of the Decree Nisi Absolute. 

If you have any inquiries, feel free to give me a call at 012 9797494 or email me at norhafeezlaw@gmail.com

non muslim joint petition divorce guideline


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