Family

FAMILY LAW

Overview

In a family breakdown scenario, married spouses and children are involved in hostile situation. A third party may be involved, especially in adultery case when she/he is alleged as adulteress.

Pre-year of 1976, there is no law regulating the registration of marriage and divorce between the parties. Each race and/or religions have their own traditions for marriage. As for divorce, the history is unclear on the custom.

Post-year of 1976, Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976 (“1976 Act”) regulates the registration of marriage and divorce. Couples that are married before 1976 can elect to be registered under the new law. However, it don’t apply to anyone professing religion of Muslim as they are subject to Syariah law.

Common scenarios faced by You

The most common issues in family breakdown are for divorce and custody of children. Each will be dealt as follows:

Generally, the pre-requirement to apply for divorce is both parties must be married for at least 2 years. When parties are married for less than 2 years, they may consider judicial separation before applying for divorce.

In Malaysia, couples can opt for joint (agreed) or single (contested) petitions for divorce. Joint petition means both parties agreed to the divorce and terms of divorce which includes custody of children, visitation rights of children and division of family assets.

Single petition means only one party agree to divorce or even though both agreed to divorce, they can’t agree on the terms of divorce as mentioned above.

In a joint petition, custody and visitation rights of children will have already been pre-agreed. However, in a single petition for divorce, each party is pursuing for their own rights to custody of children where the parent who does not get custody of children is given visitation rights.

Solutions for You

When it comes to solve the issues faced by customers, the options depend on the issues faced; whether it is for demand for payment or variation of work.

    1. Joint petition
      The requirements are both parties must be married for at least 2 years. Assuming they agree to terms of divorce and above condition is satisfied, the court will grant the divorce.
    2. Single petition
      There are several requirements before one can apply for single petition for divorce. The usual ground to rely by petitioning party is unreasonable behavior of other spouse. The lists of unreasonable behaviors are not exhaustive. It may extend to physical trauma (physical abuse) and mental trauma. The court will look at the complained actions and decide whether it is unreasonable. There is distinction between issues that commonly arise in a marriage and unreasonable behavior. A perfect illustration is constant physical assault of the other spouse which usually amounts to unreasonable behavior.

The most important criteria is interests of child; subject to wishes of child. When it can be shown the child is better off with one parent rather than the other especially in terms of future of the children, court will usually lean towards parent who can give the child a better growing environment.