General Article – Divorce within 2 years
I received a call during MCO from this girl who just got married. She told me that she wants a divorce. But the problem is that she has been married for less than 2 years. So she asked me how can she divorce?
Well, the general rule under the Malaysian law is that you cannot divorce within the 1st 2 years marriage. Why does the law make it so hard for you to divorce? Well, the main reason is to respect the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is not something trivial or be taken lightly. The law views that marriage is meant to be a life long commitment and a promise made to be together forever!
Typical with most laws, there are always exceptions to the general rule and the exception here is when you can show the court that you are suffering exceptional hardship. The easiest way to show this is domestic violence. Mental abuse or cruelty are other examples but it may be harder to prove in court.
An alternative to divorce is annulment of your marriage. You will still achieve the same results and some may say even better results. Upon the marriage being voided, it is as if you have never gotten married in the first instance.
The main basis for annulment is non consummation of marriage i.e. you don’t or cant have sex with your spouse. Medical evidence establishing that either of you has sexually transmitted disease or inability to have intercourse or the woman is pregnant with another man’s child.
If both the above situations do not apply to you, then the most practical thing to do is to live separately and wait out the 2 years’ period. Staying in a different room in the same house can also be viewed as living separately.
Should you wish to separate, then it’s advisable that both of you enter into a deed of separation. A Deed of Separation is good because it sets out when you separate, how you wish to deal with matters like asset division, who is going to take over the loan if both are joint borrowers, maintenance, custody and guardianship of children etc.
Having said all that, do try to hang in there and work things out. Remember all the good and happy times. There must be good reasons why you said “Yes, I do”.
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The article posted is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Facts and circumstances differ from case-to-case. Please consult your lawyer for specific legal advice and action to be taken.