The 4 Grounds of Divorce in Malaysia

The 4 Grounds of Divorce in Malaysia

Like marriage, divorce is a huge and serious decision. You can’t just file it without having a strong reason and having thought it through for the good of you and your spouse.

So we listed the legal grounds for divorce in Malaysia here in this guide. You need to face at least one of them so that you can continue to file your divorce petition.

1) Unbearable Attitude

Unbearable Attitude

The first ground for divorce is a spouse’s unbearable attitude that prevents you from peacefully living with him or her.

The proof of this is based more on subjective grounds. The court may assess how their treatment affects you and those that you care for.

An intolerable attitude between couples may express itself in frequent fighting and worse, physical violence.

2) Adultery


Divorce very often happens if one of the spouses commits adultery. This is a major ground for divorce.

In Malaysian law, adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who aren’t married to each other but at least one of them is married to another person.

Since it’s hard to prove that a spouse has committed adultery, the court depends on circumstantial evidence such as pictures of them or observance of activity inside a bedroom they occupied, as found out by a private investigator or any witness.

3) Separation


Another ground for divorce is living separately from your spouse for two years straight. That means that most likely you can live without him or her supporting you and your children.

If you get proof for this—perhaps with your work and income information or having no communication within two years’ time—you’ll be able to file your divorce petition through your lawyer.

4) Desertion


Desertion means that you have been abandoned by your partner for a continuous period of two years. To prove this ground of divorce, you need to show to the court that:

  1. Your spouse left you alone or along with your children.
  2. They intended to leave you permanently.
  3. There was no good reason for your partner to leave you.
  4. It’s been a full two years since your partner left you.

How long will I wait for the divorce order?

Now, you may be in a hurry, but divorce involves a standard process that will help you decide reasonably for your marriage and your family.

As per Section 61 of the Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) in Malaysia, declarations regarding divorce will initially be temporary, or as they call it “decree nisi.” This also includes getting a certificate from the court.

You still have to wait for three months from the time you get your decree nisi before you can apply to the high court to make the divorce ruling absolute. In other words, you can still cancel it if you and your spouse change your mind.

And you now know the grounds of divorce. Again, proving just one of them will enable you to file a divorce petition, which is essential for getting out of the unhealthy marriage.

Also, we advise hiring a good lawyer so you will know all your divorce options. This will help you achieve your goal with regard to your marriage, property, child custody, and so on.

More on Hiring a Lawyer