How can a foreign wife divorce a Malaysian husband?

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asked on Jun 7, 2019 at 02:42
edited on Jun 26, 2019 at 15:28
My friend from Thailand got her marriage registered in Malaysia less than a year ago. Both spouse and her want a divorce recently.

The problem is now she doesn't know where he is. Her marriage certificate is stuck with him along with other of her documents.

Attempts to call him are unanswered. Her Visa will also expire this month.

Can she file for divorce or get the marriage annulled through the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok or what's the best way to do this?

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5 Answers

answered on Jun 10, 2019 at 10:12
edited Jun 26, 2019 at 15:32

marriage registered in Malaysia less than a year ago.
1.  Can file for Divorce after a cooling period of 2 years from date of Marriage.

2.  Can file for Divorce (Single Petition) on grounds of abandonment /separation from date of spouse going missing in action after a period of 2 years.

Her marriage certificate is stuck with him along with other of her documents. 
What other Documents? Passport?
Other documents like Marriage Certificate, you can extract a duplicate copy from Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN).

Attempts to call him are unanswered. 
Does not mean that he is dead. Let both of them cool down first.

Her Visa also expires this month. 
Go back to Thailand before expiry. Do not overstay otherwise she can be banned for re-entry into Malaysia for 5 years.

get the marriage annulled through the Malaysian embassy in Bangkok
Embassy does not have any powers to annul any marriages. Did she file her marriage with the Embassy of Thailand in Malaysia?
Only the Family Court (Divorce & Marriage) can dissolve a marriage.
Annulment is usually meant for those couples who have had NO sexual relations before. Did they?

GO BACK TO THAILAND & CHILL DOWN.. before you run foul of immigration laws!
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answered on Jun 14, 2019 at 12:37
edited Jun 26, 2019 at 19:04
1. If it's not urgent then wait until the completion of the 2 years of marriage then file unilateral divorce.

2. If it's urgent, she can file annulment application at court now but please get her lawyer's advice on this.

3. She can engage a lawyer before she return to Thailand. No point stay in Malaysia waiting for him to appear.

*Mandarin article on annulment:
*Mandarin article on divorce:
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answered on Jun 14, 2019 at 15:04
edited Jun 26, 2019 at 19:25

Do take serious notes that for annulment, the party that initiated it has to pay for all court costs, court deposits (for foreigners), legal fees (in advance). Lawyer's retainer fees (For foreigners), etc.. etc..

Law Facts on a Marriage Annulment Application in a Malaysian Court (Divorce Family Court)

Although the grounds for seeking an annulment differ, as can factors that may disqualify a person for an annulment, common grounds for annulment include the following:

Marriage between close relatives. ...
Mental incapacity. ...
Underage marriage. ...
Duress. ...
Fraud. ...

Annulment isn't for everyone, and only a small percentage of marriages qualify for one.

Annulment Disadvantages

There are challenges to seeking an annulment over a divorce. First, proving the grounds for an annulment can be more complicated and  very very expensive. Today, all states offer no-fault divorce, where spouses can simply cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. With an annulment, you'll have to prove that at least one of the grounds listed above existed at the time of the wedding. This requires investigation, discovery--including depositions--and a court trial, where you'll have to bring evidence, examine witnesses, and testify.

If they have done a marriage and ceremony in Thailand, she may have to bring her parents, siblings, grandfather/grandmother, uncle/aunties from Thailand as witnesses. The more court procedures to be done, the higher legal fees to be paid in the future. There is no stopping half way.

Annulment Advantages

The main benefit of annulment is that the law treats the marriage as if it never existed--it's over, and there are no further issues to deal with. There are no any claims from your ex-spouse like alimony, share of property(s), living expenses unlike for divorce due to abandonment.
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answered on Jun 14, 2019 at 15:20
edited Jun 26, 2019 at 19:34

Do remember her visa expires this month.

For annulment she has to come into Malaysia many times under social visit pass for filing of court documents, Commissioner of Oaths, case management and if there is a contest from the other spouse, a court trial and things drag on like nobody else business.. and court costs and legal fees.  All I can guarantee you is that Malaysia Immigration will ban her during her 3rd trip into Malaysia. Will stamp NTL into the last page of her passport..!!

Best is to let the both of them cool down and decide next course of action and mutually.
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answered on Jun 14, 2019 at 21:33
edited Jun 26, 2019 at 20:16
The Thai Embassy in Jalan Ampang will extend free legal advises for divorce issues.

Thai nationals are a homogeneous society unlike Malaysia which is multiracial, multireligious and multicultural society and is extra protective of their citizens throughout the Asian Region.
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