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Divorce: Can I file for marriage annulment to revert my status to single? What is the procedure?

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asked on Aug 23, 2010 at 09:36
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edited on Aug 2, 2016 at 03:15
 
My marriage was registered nearly 2 years ago, but we have never lived together since we were, and are studying in different countries.

The Registry of Marriages (ROM) was actually signed when I came back to Malaysia from oversea for a short vacation. Eventually we both agree it was a mistake to have registered and want to give up the marriage.

May I know if it is possible to file for a marriage annulment to revert the marital status to "single"? And what is the procedure to get an annulment (or divorce) when both of us are abroad now (both in different countries).

Would be very grateful if you can give some advice on this. Thank you.
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answered on Aug 23, 2010 at 17:51
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Annulment or nullity is the way to go if

1. you have never lived under one roof
2. your marriage is less than 2 years
3. your spouse refuses/could not consummate the marriage/or disability, etc

If there is no facts matching requirement no. 3, I am afraid your best choice is Joint Petition and that requires a min of 2 years marriage. Since your marriage is nearly 2 years hopefully you have only a few more weeks or months to wait. The criteria is you both must agree to all terms, you both need to attend hearing once (if could not do so file an affidavit explaining you're out of country and your attendance should be exempted).

Now the bigger problem is legally the word DOMICILE. Problem is neither of you are in the country when the petition is filed, which is a requirement that if any attentive judges were to take notice might question domicile and throw out your petition as they have no jurisdiction to hear the petition. Domicile simply means your place of residence that you intend to stay for a long time during marriage and your situation is a bit difficult to assess. A wife's domicile follows the husband by the way if she happens to be a foreigner.

Again there is a way to avoid that issue and any lawyer worth his or her salt so to speak will advise you on how to go about it  and where to file the petition to best serve your purpose to which I can't post in here.

My point is it can be done.

As for the word SINGLE, it is only meant for cases of nullity. If in case you have  a case for nullity, may I just add my utter frustration that what you get in court and what is updated by the JPN folks are two entirely different matters. Brought this issue up before courts and was advised to refile elsewhere which is a waste of time over one word unless it is life or death issue. So yes, even if nullity, the word used in Malay will be "DUDA" which basically means divorcee. When I called JPN personally to ask why that word and not "BELUM BERKAHWIN" which should be the case, they said that can only be for cases of VOID marriages (part of nullity-such as underage marriage, marriage between 2 people of same gender, bigamy, those that are absolutely not legal marriage so to speak) and not for VOIDABLE marriage (which should be your case unless you have facts for void marriages).

Difference between void and voidable is void means none at all from the very beginning that means no legal marriage from the start whilst voidable means there is a marriage but you can choose to, for want of better word, avoid it or rather nullify or annul it because it did not satisfy certain requirements.

I think they refuse to use the word SINGLE for voidable marriages because there was a marriage in the first place and secondly for voidable marriages, a spouse can claim maintenance from the other unlike Void marriages.

I hope the situation is not the same now because you know govt offices, they change their tune once in a while but if not, do expect the word "DIVORCED" or "DUDA" unless you make whole lot of noise, or whatever. For me it made no difference.
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answered on Aug 24, 2010 at 09:11
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edited Aug 2, 2016 at 03:41
 
@SFKL,

Thank you very much for the answer. Seems that a joint petition is the best solution.
May I know if you are a lawyer that handle divorce cases? Would you be able to help me? If so, would you mind leaving me your contact?

Again, many thanks!

I read other posts from this forum, seems that SFKL is very helpful.
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answered on Aug 30, 2010 at 07:22
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edited Aug 2, 2016 at 03:44
 
@Need Advice

I read the Comment sent by "SFKL",

How could a person's marriage can be nullity because of :-

1. you have never lived under one roof
2. your marriage is less than 2 years
3. your spouse refuses/could not consummate the marriage/or disability, etc

I'm sure, this would not be strong reason to make a marriage nullity.

My second question is, what you want to do? You want divorce or Nullity of Marriage?
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answered on Aug 30, 2010 at 11:22
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edited Aug 2, 2016 at 03:44
 
@sega

I just wanna be "free", either by means of divorce or Nullity of Marriage. According to SFKL, nullity makes no difference since the status will be not "single". If this is true, I would prefer to opt for the easier way which is to file for a "Joint Petition".

My situation only complies to the two prerequisites, but not the third one:
1. never lived under one roof
2. marriage is less than 2 years
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answered on Aug 30, 2010 at 11:40
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edited Aug 2, 2016 at 03:45
 
Well, I do not quite fully understand the third term:

3. your spouse refuses/could not consummate the marriage/or disability, etc

If "both of us have never had sexual intercourse before" counts, then all three conditions are matched in our case.

I guess this is difficult prove unless there is a medical proof. Nevertheless, I would not bother to go for the troublesome nullity procedure if the "single" status would not be granted.
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answered on Aug 30, 2010 at 18:14
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edited Aug 2, 2016 at 03:52
 
@SFKL

Thank you very much for the answer. Seems that a joint petition is the best solution. May I know if you are a lawyer that handle divorce cases? Would you be able to help me? If so, would you mind leaving me your contact?

I am speaking from experience so yes I am. However I prefer not to disclose my details less I am accused of soliciting for business which I am not. Rest assured any competent divorce lawyer will know what to do but since you have decided to go for Joint Petition, it will be far less complicated. May I know where are you in Malaysia?

To further questions, for a marriage to be a valid marriage there are certain requirements. In nullity cases of voidable marriages, consummation or sex after marriage is a must. If spouse has a medical problem that makes him or her unable to perform sexually (as in penetration, no more and no less) or they refuse to for whatever reason, then you have not fulfill one of the requirements and thus your marriage becomes voidable therefore you can go for nullity. Of course there must be medical examinations and all, and bear in mind you accuse your spouse, not yourself of such inability to perform or refuse to perform. Anyway no judge would ask for medical examination unless nullity is hotly contested and if the judge is in  my personal opinion insane. I mean who can now prove or disprove non consummation? Not many women are virgins anymore before marriage! Lucky for us many judges do not bother with such details. As long as papers are properly served, worded and all procedures followed, if the other party does not attend so yes, you get your nullity. If the other party agrees in court, you get your order. If hotly contested, all I can say if it is your word versus his and the fact you have never lived under one roof, deeply religious, etc all helps to establish there's no sex after marriage.

However his inability to have sex due to medical problems is easy to prove, by going for medical examination. However which man would want to do that?! Or woman for that matter?

Since your 2 years is almost up take my advise and go for joint petition to save the trouble, the facts and the possibility of meeting an insane judge.

As to less than 2 years, all divorce must fulfill the first and foremost time period; min 2 year marriage. The only exceptions are

a. if you get exemption from that from court; OR
b. other spouse converted but the conversion must be more than 3 months; or
c. nullity

I hope that clears up the confusions.

Please to all others, not all lawyers are shark. We are here to do a job and the charges depends on the skills of that lawyer. If you must pay high fees for an experienced doctor rather than an inexperienced doctor, same goes for lawyers. We provide a service in a system than is admittedly flawed but nothing is perfect. I feel very disheartened to read such negative remarks in here, even if there are only 2 or 3 of such regular ones and I feel saddened not for my own profession, I mean we are hated since the beginning of the profession for many reasons that are understandable, I feel sorry for the ones who comes in here genuinely seeking advice or some guidance as to where to go in a legal question. I hope to do my part as long as I feel I can answer your questions adequately.

But as always, for more indepth advice, get yourself a lawyer but do remember, cheap ones usually mean inexperience but expensive ones doesn't mean they're experienced either. How can I best answer you? Well, just get recommendation but as always ask how much is the max fee first. Usually the fee will become very very very expensive as in 5 digit expensive when your divorce becomes contested and trial is needed. Believe me, lots of work to be done and a bulk of the fees is not for disbursements but for the expertise of this lawyer who will have to drop everything and dedicate his or her time days at a time to your case. Which is why you're paying not for actual expenses but his services, like accountants, lawyers, etc. If you can't afford it, try Legal Aid Centre or better yet Legai Aid Bureau, the government one which is free if you qualify since they don't need to pay court fees, unlike all of the rest of us.

Need Advice, come full 2 years, just call your husband for the JP.
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answered on Aug 31, 2010 at 09:18
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edited Aug 2, 2016 at 03:54
 
@SFKL

My case will be simple because he has agreed for the JP. The only problem is that both of us are not in Malaysia right now and will be abroad for several years more. But maybe I can come back to attend the hearing once, if necessary. Therefore, we need somebody to file the JP for us. My hometown is in Kuala Lumpur and the marriage registration took place in Kuala Lumpur too.

May I know if a close friend or relative can help us instead of a lawyer? Would that be complicated?

Otherwise, I may need your help, or if you can recommend any good lawyer. Can we have private conversation via email?

Would like to know about the fees and other details.
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answered on Sep 19, 2010 at 09:50
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Can anybody let me know, if a Joint Petition can be filed via post from abroad?
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answered on Nov 14, 2018 at 16:13
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edited Dec 10, 2018 at 01:50
 
I have been married for 3 days. I found that my husband has married few girls illegally and in relationship with them. After I found out, he escaped from home and now illegally leaving with other girl. Is that possible I can do annulment?
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answered on Nov 14, 2018 at 17:22
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edited Dec 10, 2018 at 01:51
 
I have been married for 3 days. I found that my husband has married few girls illegally and in relationship with them. After I found out, he escaped from home and now illegally leaving with other girl. Is that possible I can do annulment?

Possible if your marriage with him is the illegal one.
He can also go to jail for bigamy if you report to police.
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