Ethan and Sophia have been married for a little over eight months before they made the joint decision to file for divorce. Given that the divorce will be under mutual consensus and there is no child involved, both Ethan and Sophia are hoping to have the divorce matter completed within 6 months time. Ethan’s nephew, Noah, who is in his first year of law school pointed out that according to Malaysian Family Law, a married couple cannot file petition for divorce within the first two years marriage. Is Noah right?


In principle, Noah is right but there is exception where a petition for divorce within the first two years of marriage will be admissible in court.

According to Section 50 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, no petition for divorce shall be presented to the court before the expiration of the period of two years from the date of the marriage. But a Judge of the court may, on an application made to him, allow the presentation of a petition for divorce within the specified period on the ground that the case is *one of exceptional circumstances or hardship suffered by the petitioner.

Thereto, the Judge shall also have regard to:-

  • The interests of any child of the marriage;
  • Whether there is a reasonable probability of reconciliation between the parties during a specified period;
  • Domestic violence etc.

Furthermore, a married couple does not have to be separated for a minimum time of two years before they can file for divorce in those circumstances as stated above!

So, how much did you know about this Legal Myth?

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