Category: Family Law


If you are unable to satisfy certain requirements under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 to legally marry in Malaysia but feel that you have good reasons for being granted a Special Marriage Licence, you will need to apply to the Registrar of Marriages for a Special Marriage Licence.

You should not make any other preparations or arrangements for your wedding until the Special Marriage Licence is granted.

Special Marriage Licences are issued by the Chief Minister or Menteri Besar of the state concerned to permit a marriage which would otherwise be illegal. They are not issued automatically.

Following are the types of Special Marriage Licences available and relevant fees:

  • JPN.KCO1B licence [Licence Fee: RM2.00]
    Application for marriage licence for parties whose relationships are prohibited.
  • JPN.KCO1C licence [Licence Fee: RM100.00]
    Application for marriage licence to dispense with the Notice of Marriage and Certificate for Marriage. Usually for those who wish to marry as soon as possible avoiding the twenty-one (21) days delay by posting the Notice of Marriage in the office of the Registrar.
  • JPN.KCO1D Licence [Licence Fee: RM10.00]
    Application for marriage licence for female below eighteen (18) years of age but having completed sixteen (16) years.
  • JPN.KCO1E Licence [Licence Fee: RM500.00]
    Application for marriage licence to solemnise marriage in a place other than the office of the Registrar of Marriages.

Marriage Application

You should apply for a Special Marriage Licences on the relevant form which can be obtained from the office of the Registrar of Marriage.

Part of the form is to be completed by you and part by the Chief Minister.

You have to submit your Special Marriage Licence along with your Marriage Application Form JPN.KC02 and relevant supporting documents to the Registrar of Marriages.

You will have to remit the relevant licence fee and RM20.00 for processing fee.

Solemnisation and Registration of Marriage

Unlike normal marriage procedure, there is no waiting period for the grant of the Special Marriage Licence and once it is granted the solemnisation of marriage may take place at any time within one (1) month of the granting of the licence.

The procedures for solemnisation and registration of marriage are similar in all respects to that which apply to marriage solemnised and registered at the office of the Registrar of Marriages in Malaysia.

References

  1. Ministry of Home Affairs – Registration of Marriage for Non-Muslims
  2. National Registration Department – Special Marriage Licence
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The two types of legally recognised marriages in Malaysia are:

  1. Civil marriage; and
  2. Islamic marriage;

The civil or monogamous opposite sex marriage is being practiced by non-Muslims and non-natives in Malaysia under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. Non-Muslims continue to insist on strictly monogamy marital relationships as an essential of marriage.

Monogamy simply means marriage with one spouse at a time. Bigamy is a crime in Malaysia. If you are lawfully married under any law, religion or custom to one or more spouses, you are not allowed to contract a valid marriage with another person, whether your marriage is contracted within Malaysia or outside Malaysia. If you have contravened the above provision, you are deemed to have committed the offence of marrying again during the life-time of husband or wife, as the case may be, within the meaning of Section 494 of the Penal Code.

Whereas in Islamic marriage, polygamy is permitted with certain restrictions. Men can only marry up to four (4) wives at any one time; however, most men have only one. Muslim women are not not allowed to practise polyandry in which one woman has more than one husband at the same time.

Under Section 23 of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984, a husband desiring polygamy must obtain the consent and views of the existing wife or wives and the permission from the Syariah Court to enter into a polygamous marriage, failing which he is deemed to have committed an offence under Section 123 of the Act.

Chapter 4 of the Qur’an specifically states that men who choose this route must be able to afford to take care of each of their wives properly, be fair and just to them and doing everything they can to spend equal amounts of time and money on each of them. Usually the wives have little or no contact with each other and lead separate lives, though sharing the same husband.

If both parties are twenty-one (21) of age and above, no consent of parents or guardian is required for marriage.

Minimum age for marriage of a minor [1] in Malaysia is eighteen (18) years of age for male and sixteen (16) years of age for female and the following must be met:

  • Consent of parents or guardian must be obtained in Form JPN. KC01B (Written Consent To The Marriage For One Who Has Not Completed 21 Years Of Age) [2]. Parental consent must be obtained in writing from:
    • his or her father; or
  • his or her mother if the person is illegitimate or his or her father is dead; or
  • his or her adopted father if the person is an adopted child; or
  • his or her adopted mother if the person is an adopted child and the adopted father is dead; or
  • the person standing in loco parentis to him or her before he or she attains that age if both his or her parents (natural or adopted) are dead; or
  • of the Court.

The written consent must be signed before any Registrar of Marriages.

  • A special marriage licence granted by the Chief Minister in Form JPN.KC01D (Application For A Marriage Licence For Female Below 18 Years Of Age But Having Completed 16 Years) [3] must be obtained for female sixteen (16) years and above but under the age of eighteen (18) years.
  • There must not be any lawful impediment to the proposed marriage.

References

  1. ^ Minor means a person who is under the age of twenty-one (21) years of age and who is not a widow or widower [Interpretation of Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976].
  1. ^ JPN.KC01B can be obtained from the National Registration Department (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara JPN), Marriage and Divorce Division. No payment is required.
  1. ^ JPN.KC01D can be obtained from the National Registration Department (Jabtan Pendaftaran Negara JPN), Marriage and Divorce Division. Licence fee is RM10.00 and valid one (1) month from the date of approval.

Under Section 11 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, the following relationships are prohibited for marriage in Malaysia:

  • You are not allowed to marry your grandparent, parent, child or grandchild, sister or brother, great-aunt or great-uncle, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, great-niece or great-nephew
  • If you are a Hindu marrying under the Hindu law or custom, you will not be prohibited to marry your sister’s daughter (niece) or your mother’s brother (uncle)
  • You are not allowed to marry the grandparent or parent, child or grandchild of your spouse or former spouse
  • You are not allowed to marry the former spouse of your grandparent or parent, child or grandchild
  • You are not allowed to marry a person whom you have adopted or by whom you have been adopted

For the above purposes, relationships include

  • relationship of the half blood as well as the full blood
  • illegitimate blood relationship as well as legitimate

You must obtain a special marriage licence in Form JPN.KC01A (Application For Marriage Licence For Parties Whose Relationships Are Prohibited) [1] for prohibited relationships marriage. The licence may be granted by the Chief Minister, in his discretion, if he is satisfied that such marriage is unobjectionable under the law, religion, custom or usage applicable to the parties thereto.

References

  1. ^ JPN.KC01A can be obtained from the National Registration Department (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara JPN), Marriage and Divorce Division. Licence fee is RM2.00 and valid one (1) month from the date of approval.

The requirements for marriage in Malaysia under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 are:

  • Both parties must be unmarried
  • Both parties must not be in certain prohibited family relationships as stated under Section 11 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976
  • Both parties must consent to the marriage
  • There must not be other legal obstacles to the marriage
  • You must be at least eighteen (18) years of age
  • No consent of parents or guardian is required if you are twenty-one (21) years of age and above.
  • If you are below twenty-one (21) but above eighteen (18) years of age, you must have the consent of your parents or guardian in Form JPN.KC01B (Written Consent To The Marriage For One Who Has Not Completed 21 Years Of Age) [1].
    1. If such consent is not or cannot be given, you can apply to the High Court for the consent of the Court

    2. No such consent is required if you have been previously married

  • If you are a female sixteen (16) years of age and above but under eighteen (18) years of age, you can marry if you are able to obtain a special marriage licence granted by the Chief Minister in Form JPN.KC01D (Application For A Marriage Licence For Female Below 18 Years Of Age But Having Completed 16 Years) [2].
    1. If you marry without a special marriage licence, your marriage is void

    2.  To qualify for a special marriage licence, there must be no lawful impediment to the proposed marriage and you must have the consent of your                            parents or guardian.

Marital status refers to the lawful recognition of the relationship or agreement between a man and a woman, to be husband and wife.

Some of the common marital statuses are single, married, separated, divorced, widowed and annulled.

Along with the legal marital status of being married, the husband and wife acquire rights and obligations to their respective spouses. The rights and obligations begin when the couple is married and may continue, to a certain extent, even after the termination of the marriage.

Marital status is one of the basic issues involved in a lawsuit for divorce (marital dissolution) or annulment (nullity). At the end of a marital dissolution or nullity proceeding, the legal status of husband and wife is terminated and the spouses are returned to the legal status of being unmarried or single persons.

Marital status is automatically terminated upon the death of one spouse; the survivor becomes an unmarried person once again.

No. The provisions under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 on marriage, divorce, judicial separation and nullity of marriage are applicable to all persons in Malaysia and to all persons domiciled in Malaysia but are residents outside Malaysia EXCEPT:

  • A Muslim or any person who is married under the Islamic law and no marriage of one of the parties which professes the religion of Islam shall be solemnised or registered under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976;
  • Any native of Sabah or Sarawak or any aborigine of West Malaysia whose marriage and divorce is governed by native customary law or aboriginal custom unless he elects to marry under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976; he contracted his marrage under the Christian Marriage Ordinance; or he contracted his marriage under the Church and Civil Marriage Ordinance.

Before granting a divorce, the Court will consider all the circumstances of the case including the conduct of both parties and how the interests of any child or children will be affected, if the divorce is granted. The Court may grant a decree subject to such terms and conditions as it thinks necessary.

If you allege that there is reasonable grounds to suppose that your spouse is dead, you may present a petition:

  • to have it presumed that your spouse is dead; and
  • to a divorce.

If the Court is satisfied that such reasonable grounds exist, it may make a decree nisi of presumption of death and of divorce.

The fact that for a period of more than seven (7) years, your spouse has been continually absent from you and that you have no reason to believe that your spouse has been living within that time, is evidence that he/she is dead unless proven otherwise.

A wife may petition for divorce in Malaysia even though her husband is not domiciled or resident in Malaysia if;

  1. she has been deserted by her husband and her husband was before the desertion domiciled in Malaysia

2.  her husband has been deported from Malaysia and her husband was before the deportation domiciled in Malaysia;

3.  she is a resident in Malaysia and bas been ordinarily a resident in Malaysia for two (2) years immediately before she commenced the petition for divorce.