Divorce Trends in Malaysia


The Malaysia’s Women, Family and Community Development Ministry listed the following reasons for divorce or separation in Malaysia:

  1. Misunderstanding
  2. Infidelity
  3. Interference by in-laws
  4. Irresponsible behaviour

According to Deputy Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun, the first 5 years of marriage are usually the most challenging.

Amongst the non-Muslims, there were 9,029 divorces in 2014 and 9,326 divorces in 2015.

See: Martin Carvalho, Loshana K. Shagar, Nicholas Cheng and D/ Kanyakumari, “Infidelity among reasons why couples divorce in Malaysia”, The Star/ ANN, 15 November 2016

Reasons for divorce and separation in Singapore

From my experience as a family lawyer, the reasons for divorces and separation in Singapore are not that different from those in Malaysia. Many of my clients cited adultery and unreasonable behaviour in support of their divorces.

Some of my clients found it difficult to get along with their in-laws. When quarrels arose, they felt that their spouses took the side of their in-laws. This led to them feeling slighted and neglected.

There were also those who “misunderstood” their spouses as a result of a lack of communication.

Challenging years

Needless to say, the first few years of the marriage will always be the most challenging. Husband and wife have to get used to living with each other and cope with additional responsibilities in life (such as being a parent).

Statistics show that more than 1 in 10 marriages solemnized in the year of 2004 in Singapore ended in annulment or divorce by 2014.

In a perfect world, every marriage will last till death do the couple part.

For couples who emerge from the first 10 years of the marriage unscathed, more challenges await them in the next 10 years. On a more positive note, there is a higher likelihood that they will last the distance. Marriage is never a sprint. It is a marathon.

While the world may not be perfect for those who divorce/ separate within the first 10 years of their marriage, leaving an unhappy marriage may be more of a blessing than staying in one. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence

For more information, please contact us here.


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