As a family in Malaysia, you are under certain statutory and legal boundaries. This means that there are regulations when it comes to getting married, having children, divorce and other matters that influence the family in general.
Malaysia’s Family Law
The law in Malaysia for families are quite similar to most countries. This is where you must be aware of the roles of every member and what they need to do. The father and the mother would have the responsibilities to take care of their children, ensuring that they are accorded with the appropriate education and welfare that they deserve. These are some of the issues that must be upheld in any family.
Laws related to family in Malaysia
There are several Acts that are applicable in the family context in Malaysia. This includes although not limited to the following:
- Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976
- Guardianship of Infants Act 1961
- Child Act 2001
- Married Women Act 1957
- Married Women & Children (Maintenance) Act 1950
- Married Women & Children (Enforcement of Maintenance) Act 1968
The law in general
As there are many aspects and Acts involved in family law, you need to know which law is applicable for which context in every type of family problems. For instance, the Child Act 2001 is involved in the care of children, their protection and other issues.
Marriage and Divorce
In terms of marriage and divorce, the Malaysian law stipulates that both will need to go through the legal process through the Registrar of Marriages and the National Registration Department. This is because both marriage and divorce are legally binding contracts where any disputes would be heard before the court of law.
In many situations, divorce would involve a lot of disputes like custody issues, division of assets and payments. This would then involve several parties and lawyers that are intended to protect the best interest of either side.
Child Abuse matters
Child abuse is one of the biggest societal problems not only within Malaysia but throughout the world. There are many types of acts that might be considered as abuse. The most common type would be physical abuse. The number of reported sexual abuse case have been rising each year and this has become very alarming. Apart from that, mental abuse is another problem which families are facing. The Child Act is applicable to protect the child from their parents or step-parents who might inflict harm to them.
Let the courts decide
Fundamentally, the court of law will be called in if both parties are unable to come to an agreement. This is most common with divorce cases where both sides are unable to agree on a settlement whether it is a sum of money or certain terms like assets and savings. It becomes a lot more complicated if there is a child involved where custody battles could be very mentally challenging and incur a lot cost.
Legal Aid in Malaysia
In Malaysia, free legal aid is given to anyone who needs them. However, there are certain requirements for adults to be afforded with free legal aid. The option you can consider is to contact the Legal Aid Department under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department. To be eligible for this, you need to either:
- Have a maximum income of RM25,000 per annum, or
- Have an annual income of RM25,000 but less than RM30,000
For the first category, if you are eligible, you will only need to pay a RM2.00 registration fee. If you fall under the second category, you will need to pay RM2.00 for registration and an additional contribution of RM300.00.
However, take note that you need to take the Legal Aid Means test before you can qualify.