Divorce Process Flow – Introduction
In this particular post, we cover the divorce process flow.
When we talk about “process flow”, we usually think about diagrams that show how processes flow from one to another. So, in a divorce process flow, we are trying to describe how divorce takes place, process by process.
Who is this article for
This post on divorce process flow is for you if:
- You are looking for information about how a divorce happens.
- You are going through a conversation about divorce.
- You have just been presented with a divorce, and you want to know to expect in a divorce.
- You are going through a divorce, and you need to know what happens next.
- Your divorce is over, but you have questions about what needs to be done.
Q: How does a joint petition for divorce happen?
There are generally two types of divorces. And both of them have different divorce process flows.
First, there is the joint petition for divorce, in which both parties negotiate, and come up with an amicable solution. Then, there is the single petition for divorce, in which one party initiates the divorce without the agreement of the other party.
In the joint petition for divorce, you typically get the following divorce process flow.
First, the parties meet a lawyer. The lawyer will talk to them about their rights, and make suggestions on what will be a good outcome.
When the parties have agreed on the terms of the divorce, the lawyer gets to work. He drafts out the cause papers which will be submitted to court. Into the cause papers, go things such as the parties background, their children, their assets, and the terms they agree on.
The parties go back to the lawyer’s office, look through the cause papers, and decide whether to add anything to its contents.
If everything is acceptable, the parties sign, and the documents are filed in court.
The court then fixes a date, and the parties attend the court hearing.
At the hearing, the court gives an order for divorce as per the parties’ cause papers. That’s the day the parties get their Decree Nisi order.
What follows is three months of peace and quiet. During this time, the parties could call off the divorce if they want to. It’s like getting a warranty to return your new toy to the toy shop.
Three months later, if the parties haven’t indicated that they have changed their mind, the lawyers will apply to the court to finalize the divorce. That’s when the parties get their Decree Nisi Absolute order.
Once the Decree Nisi Absolute is out, the lawyers assist in submitting a copy of it to the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (National Registration Department). This causes the JPN to change the parties’ status to divorced.
Q: How does a single petition for divorce happen?
A: When you go through a single petition for divorce, it’s a long journey. The divorce process flow is more complicated.
First, there should be an effort to save the marriage, by some reconciliatory meetings.
Then, once the meetings have failed (you get a letter from the reconciliatory body) you can start the single petition for divorce.
There will be a stage where parties will file one document after another, to reply to statements filed by the other party.
And then the whole thing goes for trial.
But usually, there’s a little room for discussion just before trial, for the parties to decide if they really want to fight it out. We call it mediation.
If the mediation process works, the parties reach a settlement, and they enter an order for divorce on those terms.
If the mediation process fails, the trial takes place. Witnesses will be called. Evidence will have to be produced in court. It can be embarassing for some people, especially if it is a high profile divorce. (This is a good reason to seek a settlement, especially if you do not wish to air your dirty linen. Court trials are public.)
At the end of the whole process, the court will make a decision on the divorce. The parties might get their wishes granted, or they may be disappointed. Whatever the court decides, the parties can either accept, or appeal against.
So that’s how the process flow for a divorce looks like.
This post is part of a series on divorce.
This article is written and produced by our law firm for your information about the general flow of divorces. However if you wish to get specific advice about your divorce, kindly contact us for a consultation.