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Wedding Expenses In Divorce Proceeding;Insight by a Malaysian Divorce Lawyer

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

Can you claim back your wedding expenses in divorce proceeding?

There are times when a party would want to claim for wedding expenses in divorce proceeding against the opposing party in addition to asking for the Court for an order to dissolve the marriage.

One of the probable cause for the party concerned to ask for this relief is when he or she feels that the other party had caused the marriage to break down and hence the other party should reimburse him or her for the wedding expenses in divorce proceeding.

The next question to be answered is whether the claim for wedding expenses in divorce proceeding is sustainable in law and this brings us to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164) which is the primary legislation regulating marriages and divorces for non-muslims in Malaysia.

It is important to note that the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164) provided clear provisions on the issue of maintenance of spouse, property divisions and custody of children but there is no provision whatsoever stated in the said Act that allows for the parties in divorce proceeding to claim for wedding expenses incurred. References was also made to the following point of reference but it is also unfortunate to note (the writer stand to be corrected) that it does not made any references to the issue on whether the claim for wedding expenses in divorce proceeding has ever been allowed in Malaysian Court.

–       Marriage and Dissolution Handbook MLJ Handbook Series 2003 Edition;

–       The Annotated Statutes of Malaysia with relevant subsidiary legislation on Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Act 164); and

–       Family Law in Malaysia by Mimi Kamariah Majid 1999 Edition.


In the case of Shameni Pillai A/P P B Rajedran v. S Arulselvam A/L Sanggilly and Rafidah Bt Mat Taib [2010] MLJU 133 the petitioner therein attempted to claim for wedding expenses incurred by her in the sum of RM87,900.00 but it was disallowed by the High Court for want of agreement to that effect and the Petitioner had agreed to pay for the expenses herself in the first place.

The relevant part of the judgment reproduced herein:

“Having sieved through the evidence, I find that the Petitioner had failed to prove on a balance of probabilities that there was an agreement for a Hindu wedding ceremony to be held in Kuala Lumpur, the costs of which was to be borne by the Respondent. In any event, the Petitioner has stated in her evidence in chief that she had agreed to bear the entire cost of the engagement/registration ceremony. Further, the Petitioner’s father (SP2) in his confirmed that he had agreed to bear the cost of the engagement/registration ceremony and had in fact paid for it. Therefore, it is now not open to the Petitioner to claim the entire cost from the Respondent just because the Hindu rites ceremony did not take place or that the marriage has broken down irretrievably”.


 Based on the above and in the absence of any new judicial decision it is unlikely that the claim for wedding expenses in divorce proceeding will be allowed by the Court.

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