Disadvantages Of Cohabitation

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INTRODUCTION
In Malaysia, the laws relating to marriage for both Muslims and non-Muslims are clear. For Muslims, they are governed by Islamic law and various Islamic enactments which are applicable to them. Non-Muslims are governed by the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. However, there is no provision with regard to cohabitation. The reason is obvious with regard to the law applicable to the Muslims as the Quran strongly prohibits such an act. Even though the trend to cohabit is becoming more popular in Malaysia, it is hoped that this paper will expose to the public the bad impact of cohabitation from various angles. Thus, the act should be abhorred rather than followed. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARRIAGE AND COHABITATION
Marriage
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One of the most important negative effects of cohabitation is regarding the well-being of the child. The cohabitant, especially the woman would also bear the impact. Last but not least, the impact will infiltrate into the society at large.
Effect on Cohabitants
Many studies show that physical abuses are more common and severe among cohabitants compared to married couples (Waite 1999/2000) . Those who cohabit before marriage have unhappier marriages and their depression rates are more than three times than those who married (Waite 1999/2000).
Important values in a successful relationship such as commitment (Forste 2002) and trust also tend to be diminished. Compared to married couples, cohabitants generally do not want to take responsibility for their partner (Waite 1999/2000).
Legally, cohabitants may not enjoy rights accorded to the married couples in many aspects including status, maintenance, inheritance and custody. Under Islamic law, as highlighted before, any relationship outside wedlock will not be recognized and in fact the doer will be subjected to severe punishment. Thus, a female cohabitant will not be entitled to any right given to a married woman including right to dowry (mas kahwin) and maintenance. Section 21 of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Act 1984 (hereinafter referred to as IFLA) provides that such rights are only given if there is a marriage. The section

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