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Property Ownership in Your Marriage

Saturday, 19 August 2017
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Law  on community property in Indonesia is very simple. It refers to the Article 35 of 1974 Marriage Law that stipulates: “Property acquired during the marriage shall become community property. Separate property of husband and wife acquired as gift or inheritance shall be under each party’s control, as long as the parties did not govern otherwise.” Governing otherwise means both you and your wife sign and entered into any prenuptial agreement.

If you signed a Prenup, that we should take a look at what your Prenup what have to say. The stipulation by the law was pretty simple. How you going to do about it? Dig deeper and see what the court said about it. We call it Precedence. It’s a Supreme Court ruling on issues and shall serve as reference for lower courts in trying similar cases. Some of the verdicts were major breakthrough. Some of them were detailed explanation of what the law had to say about the issue.

The Supreme Court have had categorized Community Property in various verdicts on issues on property in a matrimony. They are as follows:
  1. Property acquired during the marriage.  It doesn’t matter who bought it, husband or wife. It doesn’t matter who holds the property title. As long as it was bought within a legitimate marriage, then it shall be classified as Community Property. This was retrieved from the verdict of Supreme Court number 803K/Sip/1970. Of course, there was an exception when the money to acquire such property came from the proceeds of separate property, or from the saving of each party acquired before the marriage, then the property will be her/his separate property. The exception was retrieved from the verdict number 151K/Sip/1974.What do you need this for? You need this for to determine the definition of separate property while you’re writing your prenuptial agreement, or when you’re drafting your divorce settlement, or when you are in the proceedings of community property division in your divorce case.
  2. Property acquired after divorce financed by community property. Like for example, you and your ex-spouse have money in your joint account. One of the parties dried-up the account, and start making purchases like houses, cars, etc. Those properties are classified as Community Property. Nevertheless, you need to prove that the money comes from the joint account. You need to show a clear flow of the money. You’re bringing the motion, you ought to prove it. The legal doctrine was retrieved from the verdict of the Supreme Court number 803K/Sip/1970.The law in Indonesia can touch that, and you need to make sure that who ever took the money from the joint account can’t get away with it.
  3. Each and every property acquired during the marriage classified as the Community Property. You need to work hard to prove it. Regardless, who the title holder is, as long as you can withdraw a clear line and bring a bunch of evidence to the court that show the flows of the money, supporting documents, then the law can help you. As long as it’s happening during the marriage, the property is your community property. The Supreme Court had this case and took it as the precedence in verdict number 806K/Sip/1974.
  4. Income of husband and wife during the marriage. Their incomes are community property. Even though only one party is working, like for example, husband. In that case, his income shall be classified as community property. This is in line with the spirit when the law maker enacted the 1974 Marriage Law in Indonesia: husband is the bread maker in the family. Wife is the housewife. But things are changed now. We have equal rights. It means we want to be treated equal, right?
Community property is your property together with your spouse, regardless the contribution. Being together in a matrimony is something special. You’re not only focus on “I” or “you” but rather to promote “we” thing. Last night, I sat together with my wife in our living room. She wanted to buy some dining set, and she asked my opinion about it. Well, it is something simple. It wasn’t that expensive. For a second I thought, why don’t you just buy it and tell me about it afterward. I sat closer and pay attention to whatever she had to say about those china dining set. I asked her which one she liked, and we came to the conclusion to which dining set we’re buying. The one she liked, of course. Apart from that, something simple like a dining set can come to a powerful meaning for us to something that we can call: ours.
I am Asep Wijaya writing for Wijaya on the Access. Thank you for visiting my blogs, and reading the posts.

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