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Divorce Oath for Moslem-Married Couples in Indonesia

Monday, 18 September 2017
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The provisions concerning dissolution of marriage and its legal consequences are generally regulated in Marriage Law, which is further stipulated in Government Regulation Number 9 Year 1975 regarding the Implementation of Marriage Law. As for Moslem-married couples, the divorce proceedings are being regulated further according to the Compilation of Islamic Law.

A marriage may be terminated due to several reasons among others death, divorce, and court decisions. A marriage terminated by a divorce may occur due to talak or divorce suits. The last two were regulated under Compilation of Islamic Law. If you're a husband, and you're thinking to divorce your wife, you have a talak right. So you may submit a divorce application to the court in order to set-up a talak hearing. On another hand, if you're a wife, and you're thinking to divorce your husband, you may also file a divorce against him under divorce suit. We call it "Gugatan." Basically, this is pretty much the same thing, and has equal position in front of the law. A talak must be performed in front of the court of law in order to have effect in dissolving your marriage. Otherwise, it won't take legal binding. 

As for talak, it's the divorce oath of a husband before a court session at the Religious Court. The oath is being recited by the husband to his wife, by requesting both verbal and written to the Court in the jurisdiction of the wife in order to request for a court session for the purpose of reciting the divorce oath or talak. The legal term for this is talak divorce application. As a husband, you're the Petitioner, and your wife serves as the Respondent. You see, your titled changed as soon as you file your divorce. You're no longer a loving husband and wife. You're opponents. This is what the law said about it: "Talak is the oath of a husband before a court session in the Religious Court, which is one of the reasons for terminating a marriage..." The law is Article 117 Compilation of Islamic Law. Therefore, with reference to the law, divorce by talak must be conducted in front of the Religious Court. You just can't say "talak" for three times to get divorce. It won't take legal effect in a country like Indonesia. You've got to do it formally by registering a case to a court clerk, and obtain a case number.

The proceeding for divorce, both under talak or under legal suit carried-out by a wife, are the same. They use national Civil Procedures Code, which takes approximately ten sessions. You're looking at five to six months processing time. Both of them are implementing mediation to stall the process. This is imposed by our Supreme Court in order to reduce the number of litigation cases in our court system. Yes, it takes time to get divorce in Indonesia, but when you have a case number, step by step it'll take you there. They implement strict time frame under the principles of simple, costs-effective and speedy trials. Some experts said mediation is not applicable for divorce cases, because you can't stop people for getting divorce. I would say you can. You can give each other a chance. A second chance. A third chance. Whatever. It takes two to tango. The thing is, you have to keep on trying. Never give up. Don't ever quit for your marriage. Because you're only fail when you stop trying. I am Asep Wijaya, writing for Wijaya Law Review. Thank you for reading.

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