In Indonesia, a husband is considered as the bread maker in the family. The Marriage Law considers a wife as a full-time house wife. She's taking care her husband and the children. Your main responsibility is to support your wife and the children financially. Article 34 of the Marriage Law imposed that a husband is obliged to protect his wife and provide all the necessities of living household according to his ability. This condition is also applicable in the event of divorce. Even though your wife is also working, and making more money than you.
In the even of divorce, the court may determine the spousal support that must be paid by the husband. The spousal support is one of the consequences of getting divorce in Indonesia. So, this is only applicable after the marriage has previously been dissolved by the court. Article 41 (c) of the Marriage Law gives the court the authority to impose financial obligation of the husband in regards to his spousal support payment that must be made to his wife. The ongoing divorce proceedings may not be used as an excuse of not making the daily living support to your wife. This is also applicable to your obligation to your children. You may not be allowed to abandon the children due to the ongoing case in court of law.
Furthermore, for Moslem couples, the Islamic Compilation Law stipulated in Article 80 (2) and (4) that the financial obligation provided by the husband is including but not limited to:
- Spousal maintenance, and marital residence for your wife;
- household expenses, medical expenses for your wife and children;
- Education expenses for your children.
The stipulation regarding spousal support also imposed by the Civil Code in Article 107 as follows: "The husband is obligated to accommodate his wife in the house that he occupies. He is obligated to protect her, and to provide her with necessities, in accordance with his position and capacity." See? We have complete ruling from all over the place: civil law, Islamic law, and the marriage law. The whole nine yards.
The terms and condition for spousal support is indeed very general, but may be applicable to you in the event you meet the criterias. Basically, it's you who throw the numbers on the table. You need to keep the standard of living that has been maintained during the course of your marriage. In the field of practise, we have two types of spousal support. The short one, and the long one. The first one is as short as three months. The long one is as long as 12 (twelve) months to 24 (twenty four) months. But indeed, you don't have to support her until she remarries. This won't be the case here in Indonesia.
If you failed to provide spousal support, you are considered comitting domestic violence under 2004 Domestic Violence Act stipulated as follows: "Everyone is prohibited to neglect a person within the scope of his household even though according to the law applicable to him or because of his consent it is obliged to provide life, care, or maintenance to that person." This is the last thing you want. You don't want the court in Indonesia reached the verdict with the figures you can't afford. If she's smart enough, she will use it as a mirror order to nail you wherever you are. It happened once. They were having this proceeding at the South Jakarta Court. The husband thought the court can't touch him because he lives and works in Singapore. The last thing he knew was he was served by the Singapore Supreme Court because of the complaints filed by his wife. So, take my word for it. Face it and get it over with. You need to hire the best in the business.
On the other hand, in the event your wife left you and the children. She left the house without your consent, the law thinks that she's not entitled to a spousal support. This is applicable according to the Islamic Compilation Law. They called it Nusyuz. It means she is being rebelled, and did not obey her husband. Nevertheless, this does not waive her rights in property division. It doesn't sound fair. I know. This is the sad part of our legal system. A precedence about this issue has been reached by the Supreme Court, and remain valid until now.
My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading my posts.
The above is provided for informational purposes only and is NOT to be relied upon as legal advice. This information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney and should not be construed as a solicitation. No attorney-client relationship is established by use of information found within this article nor in this website.