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If you think divorce is the best possible solution for you, many things that should be included into a consideration. In Indonesia, you need to determine court jurisdiction responsible to dissolve a marriage. We have two courts here i.e. district court, and religious court. You file your divorce application at a district court if you're married in Non Moslem ceremonies. Application for your divorce should be filed at the religious court, if you're married in Moslem ceremony. 

Talaq or Divorce Application

Article 38 of Marriage Law imposed that a marriage can be dissolved due to death, divorce and a court decree. As for Moslem couples, a marriage dissolution via divorce can be done with Talaq or divorce application. They are the same. One of a kind. It consists about your marital situation that can lead the judge to dissolve your marriage. The only difference is the first one filed by a husband. The latter lodged by a wife.

Remember, this is for the couples married in Moslem ceremony. Talaq is an oral statement in front of the presiding judges. Your submission of divorce for talaq application must be supported with valid reasons why the court may dissolve your marriage. They must also meet legal requirements in divorce application, both in general rules or religious court procedures.

Legal Grounds for Divorce

There are  legal grounds of filing for divorce that have been regulated in the Marriage Law, which are, in the event one of the parties:

  1. has committed adultery, is an alcoholic, is addicted to drugs, is a gambler or exhibits other vices which are difficult to cure;

  2. has left the other spouse for two consecutive years, without consent and without legitimate reasons or the absence of reasons beyond his control;

  3. has been sentenced to imprisonment for five (5) consecutive years or a longer period;

  4. has resorted to cruelty or severe ill treatment, endangering the life of the other spouse;

  5. has developed a disability or disease, preventing from fulfilling the duties of husband or wife; or

  6. has irreconcilable differences.

Your situation must meet one of the above legal grounds. Otherwise, they will throw your case and deny your application. You only have one shot bite at the apple! Just make it count.

Indonesia's Supreme Court ruled that every divorce-related case must go through any mediation. It's like a last call before you decide to give a go to your divorce. They will want you to come and meet a court-appointed mediator. This is a-must-go session. They will be asking questions why you want to dissolve your marriage in a first place. It's not everyone's favourite moments, but you have to be there just once. After that they will call it a day.

Evidence

The court would require you to submit evidence that there is indeed a situation where your marriage meets a legal ground to get divorce. Our law would require you to submit documents as well as witnesses in the same time.

They must support your divorce application. First, you need to be able to submit a marriage certificate, birth certificate of your children, and some other background information about your marriage. Second, you must have witnesses. They must come to the court, and take a stand in the court room. 

Divorce Verdict

When the court reached the verdict, a divorce application made by a wife will legally binding within 14 days. As for the talaq application made by a husband, it will not be so within give time. Not until you as a husband show-up to the court and perform the talaq statement. You will have repeat after the judge. Before that, you have to make sure you paid the spousal support to the court for your ex-wife. Otherwise, you can't perform the talaq ceremony.

Your marriage dissolution becomes legally binding after you conducted the talaq statement. Within approximately 14 days. They will issue a court decree regarding your divorce. Failure to do so, the divorce decree made upon your talaq application is void. The divorce is not valid, and you're stilll legally married to your wife. You will have to do it again.

My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my posts!

Published in Library

Child custody in Indonesia is a family issue that may come into subject matter of the court if you're filing for a divorce. This is something normal in relation to the divorce case. Both parents claim that they are the best for the custody of their children. But do they? How the laws in Indonesian govern something like this? Read on!

Fathers' Engagement

Nowadays, fathers are getting more engaged in the child upbringing in Indonesia. They take the children to school everyday before they go to work. Fathers read with their children at night, teach them and get involved with their everyday's schooling works. Some of them also take them for taking a bath, feed them and get them dressed decently. You can't ignore this phenomenon. This is happening everywhere. They are doing this because they think fathers can do it too. They can even do it better in getting involved with their child's upbringing in Indonesia.

Mother's Career

Just because your wife is working and have a career, it doesn’t mean that she can’t nurture the child. Just because she’s busy with work, it does not mean she may be able to lose custody of a child if a divorce case in session.

Husband and wife are equal in the marriage life. Both of them have the same rights in their career and business. According to Article 31 of Marriage Law imposed that both husband and wife have the rights to earn a living. Even sometime, just sometime, wife’s  making more money than her husband. 

Custody of a Child

When you’re still married, they called it parental authority. If you’re divorced, they called it custody. Pretty much the same issues. It just in Indonesia, we recognized custody parent, and non-custody parent. But this is in theory as in the law books. There's more to it than meet the eyes. The judges are happy as long as you and the child are happy. 

According to Article 105 of Compilation of Islamic Law, child under 12 (twelve) years old, the custody belongs to the mother. For the child above 12, he may choose his custody parent holder. Supreme Court’s ruling number 210/K/AG/1999 imposed that a mother’s privilege for child custody may be revoked if she’s committing apostate and practise other religion beside Islam.

Other Supreme Court’s precedence number 376/PK/Pdt/2011 regarding this matter is also applicable when the female spouse was committing apostate and turned Moslem. Nevertheless, the male spouse was charged with criminal sentence for abandoning their child. So, the judges favor the party with less liability in order to raise the child. 

How to Win the Custody

It’s simple: the best interest of the child! That’s the keywords. It does sounds simple, but might not be easy to do it. Many people knows it, but many of them also fail. Getting yourself involved in school with the children, and teaching them with their English reading are a good start. Really good start. Keep up the good work!

You don’t say that you are richer than your spouse and therefore makes you a better parent. You need to prove that you are better because you put the child first. You need to promote yourself, and destroy the credibility of the opposing party. It sounds cruel, but it's a divorce case anyway. The moment you lodged the case to the court, both of you are opponents. No longer husband and wife. After all, you're doing it for the child. You need to to do it in order to win the custody of the child. But hey, remember this: it's not about you. It's about the child. Read my lips, put the child first. Please contact me when you need any further assistance with this issue. We have previous portfolios that you can use as your reference. 

My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading my posts!

Published in Library
Monday, 21 October 2019 06:01

Dissolving a Foreign Marriage in Indonesia

 

Getting divorce in Indonesia is not easy, especially if you were married abroad, but is still doable. You can rely on the court in Indonesia to dissolve your foreign marriage. This is not the case that they usually see on daily basis. This is about making Indonesia as your primary jurisdiction. Some regular legal issues in terms of divorcing in Indonesia may not be applicable to your case. For example, the marriage must be registered or reported to the marriage registry in Indonesia, you must possess a marriage certificate issued from the marriage registry in Indonesia, or none of you are Indonesian national. Those things are not required to exist in your case. This is a foreign divorce case. It's part of the international civil law in Indonesia. 

Reporting of Foreign Marriage 

When you're married outside of Indonesia, both of you are foreigners, and either of you work in Indonesia, you don't have to register or report marriage in order to divorce or dissolve your marriage here. You don't have to get a marriage certificate from the civil registry or you don't have to retrieve a marriage book from the Office of Religious Affairs (so called "Kantor Urusan Agama"/KUA). When you're married, you're married. Since both of you are foreigners, no further reporting of your foreign marriage is required with the above marriage registries. Foreign marriage reporting is only applicable to you in the event one of you are an Indonesian national. 

This thing has something to do with the term of "Lex Loci Celebrations." Literally, this term means the law of the land where the marriage was celebrated. A marriage or a union of a man and a woman when lawfully and validly celebrated under the relevant law of the land where the two individuals have legal nationality or citizenship, is also lawful and valid in the country where they live (reside or are domiciled). 

Principle of Minimum Contact

There are several legal principles that may able to used to support your foreign divorce. They are principle of connection point, Lex Fori, and Lex Causae. Those are the basic legal principle that in order to examine how the court will handle your case. The connection point principle consist of two parts i.e. Primary and secondary connection point. Some called it Minimum Contact. Your case must have minimum contact with the laws where the court has its jurisdiction. Primary connection point is the facts that establish the connection between your divorce case with the place where you will find it has jurisdiction over your case. At Wijaya & Co, we always pay attention to details of our client’s case. 
 
The component supporting primary connection point are as follows:
  1. The nationality. Both spouses nationality is part of the primary connection point that establish the case between you and your spouse.
  2. Domicile. You must live in the territory of Indonesia and both you and your spouse are residents. This is where you establish the bonafide residence in order to have a minimum contact with the court jurisdiction in the area where you live.
  3. The venue. The venue is the exact place where you intend to dissolve the marriage and shall try your case according to the prevailing laws in Indonesia.
As for the secondary connection point in your case is the applicable law under your nationality. If you belongs to the state of California, United States, the court in Indonesia shall use family law in the state of California, especially to establish legal grounds for divorce, spousal and child support. The judge will compare those laws with the same thing that applicable under the Indonesian laws. They need to come to examination where none of the stipulation in California laws do not contradict anything under the Indonesian laws. This is to meet the requirements of keep the public order. Indonesia definitely confirm that they have jurisdiction over the case like this under a very ancient stipulation of Article 16 Algemene Bepalingen (AB). It's an ancient law that still exist in Indonesia. It came from Dutch ruling ages ago, but still exist up until now. In fact, it created the framework of our legal system. 
 
Jurisdiction according to Residence
 
Under Article 207 of Civil Code, a petition for divorce is to be filed with the court of justice, within whose jurisdiction the husband, at the time of the filing of the petition has his main residence, or in the absence thereof, has taken up actual residence. In the event the husband does not have any known principal residence or actual residence within Indonesia, the petition is to be filed with the court of justice at the location where the wife, at that time, actually resides. So, the actual residence of both spouses may be used in order to establish connection with the court jurisdiction in Indonesia. This is the principle Lex Fori that the laws in Indonesia shall be referred to in terms of determination of the court responsible to try the case.
 
In order to retrieve your legal jurisdiction to dissolve your foreign marriage in Indonesia, you need to have a valid residency here. Either you work in a company located in Indonesia, or you set-up your own company in Indonesian soil operating within the territory of the Republic of Indonesia, you may retrieve a court jurisdiction through that residency. I would say you need any least twelve (12) months minimum in order to retrieve a jurisdiction  for this situation. 
 
The above is the minimum contact in order to get  a divorce in Indonesia. Please contact me should you want me to explain in plain language about how we can do to assist you with your foreign marriage dissolution or even how you might be able to establish a case under the Indonesian law.  Please contact me should you wish to discuss any further about this. You may give me a call or drop me an email so we can take it further. 
  
My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading my posts!
Published in Library

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: 

  1. Spousal maintenance, and marital residence for your wife;
  2. household expenses, medical expenses for your wife and children;
  3. 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.

Disclaimer: 

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.

Published in Library

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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