Postnuptial agreement is legally recognized in Indonesia. It is a legal instrument from the decision of the Constitutional Court. It's quite a breakthrough but it has some prerequisite requirements in order to be valid. Some of them must come from you as the parties of the contract. Some come from the contract itself, including the formalities from the government institution supervising the proceeding.
You Must be a Husband and Wife
Postnuptial agreement in Indonesia is an agreement signed by a husband and a wife after their legal marriage. The marriage must be properly registered at a registry, such as civil registry, if they were married in Non Moslem, or Office of Religious Affairs (so called "KUA"), if they were a Moslem couple. This is related to one of the legal requirements imposed by the laws in getting a recognised post-marital agreement.
You must be a legally-wedded husband and wife in order to sign a postnuptial agreement. The marriage must have been performed, both the civil marriage and the religious ceremony. In Indonesia, you can't have a civil marriage without performing religious ceremony. So, both of them must be completed before the postnup is being signed. Therefore, you must be able to present the marriage certificate/book for processing the postnup.
The draft of your postnup is available in Indonesian language. An English translation may be provided for mutual understanding. But the version with the legal precedent is the Indonesian. A good postnup certifies this situation in order to give you an informed consent before you said OK to this.
Your legal expert must offer a dual language questionnaire to gather all the required input from you and your wife of what should be included into your postnuptial agreement. Many legal aspects in your marriage that you can't afford to left behind. Therefore, a questionnaire is crucial. At Wijaya & Co, we offer our clients with a questionnaire in order to give you any idea what's your postnup is about.
From Joint to Separation
The regime of property ownership in your postnup will be changed drastically, from joint ownership to total separation. Each spouse will have independent control of his/her own property. This will take effect since the date you signed the postnup. Therefore, each property belongs to each spouse, and they require no assistance from the other. This is a favourable situation when the two of you are a mixed-marriage couple.
This regime will allow the Indonesian spouse to maintain his/her ownership in any immovable property located in Indonesia. Without this situation, she/he will be precluded to own a property under Hak Milik (Freehold Title), let alone to dispose it. If you need a bank's loan to finance the purchase of your assets, chances are they may not be able to offer you one. Many of our clients experience this constraint. A successful application was made after a good and legally recognized postnuptial agreement is incorporated with us.
What If You Can't Come to Indonesia
The Covid-19 pandemic forbids you to travel to Indonesia. You can't come down here to sign the postnup, both you and your spouse. In that case, you need to make sure if the country you live in has diplomatic relationship with Indonesia. If they do have an embassy or a consulate there, you can take the postnup to the embassy/consulate, and get your signatures attested by the consular officers.
We'll take it from there!
I always advise my clients to get a court approval to their postnup contract. You see, the postnup is changing the situation, from joint to separation of property. This is changing of legal situation. The only thing that can do this is a court of law. The process may take a little bit longer. It may costs you a little bit. But, this is going to be the strongest legal instrument you ever make in terms of your property protection in Indonesia.
You need to consider this if you own quite significant assets or planning to buy an assets based on the postnuptial agreement. Make sure you have strong legal basis in order to move forward ahead. If you're in this situation, I strongly suggest you get one of this type of postnuptial agreement. Please call me or email me if you need any further information or requires any assistance with this.
My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading!
Legal Ground in General
In Indonesia, foreigners are not allowed to legally own freehold title (Hak Milik) in landed property. In accordance with Article 21 (1) of Law number 5 of 1960 regarding Basic Agrarrian Law imposed that: “Only Indonesian citizens can have a hak milik.” In the event the Indonesian married to a foreigner, she will be precluded to legally own freehold title of a landed property. This stipulation also similar to the situation as if she lost her rights as an Indonesian citizen.
Furthermore, according to Art. 21 (3) stipulates as follows: “A foreigner who, following the entry into force of this Act, acquires a hak milik by way of inheritance without a will or by way of joint ownership of property resulting from marriage and an Indonesian citizen holding a hak milik who, following the entry into force of this Act, loses Indonesian citizenship is obliged to relinquish that right within one year following the date the hak milik is acquired in the case of the former or following the date upon which Indonesian citizenship is lost in the case of the latter. If following the expiry of the said timr periods, the right is not relinquished, then the siad right is nullified for the sake of law and the land falls to the State with the proviso that the rights of other parties which encumber the lands remain in existence.”
As for the Art. 21 (4) imposed as follows: “As long as one with Indonesian citizenship concurrently holds foreign citizenship, he/she cannot have land with the status of a hak milik, and to him/her the provision as meant in paragraph 3 of this article shall apply."
Those are the legal grounds why you need to have a prenuptial agreement in the first place. The prenup is to separate your property acquired before and during the course of your marriage. This is the legal way to get around the issues of property ownership in mixed-marriage couples in Indonesia.
Legal Ground from Banking Sector
Some other legal ground comes from the banking sector. A prevailing regulations that apply to a bank imposed that a loan applicant must possesses a marital agreement for mix-marriage couples. The regulation of Bank Indonesia number 7/14/PBI 2005 regarding Rupiah transactions and providing foreign currency credit by the bank for foreigners. The foreigners here are citizens who are licensed or permitted to stay Indonesia. For mixed-marriage couples, the Indonesian spouse will be precluded in applying for credit or a loan to the bank in the event she/he does not have any marital agreement governing the separation of their properties.
In the event no prenuptial agreement exists in your mixed-marriage, the Indonesian spouse will be considered to have join property with her/his foreign spouse. Therefore, the bank will not be able offer loans to the Indonesian spouse. This is because that she/he may require a consent from her/his foreign spouse to execute a property transaction. It is something that the foreigner will not be able to provide as he/she is not in the legal position to own any property in the first place. So, you are hitting a dead-end.
Documents You Need
This is not a personal attack on you. This is the ruling from our legal system to protect the land in Indonesia only for Indonesian. No offence. Should you interested in moving forward with your own prenuptial agreement, have these documents ready so we can review them and provide the best possible terms and conditions for your situation:
Your prenuptial agreement will be going places. They must be recognized by government institutions. Your supporting documents are the credentials to lodge the prenuptial agreement in the right database. The government is getting organized these days, which is good for you. All you've got to do is to comply. Cheers!
My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading my blogs!
Prenuptial agreement in Indonesia is highly recommended for mixed-couples in Indonesia. This is the only way to get around the legal issues exist in your matrimony as imposed by the prevailing laws in Indonesia. What exactly is that? Simple, they don't want foreigners to really own a piece of property in Indonesia. At least, under Hak Milik. It is similar to freehold title that you can keep it for good, no expiry date, and you can inherit it to your children in the event you pass-away.
Literally, they want property ownership for Indonesian citizen only. So, when you're marry to a local partner, and you want your spouse to maintain her/his rights to property ownership in Indonesia, prenup is advisable. Get a good one! Something that could protect you, and not to make you jumpy when you executed it to secure a property purchase. At Wijaya & Co., we always pay the details of our clients' case.
The idea behind a valid prenuptial agreement for mixed-marriage couples is to avoid joint property ownership. Your prenup must promote separation of assets in order to meet the situation required by the Indonesia's Basic Property Law. If you have no prenup, it means there is a joint property ownership in your mixed-marriage. If such thing exists it means that there's foreign ownership in the property. The Indonesian spouse is effected as both the husband and wife co-own the assets. Please contact me to identify the dos and don'ts regarding a valid prenuptial agreement in Indonesia.
When you co-own the assets with your foreign partner, you need to retrieve consent from him/her, which is not possible to get. You need it but he won't be able to give it to you because he is not in the legal position to own a property in Indonesia in the first place. The legal constraints come from the Article 21 of 1960 Basic Agrarian Law stipulates that an Indonesian married to a foreigner is precluded to own a property in Indonesia.
A prenup in Indonesia is governed under contract laws. In order to enter into a valid one, you need to make sure you meet all the requirements for contract eligibility as set-out by Civil Code 1320, as follows:
The contents of your prenup must not include reduction or limitation to several rights of the husband, wife, and the children born into their marriage. Your prenup must not have a clause that limits the authority of a husband. The agreement does not interfere with the rights, which originate from the man, in such capacity, and with the paternal rights, neither will it interfere with the rights which the law has granted to the longest living spouse. They are also entitled to stipulate, that, notwithstanding the legal community property, the immovable assets, the recordings of State debts, other negotiable instruments and indebtedness, attributable to the wife, or those, which, during the course of the marriage, will be added to the community property as her share, will not be transferred or encumbered by her husband without her consent.
Your prenup must not consist a clause that limits the authority as parents. The agreement must not prejudice the rights afforded to the man, as head of the legal union; without prejudice to the rights of the wife to control the management of her movable and immovable assets, and to enjoy her personal income freely.
The rights of a surviving spouse may not be limited. It must not reduce the rights of surviving spouse and the children born into their marriage to inherit the deceased spouse. The prospective spouses, may not in the prenuptial agreement, renounce their legal obligation regarding the inheritance of their descendants. In addition, they cannot regulate the inheritance of their descendants in the prenup. You need to write a separate last will to distribute assets in the even you're pass-away.
You may not to draw-up a clause in your prenup that either party has larger portion in a debt or loan. They may not enter into an agreement to the effect that one is liable for a larger portion of the joint marital property debts than the other. That just not fair!
My name is Asep Wijaya. Thank you for reading my posts!
The laws in Indonesia legally recognized marital agreement as a contract entered by a husband and wife, either before or during the course of marriage. Having a marital contract, either a prenup or postnup in Indonesia, there is more to it than meets the eyes. You can see how it redefines your marriage, regardless your nationalities.
Are You In It for Love?
A prenuptial agreement(so called “Prenup”) in Indonesia definitely can protect your assets. When you're considering to marry someone, you need to know if she/he's marrying you for love or for money. One could never tell, but the marital agreement could always do. Take my word for it. If she/she says yes, even after the prenup has been executed, then he/she's the one. No matter what.
By entering into a marital agreement prior to your marriage, you can protect your assets acquired prior to your marriage to him/her. The assets are legally free from the claim she/he can brought against you as if no marriage has been consummated. You're not legally liable for the debts prior the marriage. So, yes, with the marital agreement in Indonesia, you are in it for love. Not for the money.
Protection against Bigamy
This is sometime, just sometime, happens in countries like Indonesia: your husband is committing bigamy. Ouch! That's not good. Please don't get mad. Get everything! Yes, you read me right. Get everything, literally!
You should insist to enter into a postnuptial agreement (so called “Postnup”) between you and your husband in order to protect your financial interest, your children's future, and your assets. Even though, each marriage to each wife and its assets is totally separated, but you never knew. Get yourself a cover. You can't risk yourself and the children exposed to any potential risks. In this case, you should get a postnuptial agreement. A Postnup in Indonesia is legal and recognized. is a type of marital agreement entered into a husband and wife during the course of marriage. With the breakthrough verdict from the Constitutional Court in 2016, the postnup is legally recognized and totally can be upheld in the court of law.
Using a postnuptial agreement to protect yourself from bigamy is exist long before the Court reach the verdict. The terms and conditions for this type of marital agreement is even exist in the Civil Code. Indonesian socialites have been using this to protect their marital assets, and the laws allow the wife to submit a motion for postnuptial agreement.
Business as Usual
Practically, in Indonesia, your spouse is your business partner. Not to mention if she/he's actively contributing to the business enterprise on daily basis. Whether he/she is serving as a member of the board or not. Your spouse entitles to half of your share. Lovely, isn't it?
Article 157 Civil Code imposed that the profit you made out of your marital assets, retrieved from the community assets, income derived from joint assets, shall be considered as marital property or community property. Whatever you call it, your spouse entitle to it. Your profit, your income, exchanges of the existing property, among others, are part of the joint assets with your spouse.
When the marriage ends with a divorce, your spouse gets half of the assets, both now in existence and its profits. So, consider signing an Indonesian postnuptial agreement in order to prevent that from happening, and list your business enterprise as one of your separate assets.
Preserving Your Inheritance
Say, you're expecting inheritance from your parents. Legally, inheritance and gift from a third party are separate property. Article 35 (2) of 1974 Marriage Law stipulates that if you otherwise determined, the inheritance may become joint property. It means, it may not be free from your spouse's claims. Putting the inheritance into a prenup or postnup contract in Indonesia can preserve the inheritance from your parents. It can't be touched legally. You may be clear describing the assets such as location, dimension, and other related description in the marital agreement.
Back-to-Back: Foreign & Indonesian Prenup
Both of you are foreigners. Neither of you is an Indonesian citizen. But you have been residing in Indonesia for quite sometimes. You plan to get marry in one of our beautiful islands such as Bali, or Lombok. It means, you're registering your marriage under the laws of Indonesia. You're submitting yourselves to the legal system in Indonesia. There's a legal term called: "Minimum Contact." It’s a universal legal terms. You and your husband have a minimum contact with the Indonesian laws because you live in Indonesia. The legal effect is minimum but it’s still a loophole. I am not saying you are totally exposed without any Indonesian prenup or postnup, but if you wish to have a safe-precaution, you should get one. Remember, the Indonesian laws on marriage is applicable also to foreigners live in Indonesia. This is the part of the international civil law that may expose you to the risks of having a regime of marital property. Doctrines on the international civil laws are very complicated. We don’t know which one the court will apply to your case. We never know which court will have jurisdiction to your situation. But the last thing you want is to left yourself, and your marriage open to the potential exposures of marital property regime in Indonesia. People spends tens of thousand of dollars fighting in divorce litigations, while they can avoid it with a piece of paper called a prenup.
But hey! You're signing a foreign prenup. That's cool! You know what? Your foreign prenup is not recognized here. So, from the Indonesia's legal perspective you’re married but with no prenup. Therefore, you have joint property ownership regime. On the other hand, if you have the Indonesian prenup, and/or the Indonesian marriage, and/or you live here on the Indonesian soil, those are legal bonafide to you and your marriage. There’s no question in terms of the legality of your foreign prenup. It will even make things stronger. The Indonesian prenup shall serve as "the bridge" to your foreign prenup. So, everything is connected now. There's no missing link anymore.
In the event of divorce, with the Indonesian prenup, your marriage will still have separation of property regime. This can be used as “mirror” just in case things get ugly, and any court in other country may refer to the Indonesian side.
Preserving the Indonesian
I like the term "preserving" better than "protecting" because your Indonesian spouse is entitled to the freehold property. She/he can own property under hak milik. The best thing about it is that you can keep it for good. You can even inherit to your children. But once you're married to a foreigner, the Indonesian shall be precluded in owning the property in Indonesia. She/he is the same legal position with his/her foreign spouse. The Indonesian prenup comes to preserve the rights of an Indonesian citizen, even though she/he's married to a foreigner. The right or entitlement in owning the property has already been there since the Indonesian spouse was born. So, nothing to be protected. It just a matter of preserving what's already been there.
I am Asep Wijaya. Thank you for visiting my blogs and 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 anywhere in this article nor in this website.
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.