During the marriage of parents, children shall be under their parental authority until they reach the legal age to the extent that the parents are not relieved of such responsibility. In the event the parents’ marriage is dissolved due to divorce, death or other cause, parental authority shall take the form of custody rights. So, it is about your legal rights as a parent if your marriage is no longer exist.
In Indonesia, custody rights is the legal documents that you posses a valid authority of the child. You have the authority in getting the child physically lives with you, nurturing him/her, and even taking him abroad for a trip. So, the custody certificate serves as immigration clearance. You are also authorize to represent the child legally in keeping her/his best interest such as choosing school, extra curricula, or even his/her favorite sports in school.
Without this document, they may find you're committing a parental child-abduction. Some of the divorce papers may have your custody rights. But beware, not all the divorce decree gives you child custody rights. Read again carefully! The important items might be missing. It might not be included for various reasons. The issues were not contested by you and your ex-spouse, among others.
What if you’re not legally married?
If your child was conceived outside of marriage, or if the marriage was not legally registered, the child shall hold an out of wedlock status. Children who are born outside marriage have only a civil relationship with their mother and their mother’s family. Therefore, the mother has full custody rights for the child. Furthermore, in order to establish a legally recognized relationship between the mother and the child, you need to have an out of wedlock birth certificate. This is a birth certificate of the child and list only mother's name only as a parent. A father's name must not be printed on it. Otherwise, you've got the wrong document.
Some parent may complaints that it's not a normal birth certificate. Yes, you're right. It's not a usual practice as well, according to law, to conceive a child without first being legally married to the biological mother. That's why they gave you a birth certificate with only the mother's name on it. Because legally, the child has civil relationship with the mother only. Legal breakthrough according to the Constitutional Court is giving the child legal relationship with the biological father. But it's not automatically as if the child was born into the marriage of their parents. A special legal proceeding must be carried-out if you want to build a bridge between the father and the child. They called it a child legalization.
The Legal Grounds
The legal grounds for custody certificates are vary. You may find it in some laws concerning family, and matrimonial laws in Indonesia such 1974 Marriage Law, Child Protection Law, and Islamic Compilation Law. The last one is specifically for Moslem married-couples. So, if the court from other jurisdiction needs to mirror this to the Indonesian side, we can properly pointing it to the rights direction. Your Indonesia's custody certificate will be legally recognized and the court from other jurisdiction will recognize you and the child as legally related.
A conclusive and legally-binding document
The custody certificate of your child is a legally recognized document in Indonesia. It’s a product of a legal system and therefore it must be conclusive and legally-binding document. It means that it is a valid document and will protect you and the chid as the beneficiary.
Your certificate may be either joint or sole custody. If your child was out of wedlock, you’ve got to have sole custody rights. If your child were born in the legal marriage, you may have either sole or joint custody with your ex-spouse. This situation creates more implications to the child if you’re taking the child for a trip abroad. Clearance from your ex-spouse must be obtained prior leaving the country.
It is very important that everyone has access to knowledge about the legal system in Indonesia. Please share this information with others who might benefit.
Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co
for sharing this information with us!
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.