Displaying items by tag: foreign divorce

Divorce in Indonesia requires court litigation. You just can't fill a form, signed, sealed and delivered. No. You need to provide reasoning to dissolve your marriage. This is because Indonesia is a country that expects you to work hard to make your marriage work. 

Our legal system does not expect you to just give-up when you have a little fight with your spouse, and say: That's it! I am done with it. We want you to have a little effort before finally saying goodbye and burning the bridge behind you.

If you tried everything and you don't see any way out of the situation, divorce may be the ultimate solution. Your one and only solution. But you want to do it quickly and as painlessly as possible. Well, that can be done. It depends on your choices of the items in your case. 

So, let me walk you through!

The Choice of Legal Ground

We have many legal grounds that you can use to dissolve your marriage. Irreconcilable differences is one of the reasons that you should use in the event you want to do it quickly. This is quite straightforward. You don't have to prove the cause of the irreconcilable differences. This can be a long and winding road. You just have to prove that there is one in your marriage. 

You need to be very careful, using this legal ground may be common and straightforward, but it's quite tricky! I have a guy who came to me. His divorce was overruled by the Higher Court in Jakarta after a landslide win in the district court. What happened? This is why your lawyer needs to review the case before you lodge it to the court. Last thing you want is that the judges may think you are joking around with your divorce. 

Your lawyer needs to pay attention to every single detail. Not all lawyers are born the same. Just because you know a guy who knows laws, it doesn’t mean he can deliver a divorce to you. Indonesia has a very conservative legal system that values humans in flesh and blood more than evidence. You need two witnesses. They need to support your divorce application. Strong enough to dissolve a marriage.

The Choice of Court Jurisdiction

You will be surprised to know if one of the courts in Indonesia may have jurisdiction over your divorce case. There are several considerations such as your nationality, your registration of marriage, and your residency. Those three things may be involved in your case, and therefore one of the courts in Indonesia may have a jurisdiction. 

Here’s how to find out:

  1. If both you and your spouse registered your marriage in Indonesia, regardless of your nationality.
  2. If either of you is an Indonesian, regardless where your marriage was registered. 
  3. If both you and your spouse are foreigners, and you live long enough in Indonesia and you still live here until you decide to get divorce. 

If you belong to one of the above checklists, you should contact your Indonesian lawyer to dissolve your marriage here. Contact Us here and we will review the case and advise you how to move forward. 

If You Could Settle, Do It!

I didn’t mean to settle not to get divorce. You can potentially settle on the legal consequences of the divorce such as child custody, spousal support, and property division. These things can be a pain if you fail to organize them earlier. It is better for you if you identify everything from the beginning. Work with your Indonesian lawyer to guide you through the legal system in Indonesia.  

We have a woman with a PhD degree from South America, and she wants us to represent her in her divorce case. She does everything we told her. She is very cooperative.  She just wants to do it as painlessly as possible. Great lady she is! Smart and well educated. 

All the legal consequences were settled before the case hit the court. I drafted the settlement and they gave me the pointers. This is what we called out of court settlement. Judges love this, and so will you. This gives you less headache! 

Another great guy, a Dutchman. He took my advice to settle before the case hits the courtroom. It’s over before you know it. Now, he is moving on with his life and his new partner. His ex-wife is also busy with her work too. She spends time diving and snorkeling in Bali. They still talk to each other and make friends after the divorce. 

It Takes Two to Tango

This is the best part with the laws and regulations pertaining a divorce in Indonesia. You have to be in love to stay in a healthy marriage. If you think the flame is gone, and nowhere to be found, you can file a divorce at the court to dissolve your legally wedded spouse. Please take a note that this must always stay in line with the irreconcilable differences legal ground. 

Your lawyer must know this and can use this to work with your case with a favorable outcome. He needs to present the case in a way to get the judges on the same page with you. He needs to use this: “it takes two to tango” thing, to deliver the divorce to you. 

I’ve presented this thing before in front of a mediator in South Jakarta court. Our client was a great man, a Dutch man who lives in South Jakarta. Smart and handsome man. He was Ok to come to the court for mediation. I was there with him. His beautiful and respectable wife was also there with him. They still talked politely to each other. 

I told him what would happen inside. So, I wanted him to be very careful with the words he would say to the mediator. He picked them himself. The mediator dismissed the case, and he sent the case to court litigation. Lesson learned, your own words can set you free.

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Our thanks to Asep Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!

Monday, 21 October 2019 13:53

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. 

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 the details of our clients' case portfolio. 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. 

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.

The above is the legal technicality in relation to the divorce proceeding in the event you are a resident of 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. Please contact me should you wish to discuss any further about this.

 

 

Our thanks to Mr. Asep Wijaya of Wijaya & Co for sharing this article!

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. At Wijaya & Co, we always pay attention to details of our client’s case. 

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:

  1. You must have consent. Both you and your prospective spouse must agree to enter into a prenuptial agreement, and the consent must be voluntary.

  2. Both of you must have capacity to enter into an obligation arise under the prenuptial agreement you're about to sign. Each of you are authorized to conclude agreements, unless you have been declared incompetent by law. The individuals incompetent to conclude agreements are, among others minors, and individual under guardianship. In order to have a competency to sign a contract in Indonesia, you must at least aged 21 years old. You need consent from your parents when you're younger.

  3. Your prenuptial agreement must have as specific subject matter. Furthermore, the law stipulates that only tradable properties may form the subject matter of the agreements. Your prenup is about property ownership such as land, house, apartment, etc. They are immovable property and it is tradable.

  4. Your prenuptial agreement must have a permitted cause. Any agreement without a cause, or concluded pursuant to a fraudulent or prohibited cause, is not be enforceable. 

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! Please contact me should you wish to discuss any further about this.

 

Our thanks to Mr. Asep Wijaya of Wijaya & Co for sharing this article!

 

Thursday, 16 November 2017 13:43

Marriage Annulment

Marriage annulment in Indonesia is being conducted in very limited requirements. It must be done within six (6) months since the marriage date. Otherwise, you better go with divorce proceedings. 

You need to have the following reasons for conducting a marriage annulment:

  1. if either spouse in the married couple is still bound in a marriage with another person so that the second marriage cannot be continued,
  2. if the married couple are discovered to have a blood relationship,
  3. if the marriage is conducted without the consent of a guardian or conducted by an invalid guardian,
  4. if the marriage was forced,
  5. and so on pursuant to the law.

A husband or a wife may submit a petition for marriage annulment in the event the marriage was conducted under threat or if, at the time of marriage, there was a misunderstanding or one of the two parties believed that he/she was deceived. If the threat is stopped or the misunderstood party realizes his/her mistake, but within six months they still live as a married couple, and neither of them uses his/her right to annul the marriage, their right will be null and void.

Consider the following issues in order to get an annulment proceeding carried-out by our firm:

  1. Experienced family law attorneys;
  2. High success rates in previous similar cases handled by our attorneys that will also contribute to your success;
  3. Conclusive legal binding;
  4. World-wide legal recognition.

Call or email us in getting the most important part of your life "undo" legally with the assistance of passionate family law practitioners in Indonesia.

Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!

 

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.

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Thursday, 16 November 2017 09:27

Foreign Divorce in Indonesia

Foreign divorce for all-foreign spouses in Indonesia is possible. This usually happens to couple who live in Indonesia long enough and both of them are expats. Certain situation must be met before you can access our legal system. First, minimum contact of the spouses in Indonesia. This is to see if the court in Indonesia has jurisdiction. Second, reporting/registration of the foreign marriage. Three, how Indonesian law can rule in your divorce case. Divorce in Indonesia must meet at least one of the legal grounds.  

How Long is Long Enough?

In order to secure your access to the Indonesia's legal system, you need to have a minimum contact of at least one (1) year. You and your wife must maintain 12 (twelve) months residency before the court in Indonesia may be able to consider your divorce case. Having a child born or school in Indonesia is even better. You have better connection and stronger contact with our legal system. If you're employed by the the company in Indonesia, the chance of getting your marriage dissolved by the court here is even higher.

The fact that either of you can't access the court system in your home country is a bummer. I have a US client in Jakarta filed for a divorce in Washington court. They spent time and money just to see the court did not have any jurisdiction in their case. What a waste!

Dissolving a Foreign Marriage

Having your marriage performed outside of Indonesia, doesn't mean you have to report or even register your marriage in Indonesia. You or your wife doesn't have to do that. Some laws in Indonesia requires the parties in the marriage to report the marriage to government authorities, but it only applicable in the event one of you is an Indonesian citizen, or both of you are Indonesian.

Since both of you are non-Indonesian, the reporting obligation is not applicable to you. Article 56 of the 1974 Marriage Law, it is not for you and your wife. This is the proceeding to dissolve a foreign marriage between two foreign spouses, in Indonesia. If either of you is an Indonesian citizen, you don't have to report or register your marriage. So, don't bother!

Your Law is Our Law

Dissolving a marriage in Indonesia, we have the legal grounds to do that. It's not really printed on the Marriage Law. It's in the 1975 Government Regulation. You know, the legal instrument implementing the Marriage Law in more details. You can't have it dissolved by mutual consent. It's not legal here. There are factual situations that must be met with the legal grounds. Your domestic situation at least must meet one of the legal grounds for dissolving a marriage. They have been regulated in the 1975 Government Regulation, 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.

So, those legal grounds, at least one of them, must be recognized in your law. Well, I have nothing further on this one. Your law, is not really my department.

Be Nice to Your Friends!

You have to present witnesses to the court. Well, at least two. Unfortunately, it's not one of the CSI movies where you can supply scientific evidence, without any single human being taking a stand at the court room. They want a person, in a flesh and blood, supplying information and describing what happened to your marriage. They want to have a conversation with your witnesses. They want to talk to them. So, let them talk about your marriage in front of you. There's nothing to hide. Just make sure you give them interesting subject to discuss with. 

Yes, I know. It's a conventional civil procedures law we have been using for more than one millennium. It's our legal system, and you have to work with it if you want them to dissolve your foreign marriage in Indonesia. You will have to start looking for them. Your witnesses. They can be anyone. Your domestic staffs, colleagues, common friends, and whoever knows anything about your domestic background. Foreign witnesses are also welcome. They will have to do you a quite simple job: to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The most sacred job of being a human, and they will have to do it on a witness bench. The loneliest place on earth. 

Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!
 

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.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 10:11

How to Divorce in Indonesia

In Indonesia, every divorce lawyer will have to refer to the 1974 Marriage Law and its implementing rules for divorce and  marital dissolution. A divorce petition must be filed at the local district court for Non-Moslems, and local Religious Court for Moslems. There are certain marital dissolution reasons according to 1974 Marriage Law and Islamic Law, they are:

Marriage Law

Pursuant to Marriage Law, a marriage may be terminated due to several reasons as follows:

  1. Death of either party
  2. Divorce
  3. Upon court’s decision

Death

The death to either party will automatically terminate the marriage.

Divorce

One of the means to dissolve a marriage is by divorce. Divorce may only be executed before a court session, before the district court for Non-Moslems and before the religious court for Moslems. Therefore, either one of the parties wanting to divorce needs to file a divorce petition to the court.

There are  legal grounds of filing for divorce that every divorce lawyer has to advise his/her clients with, and they 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.

Annulment to Dissolve Your Marriage

Marriage annulment means that any marriage may be cancelled if both parties cannot fulfill the conditions for the marriage. A marriage annulment can only be decided by a court of law.

Families in a straight line of descent and above the husband or wife (For example: father, mother, grandfather etc of husband or wife.) , an authorized/appointed official, and anyone directly possessing legal interest in the marriage may file a request for marriage annulment.

Any request for marriage annulment may be submitted to a court within the jurisdiction where the marriage was conducted or within the jurisdiction of the residence of the married couple (in accordance with Article 38 (1) Government Regulation No. 9 Year 1975 regarding the Implementing Rules of 1974 Marriage Law) the husband, or the wife. A marriage annulment may be filed for the following reasons:

  1. the marriage guardian (so called “wali” ) is illegal; or
  2. the marriage was not attended by two witnesses.
  3. The marriage was performed in front of unauthorized marriage registrar.

The right to annul a marriage by a husband or wife based on such reasons becomes null and void if they live together as a married couple and can show the marriage certificate issued by the unauthorized officer of the marriage registry. In this instance the marriage has to be conducted again in order to make it legal.

The husband or wife may request an annulment of their marriage, if the marriage was conducted before an unauthorized officer of a marriage registry, or if the marriage was conducted under a threat that violates the law, or if there is a misunderstanding between the husband and wife.

His/her right will be null and void if the threat has stopped or if the misunderstood party? realizes the situation, but doesn’t use his/her right to request for marriage annulment within six (6) months after living together as married couple. Example of a “misunderstood condition” would be if the husband thought the wife was a virgin, but in fact she was not – so I misunderstood about her personal conditions.

Annulment of a marriage commences upon the court decision and is permanent and legal binding and applies as of the time of marriage was conducted. However, such a decision is not retroactively effective to:

  1. children born from the marriage;

  2. husband or wife acting with good intention, except against joint property, if the annulment is based on a previous marriage. The annulment decision is retroactively effective to the joint property of the parties in the event the marriage was entered and one of the couples was not legally free to marry.

  3. a third party, so long as he/she has the rights based on good faith.

Islamic Law

In Islam, a marriage may be terminated due to several reasons, namely:

  1. Death of either party
  2. Thalak
  3. Judge’s Decision
  4. Khulu
  5. Li’an
  6. Ila’
  7. Murtad (apostate)

When a husband or wife passes away, their marriage is automatically terminated. When a wife passes away, her husband doesn’t have any legal difficulties in marrying another woman, but can remarry immediately. But, when a husband passes away, his wife has to wait for four (4) months and 10 days before she can marry another man.

Literally, thalak means to release (abandon). Thalak or divorce is the right given to a man and is an action of releasing a woman from the marriage. In Islam, this method of divorce has been stipulated, but it is accompanied by the explanation from the Prophet Mohammad that God doesn’t like divorce.

Divorce through a judge’s decision may be due to several reasons, such as, among others, that the husband is unable to provide the basic necessities of life, the husband commits torture against his wife, the husband vanishes (being far away from or not being near his wife), or that the husband is serving a term in prison.

Fasakh is the cancellation of marriage agreement (akad) and the termination of a marriage between a husband and wife due to damage taking place in the marriage agreement (akad) or due to sudden reasons that may hamper the continuation of the marriage agreement (akad). For instance, it could be due to a problem in the family relationships. Fasakh will cause the marriage agreement (akad) to be annulled.

Khulu’ is a divorce given by a husband to his wife with payment to the wife. Khulu’s is required by Islam for balancing the thalak right for a husband when there is a hatred that cannot be settled peacefully.

A marriage may be terminated due to li’an, because the person making the li’an in the fith oath says that God’s curse is upon him/herself if he/she is a liar. As a result of li’an, the marriage is terminated forever. If the accusing husband denies the birth of a child by saying that the child is not his, the child is not the offspring of this husband any longer, but legally becomes an illegitimate child and becomes the child of accused wife. The child cannot inherit from his/her father (the accusing husband). If the child is female, her guardian is a judge of justice, if the child will marry someone else.

Murtad (apostate) is when a Moslem abandons Islam. If a husband or wife is judged apostate, their marriage is terminated due to their action.

Marriage dissolution based on the grounds of thalakli’an, and khuluk’ shall only valid in the event they are conducted at the religious court.

Annulment according to Compilation of Islamic Law

Compilation of Islamic Law which is enacted under Presidential Instruction Number 1 of 1991 also governs marriage annulment under several reasons:

  1. Polygamy conducted by husband without the permission from the Religious Court;
  2. The bride is not legally free to marry and still in a marriage with other man;

  3. The bride in the period of ‘iddah of her previous husband, Iddah means a waiting period where a woman is not allowed to marry other man. The period may vary according to the reason of her previous marriage dissolution i.e. 130 days due to death, and 90 days due to divorce;

  4. The marriage is not comply with the minimum of age requirement as governed by the 1974 Marriage Law;

  5. Married performed without wali nikah (marriage guardian) or performed with unauthorized one;

  6. Marriage performed under threat

Marriage annulment is also known as fasakh is the cancellation of marriage agreement (akad) and the termination of a marriage between a husband and wife due to defect taking place in the marriage agreement (akad) or due to sudden reasons that may hamper the continuation of the marriage agreement (akad). For instance, it could be due to a problem in the family relationships. Fasakh will cause the marriage agreement (akad) to be annulled.

Annulment petition can be filed at the local religious court having jurisdiction over the residence of husband or wife or may be submitted to the local religious court within the jurisdiction where the marriage was conducted. Court decree on marriage annulment shall take effect retroactively since the date of marriage took place.

Parties to authorize for annulment petition are:

  1. Family in a upper and lower straight line such as parents, and siblings;
  2. Husband or wife;
  3. Authorized officers responsible in supervising the performance of marriage as governed by law;
  4. Other parties who aware of any marriage defect in terms of marriage requirements as imposed by the prevailing law.

Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!
 

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.

Tagged under
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 13:29

Dissolving Foreign Marriage in Indonesia

Divorce for all-foreign spouses in Indonesia is possible. This usually happens to couple who live in Indonesia long enough and both of them are expats. Certain situation must be met before you can access our legal system. First, minimum contact of the spouses in Indonesia. This is to see if the court in Indonesia has jurisdiction. Second, reporting/registration of the foreign marriage. Three, how Indonesian law can rule in your divorce case. Divorce in Indonesia must meet at least one of the legal grounds.  

How Long is Long Enough?

In order to secure your access to the Indonesia's legal system, you need to have a minimum contact of at least one (1) year. You and your wife must maintain 12 (twelve) months residency before the court in Indonesia may be able to consider your divorce case. Having a child born or school in Indonesia is even better. You have better connection and stronger contact with our legal system. If you're employed by the the company in Indonesia, the chance of getting your marriage dissolved by the court here is even higher.

The fact that either of you can't access the court system in your home country is a bummer. I have a US client in Jakarta filed for a divorce in Washington court. They spent time and money just to see the court did not have any jurisdiction in their case. What a waste!

Dissolving a Foreign Marriage

Having your marriage performed outside of Indonesia, doesn't mean you have to report or even register your marriage in Indonesia. You or your wife doesn't have to do that. Some laws in Indonesia requires the parties in the marriage to report the marriage to government authorities, but it only applicable in the event one of you is an Indonesian citizen, or both of you are Indonesian.

Since both of you are non-Indonesian, the reporting obligation is not applicable to you. Article 56 of the 1974 Marriage Law, it is not for you and your wife. This is the proceeding to dissolve a foreign marriage between two foreign spouses, in Indonesia. If either of you is an Indonesian citizen, you don't have to report or register your marriage. So, don't bother!

Your Law is Our Law

Dissolving a marriage in Indonesia, we have the legal grounds to do that. It's not really printed on the Marriage Law. It's in the 1975 Government Regulation. You know, the legal instrument implementing the Marriage Law in more details. You can't have it dissolved by mutual consent. It's not legal here. There are factual situations that must be met with the legal grounds. Your domestic situation at least must meet one of the legal grounds for dissolving a marriage. They have been regulated in the 1975 Government Regulation, 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.

So, those legal grounds, at least one of them, must be recognized in your law. Well, I have nothing further on this one. Your law, is not really my department.

Be Nice to Your Friends!

You have to present witnesses to the court. Well, at least two. Unfortunately, it's not one of the CSI movies where you can supply scientific evidence, without any single human being taking a stand at the court room. They want a person, in a flesh and blood, supplying information and describing what happened to your marriage. They want to have a conversation with your witnesses. They want to talk to them. So, let them talk about your marriage in front of you. There's nothing to hide. Just make sure you give them interesting subject to discuss with. 

Yes, I know. It's a conventional civil procedures law we have been using for more than one millennium. It's our legal system, and you have to work with it if you want them to dissolve your foreign marriage in Indonesia. You will have to start looking for them. Your witnesses. They can be anyone. Your domestic staffs, colleagues, common friends, and whoever knows anything about your domestic background. Foreign witnesses are also welcome. They will have to do you a quite simple job: to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The most sacred job of being a human, and they will have to do it on a witness bench. The loneliest place on earth. 

Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!
 

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.

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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.

Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!
 

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.

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Friday, 13 October 2017 20:16

Divorce in Indonesia

This video explains what you should do before you file for a divorce in Indonesia such as gathering supporting documents to be used as evidence in a court of law so you and your Indonesian lawyer can build the case for you.

Friday, 13 October 2017 20:27

Divorce between Foreigners in Indonesia

The foreign couple that lives and working in Indonesia may access the Indonesian legal system for getting their marriage dissolved, even though their marriage was registered outside of Indonesia.

Friday, 13 October 2017 18:43

Foreign Divorce in Indonesia

You and your spouse are foreigners. Both of you have been living in Indonesia for several years due to work commitments. Either your spouse works in Indonesia or being your dependent, both of you are residents of Indonesia. After all you have been through, you find the romance is no longer exists and you are seeking divorce as the ultimate solution.

In any country, divorce is tough for everyone involved. Obtaining a divorce can be costly and expensive. It’s even tougher when you file for divorce in a foreign country.  The last thing you want to do is file for divorce in your home country and have the court dismiss your case due to lack of subject matter of jurisdiction. This could cost you even more.

Legal doctrines may say that you are now the subject of International Civil Law due to your long residence abroad. It’s pretty complicated whenever there is more than one legal system involved in your particular case. You need to work through all the necessary procedures in order to see that it’s possible to file for a divorce in Indonesia, when both spouses are foreign nationals.

Indonesian Court Perspective

The Indonesian legal system should not refuse to examine, hear, and decide a case filed, even when there is no clear legal reason for the case to be filed in an Indonesian court. The court is obliged to examine and judge the case. This is a basic principle in the judicative system in Indonesia. Period.

The court may not refuse to examine the case. But do they have any jurisdiction over your case?  If, both of you are foreign nationals and your marriage was conducted and legally registered abroad you may wonder if the Indonesian courts could have jurisdiction over a divorce in your case.

Let’s Cut to the Chase: The International Civil Law (ICL)

In the divorce between two foreign nationals, there are foreign elements involved. Therefore, the case shall be considered as an ICL proceedings. ICL is a national law. It’s not a supranational law or international law. Therefore, every country, including Indonesia, has ICL system respectively. Furthermore, there are major issues within the ICL, they are Choice of Law and Choice of Forum/Jurisdiction. Official domicile of the Parties is a link point to determine the forum court of competent jurisdiction to examine the case. This deals in determining the personal status of a person.

There are several ways to determine the personal status of a person that is principle of citizenship or nationality (Lex Patriae) and principle of domicile. In the principle of nationality, one’s national law determines his/her personal status. It means, even though one is residing abroad, his/her nationality law shall prevail and therefore the court in his/her home country shall have jurisdiction upon him/her. While the principle of domicile, on the other hand, one’s personal status is determined from the country where they live. It means that the law and the court where he/she lives shall have jurisdiction upon him/her.

Each country has different principles in determining one’s personal status. Let’s take Indonesia and the United States as examples. Indonesia adheres to the civil law as its legal system, while United States adheres to the common law legal system. Civil law countries use the principle of nationality and common law countries use the principle of domicile. These are very closely related to the jurisdiction of the court to adjudicate a case of divorce.  Therefore, the marriage of the US nationals must be dissolved in their country.

On the other hand, according to the state that adheres to a common law system such as United States, the party’s residence or domicile must exist at the time the proceedings are filed. In order for a US court to have subject matter jurisdiction to dissolve a marriage, either party must have been physically present within the country for a certain period of time prior to the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage. The divorce, therefore, should be finalized in their country of domicile.

This is where renvoi (re-appointment) serves. Renvoi arises because of the differences in determining one’s personal status. It requires the US court to dismiss your divorce case due to lack of subject matter of jurisdiction. Although Indonesia is not a state of the United States of America, nevertheless, the Indonesian decree is an order from a foreign nation which the US court cannot ignore subject to certain restrictions. Furthermore, the court shall re-appoint Indonesia as the forum in dissolving the marriage. This is where Indonesian court has jurisdiction based on the re-appointment (renvoi).

So What Next?

In Indonesia, marital dissolution is a personal status related case under the category of family law. If both spouses are US nationals, the Indonesian court shall consult and utilize US family law regarding legal grounds for marital dissolution during the proceedings. The legal grounds in the US family law must not contradict with the public policy (ketertiban umum) in Indonesia. To be more specific, it must be in line with the legal grounds for divorce as stipulated in Indonesia’s Marriage Law and its implementing regulations.

Let's Take It to the Next Level!

After the Indonesian court declared the jurisdiction to adjudicate the case, and the legal grounds for divorce is in line with the public policy in Indonesia, the case shall be tried by using Indonesia’s civil procedures law. This is when the case enters regular phase  within the Indonesian court.

Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!
 

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.

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In Indonesia, every divorce lawyer will have to refer to the 1974 Marriage Law and its implementing rules for divorce and  marital dissolution. A divorce petition must be filed at the local district court for Non-Moslems, and local Religious Court for Moslems. There are certain marital dissolution reasons according to 1974 Marriage Law and Islamic Law, they are:

Marriage Law

Pursuant to Marriage Law, a marriage may be terminated due to several reasons as follows:

  1. Death of either party
  2. Divorce
  3. Upon court’s decision

Death

The death to either party will automatically terminate the marriage.

Divorce

One of the means to dissolve a marriage is by divorce. Divorce may only be executed before a court session, before the district court for Non-Moslems and before the religious court for Moslems. Therefore, either one of the parties wanting to divorce needs to file a divorce petition to the court.

There are  legal grounds of filing for divorce that every divorce lawyer has to advise his/her clients with, and they 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.

Annulment to Dissolve Your Marriage

Marriage annulment means that any marriage may be cancelled if both parties cannot fulfill the conditions for the marriage. A marriage annulment can only be decided by a court of law.

Families in a straight line of descent and above the husband or wife (For example: father, mother, grandfather etc of husband or wife.) , an authorized/appointed official, and anyone directly possessing legal interest in the marriage may file a request for marriage annulment.

Any request for marriage annulment may be submitted to a court within the jurisdiction where the marriage was conducted or within the jurisdiction of the residence of the married couple (in accordance with Article 38 (1) Government Regulation No. 9 Year 1975 regarding the Implementing Rules of 1974 Marriage Law) the husband, or the wife. A marriage annulment may be filed for the following reasons:

  1. the marriage guardian (so called “wali” ) is illegal; or
  2. the marriage was not attended by two witnesses.
  3. The marriage was performed in front of unauthorized marriage registrar.

The right to annul a marriage by a husband or wife based on such reasons becomes null and void if they live together as a married couple and can show the marriage certificate issued by the unauthorized officer of the marriage registry. In this instance the marriage has to be conducted again in order to make it legal.

The husband or wife may request an annulment of their marriage, if the marriage was conducted before an unauthorized officer of a marriage registry, or if the marriage was conducted under a threat that violates the law, or if there is a misunderstanding between the husband and wife.

His/her right will be null and void if the threat has stopped or if the misunderstood party? realizes the situation, but doesn’t use his/her right to request for marriage annulment within six (6) months after living together as married couple. Example of a “misunderstood condition” would be if the husband thought the wife was a virgin, but in fact she was not – so I misunderstood about her personal conditions.

Annulment of a marriage commences upon the court decision and is permanent and legal binding and applies as of the time of marriage was conducted. However, such a decision is not retroactively effective to:

  1. children born from the marriage;
  2. husband or wife acting with good intention, except against joint property, if the annulment is based on a previous marriage. The annulment decision is retroactively effective to the joint property of the parties in the event the marriage was entered and one of the couples was not legally free to marry.
  3. a third party, so long as he/she has the rights based on good faith.

Islamic Law

In Islam, a marriage may be terminated due to several reasons, namely:

  1. Death of either party
  2. Thalak
  3. Judge’s Decision
  4. Khulu
  5. Li’an
  6. Ila’
  7. Murtad (apostate)

When a husband or wife passes away, their marriage is automatically terminated. When a wife passes away, her husband doesn’t have any legal difficulties in marrying another woman, but can remarry immediately. But, when a husband passes away, his wife has to wait for four (4) months and 10 days before she can marry another man.

Literally, thalak means to release (abandon). Thalak or divorce is the right given to a man and is an action of releasing a woman from the marriage. In Islam, this method of divorce has been stipulated, but it is accompanied by the explanation from the Prophet Mohammad that God doesn’t like divorce.

Divorce through a judge’s decision may be due to several reasons, such as, among others, that the husband is unable to provide the basic necessities of life, the husband commits torture against his wife, the husband vanishes (being far away from or not being near his wife), or that the husband is serving a term in prison.

Fasakh is the cancellation of marriage agreement (akad) and the termination of a marriage between a husband and wife due to damage taking place in the marriage agreement (akad) or due to sudden reasons that may hamper the continuation of the marriage agreement (akad). For instance, it could be due to a problem in the family relationships. Fasakh will cause the marriage agreement (akad) to be annulled.

Khulu’ is a divorce given by a husband to his wife with payment to the wife. Khulu’s is required by Islam for balancing the thalak right for a husband when there is a hatred that cannot be settled peacefully.

A marriage may be terminated due to li’an, because the person making the li’an in the fith oath says that God’s curse is upon him/herself if he/she is a liar. As a result of li’an, the marriage is terminated forever. If the accusing husband denies the birth of a child by saying that the child is not his, the child is not the offspring of this husband any longer, but legally becomes an illegitimate child and becomes the child of accused wife. The child cannot inherit from his/her father (the accusing husband). If the child is female, her guardian is a judge of justice, if the child will marry someone else.

Murtad (apostate) is when a Moslem abandons Islam. If a husband or wife is judged apostate, their marriage is terminated due to their action.

Marriage dissolution based on the grounds of thalak, li’an, and khuluk’ shall only valid in the event they are conducted at the religious court.

Annulment according to Compilation of Islamic Law

Compilation of Islamic Law which is enacted under Presidential Instruction Number 1 of 1991 also governs marriage annulment under several reasons:

  1. Polygamy conducted by husband without the permission from the Religious Court;
  2. The bride is not legally free to marry and still in a marriage with other man;
  3. The bride in the period of ‘iddah of her previous husband, Iddah means a waiting period where a woman is not allowed to marry other man. The period may vary according to the reason of her previous marriage dissolution i.e. 130 days due to death, and 90 days due to divorce;
  4. The marriage is not comply with the minimum of age requirement as governed by the 1974 Marriage Law;
  5. Married performed without wali nikah (marriage guardian) or performed with unauthorized one;
  6. Marriage performed under threat

Marriage annulment is also known as fasakh is the cancellation of marriage agreement (akad) and the termination of a marriage between a husband and wife due to defect taking place in the marriage agreement (akad) or due to sudden reasons that may hamper the continuation of the marriage agreement (akad). For instance, it could be due to a problem in the family relationships. Fasakh will cause the marriage agreement (akad) to be annulled.

Annulment petition can be filed at the local religious court having jurisdiction over the residence of husband or wife or may be submitted to the local religious court within the jurisdiction where the marriage was conducted. Court decree on marriage annulment shall take effect retroactively since the date of marriage took place.

Parties to authorize for annulment petition are:

  1. Family in a upper and lower straight line such as parents, and siblings;
  2. Husband or wife;
  3. Authorized officers responsible in supervising the performance of marriage as governed by law;
  4. Other parties who aware of any marriage defect in terms of marriage requirements as imposed by the prevailing law.
Our thanks to Asep A. Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!
 
 

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.

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