International Divorce & Family Law: Indonesia
Family law and divorce regulations in Indonesia are strongly influenced by cultural and religious factors. We represent UK clients living there as well as Indonesians resident in the UK who need to navigate the divorce laws of both countries to secure a settlement. Some of the specifics of Indonesian family law that may be relevant to your divorce are discussed below.
Grounds For Divorce In Indonesia
Dedicated religious courts have jurisdiction over marriages between Muslims. District courts regulate marriages between non-Muslims. At least one spouse needs to be resident in Indonesia before presenting the divorce petition and foreign marriages must be registered in Indonesia for divorce courts there to have jurisdiction.
Divorce may be contested or uncontested but preliminary mediation is obligatory. Reasons on which a divorce petition in Indonesia can be based include adultery, alcoholism, desertion and imprisonment of one spouse for more than five years.
Indonesian law does permit no-fault divorce but evidence must be presented to show that the couple can no longer live together. For example it could be established that the spouses have grown apart because of religious reasons.
Indonesian Divorce: The Finances
Like many jurisdictions across the globe Indonesia recognises a system of community property on marriage. This means that property acquired during the marriage is jointly owned and should be divided jointly. However prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are fully recognised by the courts here and couples can depart from the community property regime if they wish. They cannot however unilaterally modify Indonesian rules regarding child support.
In deciding what financial orders to make the courts take into account the status and lifestyle of the couple during marriage. Orders for spousal maintenance can be indefinite in non-religious marriages. Muslim courts however can only order maintenance to a wife for up to three months.
Children And Indonesian Divorce
Usually a child will be ordered to live with the mother irrespective of the mother’s financial resources. In relation to contact this will be decided in the best interests of the child – the courts won’t presume that both mother and father should have equal contact rights.
Advice On The Indonesian Divorce System
Brookman advises individuals resident, domiciled or with other connections to Indonesia seeking a UK divorce. There are significant disparities in the way the two jurisdictions approach finances and child arrangements following divorce.
If the courts in both countries can legitimately hear your divorce it’s advisable to get legal advice to ensure your country of choice (where you will be treated most favourably having regard to all your circumstances) takes precedence.
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