It's a Fact: Foreign Marriage Dissolution is Doable in Indonesia

Friday, 02 December 2022 00:00

Divorce in Indonesia for foreign couples is doable. The terms of foreign divorce refer to the fact that both of the spouses are foreigners, and none of them are an Indonesian citizen. Their marriage was performed and registered outside of territory of the Republic of Indonesia. None of the spouses report the marriage to the authority in Indonesia. 

So how can they get divorce in Indonesia? How do they dissolve their marriage? Do they event have any access to the court in Indonesia? Please read on!

You Must Meet a Legal Ground

They may be able to get divorce in Indonesia and dissolve their marriage at a district court. You see, in order to divorce your spouse, you need to meet one of the legal grounds as set-out by the 1974 Marriage Law. You cannot just say that I don't love her anymore and that's it. That's not going to happen here.

You need to convince the court that your marital background history is meeting one of the legal grounds. Remember, you just have to meet one of them. If you think your marriage is rotten enough to have more than one legal grounds, bring it on!

Let me take this from the Government Regulation of 1975 where they imposed the legal grounds to dissolve a marriage in Indonesia. This is where your divorce case must begin. Your Indonesian lawyer must know this because if your case is not meeting them, chances are, it will be rejected. You waste your time and money. Not to mention emotional sacrifices involved in this thing.

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.

Let me give you a clue: the last one is the most commonly used here in Indonesia. You fight a lot. You argue anything with your spouse: from financial issues, how you run your life, career, and how you guys choose the color of the bedsheet. Probably. Any tiny issue motivates conflict in your marriage. 

You need to submit evidence such as pictures, letters, documents, etc. You name it, they want it. Evidence such as original of your marriage certificate is highly required. This is to prove that a legal marriage is exist according to the laws of the country when it was performed. Remember, we are going to dissolve a marriage. The first you need to do is to convince the court that it is a legal marriage. No legal marriage, no legal divorce. 

The same thing goes with the birth of your child. You need to make sure that you can supply birth certificate to prove that a child has born into your legal marriage. Your child's name must be printed together with your names as the parents. It proves the blood relationship in your family.

Two Witnesses are Required

Your Indonesian lawyer needs to establish a strong case. You need to supply at least two (2) witnesses. They must come to the court. They cannot just write something on a piece of paper, and sign it. Forget it!

We need them to take a stand at the court, and informing the judge that you have issues with your marriage. They need to make sure that divorce is the best possible way to the couple. It's quite complicated process indeed. Our country discouraged divorce because we think that you can do something about it to make it works. You should try everything, because you only fail when you quit trying. 

Remember, two witnesses or nothing. The more the merrier, the better. But two people who knows anything about your background history is enough. They must experience for themselves. They must see for themselves. They must hear for themselves. No hearsay! The court will take their oats to make it official. 

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


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


My name is Asep Wijaya. I am an attorney. This article is about my works in the field of law I have been doing regarding legal issues in international civil law in Indonesia. You may use my articles without permission as long as you mention my name, the article tile, and our website address.

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