Indonesian Divorce on Foreign Marriages for foreign couples

An Indonesian woman married a Singaporean foreign man at the Surabaya Religious Affairs Office. After Marriage, they both live in Singapore. How do you take care of the mixed marriage divorce lawsuit if the woman wants to file a divorce suit? Can I sue through the Religious Courts in Indonesia? Divorce and Marriage under indonesian law,What documents must be met?

Because the plaintiff and the defendant reside abroad, a divorce suit can only be submitted to a religious court whose jurisdiction covers where the Marriage took place or to the Surabaya Religious Court. In a divorce suit, the reasons for filing a divorce application must be stated in accordance with the provisions of the legislation. The lawsuit itself is made in the Indonesian language.

Divorce can only occur if there is sufficient reason that the husband and wife cannot live in harmony anymore. This is stated in Article 39 paragraph (2) of Law Number 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage (“Marriage Law”), which states that:

To divorce, there must be sufficient reason that the husband and wife will not be able to live in harmony as husband and wife.

The reasons that can be used as a basis for divorce are:


  • one of the parties commits adultery or becomes a drunkard, gambler, etc., which is difficult to cure;
  • one of the parties leaves the other for two consecutive years without the permission of the other party and a valid reason or for other reasons against his will;
  • one of the parties is sentenced to five years in prison or a heavier sentence after the Marriage takes place;
  • one of the parties commits cruelty or severe maltreatment that is harmful to the other party;
  • , one of the parties suffers from a disability or disease which causes them to be unable to carry out their obligations as husband/wife;
  • Between husband and wife, there are constant disputes and quarrels, and there is no hope of living in harmony again in the household.

However, even if there are reasons to file for divorce, the Court must first try to reconcile the husband and wife. This is as referred to in Article 39 paragraph (1) of the Marriage Law, which states that:

Divorce can only be carried out before a Court Session after the Court concerned has tried and failed to reconcile the two parties.

Divorce of Parties Living Abroad


Concerning the domicile of the husband or wife abroad, Article 73 paragraph (3) of Law Number 7 of 1989 concerning Religious Courts (“Law on Religious Courts”) stipulates that:

If the plaintiff and the defendant reside abroad, the lawsuit is filed to the Court whose jurisdiction covers where their Marriage took place or the Surabaya Religious Court.

Family Law Arrangements in Indonesia


A family is a social group that lives together in harmony and well, based on blood relations. So it can be concluded that family law is a law or regulation set by the government or authorities to regulate family life, including father, mother, and children.

In Indonesia matrimonial, family law in Indonesia, divorce, child custody, and parental authority laws. Sources of family law in Indonesia can be found in the Civil Code (KUHPer), Law No. 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage and the Compilation of Laws in Indonesia.

Marriage is defined as an inner and outer bond between a man and a woman to form a happy and eternal family based on the One Godhead.

Divorce means separation between a husband and wife relationship. At the same time, both are still alive or the termination of the Marriage, which can occur because there is no mutual understanding in the husband and wife relationship.

Divorce can be interpreted as the severance of the marital bond between husband and wife, which is carried out at the will of the husband and wife or because of a court break.

matrimonial, family law in Indonesia is also regulated regarding child custody, that both parents are obliged to maintain and educate their children as well as possible.

In addition, when there is a divorce in a marriage. If the Marriage is broken up due to divorce, both the mother and father are still obliged to maintain and educate their children, solely based on the child’s interests. In this case, the father is responsible for all maintenance and education costs needed for his children to grow up.

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