Balikpapan Religious Court Decision No. 1305 of 2014: Divorce Due to Polygyny

The parties were married on 30 March 2001, after having divorced in 1999. They had two children. Several years after remarrying, the parties had begun to quarrel regularly due to differences of opinion. The plaintiff submitted that this problem had not been insurmountable, however, as evidenced by the parties remarrying in 2001 for the sake of their children. Regardless, the parties would often quarrel, the plaintiff submitted, because the defendant had failed to appreciate her as his wife, and because the defendant would exacerbate trivial issues in order to start an argument with the plaintiff. The plaintiff also conceded that she would go quiet when the defendant would start arguing with her because she was embarrassed to be seen arguing with the defendant by the parties' children, their neighbours, and family.

For the past six years the parties had been sleeping in separate beds, after the defendant had chosen to sleep in another room. This had gravely affected the plaintiff. Problems escalated during Eid al-Fitr (Idul Fitri) in 2014 when the defendant confessed to having married another woman without the plaintiff's permission. The plaintiff learned from the defendant that his other wife lived in East Java, and that they had been married for the past two years. When given an ultimatum by the plaintiff, the defendant had chosen to maintain both marriages. As a result, the plaintiff felt there was no other course available but to divorce.

The court acceded to the plaintiff's request for an irrevocable divorce (talak satu ba'in sughra) on the grounds of ongoing conflict, pursuant to art 19(f) of Government Regulation No. 9 of 1975, and art 116(f) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws.

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