Meulaboh Shari'a Court Decision No. 7 of 2012: Irrevocable Divorce Granted Due To Ongoing Conflict

Prior to marrying on 21 December 2010, the parties had agreed that the plaintiff would move to South Aceh once she had completed her degree at the Indonesian Higher Education Management Institute (Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Manajemen Indonesia), Meulaboh, in a year's time. The plaintiff submitted, however, that after the parties had married and begun building a home together, the defendant had said he wanted to divorce the plaintiff. In April 2011, it became apparent that the defendant had misled the plaintiff and her family about where he had been living prior to marrying the plaintiff. On 17 April 2011, at 8:30pm, the defendant sent the plaintiff a text message stating that the plaintiff was no longer his wife and that she was welcome to file for a divorce with the shari'a court in Meulaboh. The plaintiff also submitted that, while the parties were married, the defendant had failed to provide her with any financial support, while denigrating her and her family.

After having not returned home for two months, the defendant returned to apologise, vowing to mend his ways. The parties attended the local office of religious affairs on 4 July 2011, the parties executing a promissory document, the contents of which stated that the defendant agreed to meet all the financial and emotional needs of the plaintiff, vowing not to treat the plaintiff in an appropriate manner again. The defendant, however, failed to abide by the contents of the document. Moreover, he then sent the plaintiff and plaintiff's father a text message saying he would file for a divorce with the local shari'a court. This caused the plaintiff great emotional suffering and moved her to file for an irrevocable divorce (talak satu ba'in sughra).

Despite the defendant's absence from court, the court, pursuant to art 39(2) of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage, art 19(f) of Government Regulation No. 9 of 1975, and art 116(f) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws, acceded to the plaintiff's request on the grounds of ongoing conflict.

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