Ambon Religious Court Decision No. 80 of 2011: Irrevocable Divorce granted Due To Ongoing Conflict

The parties were married on 15 May 1990 and had two children (aged 19 and 14), both of whom were in the care of the plaintiff. The plaintiff submitted that the parties' marriage had been harmonious until 1992, after which time the plaintiff learned from the defendant's sibling visiting from Tual, Southeast Maluku, that the defendant already had a wife in Tual. While the defendant had denied the allegation, he had also become visibly upset and angry. The plaintiff submitted that she had felt deceived by the defendant, who had maintained at the time the parties married that he was unmarried. The plaintiff had hoped the defendant could be open and honest with her and accountable for his conduct. In 1995, however, when the plaintiff became pregnant with the parties' second child, another woman came to the parties' home. When the plaintiff inquired with the defendant as to who this other woman was, the defendant refused to respond, instead taking all his clothes and leaving the plaintiff and the parties' home. It turned out, the plaintiff submitted, that the woman was the defendant's third wife, who the defendant had recently married, unbeknownst to the plaintiff.

A month later the defendant returned to the parties' home. At that time the parties were living in a rental property. Not long after the defendant returned, however, in 1999, another woman came to the parties' home. This time, when the plaintiff asked the defendant who the woman was, the defendant chased the plaintiff and the parties' children out of the rental property. It later turned out that the woman was the defendant's fourth wife, who he had also recently married, again, unbeknownst to the plaintiff.

Three months later the defendant summoned the plaintiff to return to the rental property. The plaintiff obliged. In 2004, however, the defendant left the home for four months. When the plaintiff telephoned the defendant to ask why he had not yet returned, he replied that he was hiring a car from someone and then planned to live with his sibling in Ambon. When the plaintiff went to the Governor's Office in Ambon to attend to some administrative matters, she met with the defendant's sibling. She asked him whether or not the defendant had been living with him, as the defendant had claimed. The defendant's sibling told the plaintiff that the defendant had never lived with him.

On 24 April 2004, the plaintiff telephoned the defendant, telling him to come home. When the defendant came home, the plaintiff asked him what he wanted. It was then that the defendant told the plaintiff he would later provide her with divorce papers, before taking all his clothes and leaving.

The plaintiff submitted that whenever one of the defendant's wives would come to the parties' home, the defendant would become verbally aggressive and use inappropriate language with the plaintiff. Having suffered emotionally for an extended period of time, the plaintiff requested that the court grant her an irrevocable divorce (talak satu ba'in sughra).

The court acknolwedged that the parties' marriage was in an irreparable state and no longer constituted a joyful and everlasting domestic life, per art 1 of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage, or a peaceful, hopeful and loving domestic life, per art 3 of the Compilation of Islamic Laws. Pursuant to art 19(f) of Government Regulation No. 9 of 1975, and art 116(f) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws, it acceded to the plaintiff's request on the grounds of ongoing conflict.

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