Bantaeng Religious Court Decision No. 215 of 2012: Revocable Divorce Granted but Custody Withheld

The parties were married on 9 December 2004 and had two children. The applicant submitted that on 12 November 2012 the respondent had left the parties' home taking with her 30 grams of gold that belonged to the applicant's aunt. Twelve days later, the respondent's father came to the applicant's home saying that the respondent had returned to his home, but that the respondent had not confessed to taking the applicant's aunt's gold. The respondent refuted the reason she left home, stating that she had been told to leave by the applicant's cousin and that even the applicant's aunt had directed profane language at her, leaving her with no option but to leave. Since then the applicant and respondent had been separated for 22 days. The applicant conceded that the respondent's family had tried to make the parties reconcile, but to no avail.

As a counterclaim, the respondent sought custody of the children as their mother, as well as IDR 500,000 in child support from the applicant, per child, per month. The respondent also sought a further IDR 1,200,000 in back-dated maintenance fees.

In response to the respondent's counterclaim, the applicant submitted that the respondent was unfit to take care of the children, that he would not pay the requested child support if the children were in the respondent's care, and that the back-dated maintenance fees were not payable because the respondent had left him with their two children.

The court granted the applicant a revocable divorce (talak satu raj'i) 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. Pursuant to art 105(a) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws, however, the court granted custody of the children to the respondent as they were under the age of discernment (mumayyiz) or under the age of 12, while ordering the applicant to pay to the respondent child maintenance of IDR 300,000 per month, until the children become of age.

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