South Jakarta Religious Court Decision No. 2718 of 2013: Irrevocable Divorce Application Dismissed

The parties were married on 2 December 1994 and had four children. The plaintiff submitted, however, that, since 2012, she and the defendant had quarrelled regularly. This was a result of the defendant:

  1. having been married to another woman for two years, unbeknownst to the plaintiff;
  2. often being dishonest and behaving unjustly towards the plaintiff;
  3. not providing the plaintiff and their child with sufficient financial support; and
  4. having already left the plaintiff and their child for almost three months without providing them with any financial support.

Problems escalated on 8 August 2013, resulting in the plaintiff returning to her parents' home. Since then the parties had not been physically intimate. Accordingly, the plaintiff sought 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, in conjunction with art 116(f) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws.

The court, however, dismissed the plaintiff's request. Citing Chapter 4, verse 135 of the Quran (Al-Nisa’), as well as several Supreme Court Jurisprudence statements and decisions, the court found that providing it with her own address as the address for the defendant, despite the defendant having not resided at that address for several months, rendered her application null and void. The plaintiff's conduct meant that witness information intended for the defendant was sent to the plaintiff's address and never provided to the defendant, and that the summons process had, therefore, pursuant to art 27 of Government Regulation No. 9 of 1975, been compromised.

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