Langsa Shari'a Court Decision No. 99 of 2016: Revocable Divorce Granted

The parties were married on 20 June 1975 and their marriage certificate was issued the following day. They had first lived with the applicant's parents and the respondent's parents before moving to their own home in Langsa. The parties had five children and had been happily married for 35 years. Since June 2010, however, their marriage had become quarrelsome because, the applicant submitted, the respondent believed the applicant was not providing her with enough financial support. Moreover, the respondent did not agree with the applicant wanting to take another wife and would, therefore, frequently ask the applicant for a divorce. Problems escalated in November 2014 and the parties chose to sleep in separate beds. Familial intervention had failed to make the parties reconcile and the applicant believed that a revocable divorce (talak satu raj'i) was the best option.

In her oral response to the applicant's submissions, the respondent submitted that actually:

  1. the parties had quarrelled since 1989, not over finances but because the applicant had, while married to the respondent, married two other women without first obtaining the respondent's permission; and
  2. problems had escalated in November 2014 because the respondent had learned that the applicant had already married yet another woman.

The respondent told the court that she did not object to the applicant's request to divorce her but she demanded IDR 9 million in backdated financial support for the previous six months, as well as IDR 4.5 million for iddah (three-month period after which divorce has been granted). In response to these demands, the applicant submitted that he should only provide the respondent with IDR 3.6 million for the previous six months and IDR 1.8 million for iddah because the respondent already made IDR 1.5 million per month working on a palm oil plantation.

The court, pursuant to art 19(f) of Government Regulation No. 9 of 1975, and art 116(f) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws, acceded to the applicant's request by granting him a revocable divorce (talak satu' raj'i) on the grounds of ongoing conflict. It also partially acceded to the respondent's demands by granting the following:

  1. IDR 4.5 million in backdated maintenance; and
  2. IDR 2.25 million for iddah.
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