Sawahlunto Religious Court Decision No. 244 of 2016: Irrevocable Divorce Granted

The parties were married on 16 August 2013 and had one child. Their marriage had been harmonious until mid-2015, after which time it had become quarrelsome because, the plaintiff submitted, the defendant:

  1. was unemployed, meaning he was unable to provide for the plaintiff and the parties' child, forcing the plaintiff to rely on her parents for financial support;
  2. would frequently leave the parties' home after shalat magrib (sunset prayers), returning the next morning, then spending much of the day in bed; and
  3. would frequently direct profane language at the plaintiff.

The plaintiff submitted that whenever the parties would argue, the defendant would resort to slapping, kicking, and strangling the plaintiff. Problems came to a head in May 2016, resulting in the defendant leaving the plaintiff to live with his parents. The parties had remained separated for the past five months. Familial efforts to make the parties reconcile had been unsuccessful and the plaintiff, believing the parties' marriage was beyond repair, requested that the court grant her an irrevocable divorce (talak satu ba'in sughra).

Despite the defendant's absence, 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 plaintiff's request on the grounds of ongoing conflict. The court also cited Ar-Rum verse 21 from the Qur'an, as well as art 1 of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage, regarding the supposed tranquility of marriage.

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