Indonesian Supreme Court Decision No. 33 of 2014: Irrevocable Divorce Cassation

The parties were married on 14 July 1995 and had four children. Before the Padang Religious Court (lower court), the cassation respondent had filed for divorce from the cassation applicant, having alleged that the cassation applicant, since October 2011, had been an irresponsible husband, never providing the cassation respondent with any spending money. Moreover, since 2008, the cassation applicant had not provided the cassation respondent with any emotional support, leaving her in a distressed state.

The cassation applicant had incorrectly accused the cassation respondent of having had an extra-marital affair, while often becoming angry for no apparent reason, as well as denigrating her character to members of her family, causing the cassation respondent's family to often blame her if something went wrong. According to the cassation respondent's older sibling, the cassation applicant would also often threaten their children saying he would not allow them to see the cassation respondent. When the cassation applicant left the matrimonial home, he took the parties' children with him.

The lower court had granted the cassation respondent an irrevocable divorce (thalak satu bain sughra), but granted the cassation applicant custody of the parties' children. On appeal, the Padang High Religious Court had affirmed the cassation respondent's irrevocable divorce (thalak satu bain sughra), but granted her custody of the parties' four children.

The cassation applicant appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that the Padang High Religious Court had not given sufficient consideration to the facts of the case, but had simply based its decision on art 105 of the Compilation of Islamic Laws. Finding the decision of the Padang Religious High Court not to contain any incorrect applications of the law, the Supreme Court, pursuant to art 30 of Law No. 14 of 1985 on the Supreme Court, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2004 and Law No. 3 of 2009, dismissed the appeal.

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