Makassar Religious Court Decision No. 1003 of 2010: Irrevocable Divorce Granted

The parties were married on 29 May 1994. The plaintiff submitted, however, that, since May 2008, the parties' marriage had been disharmonious, primarily because the defendant had had an extra-martial affair. The plaintiff also submitted that the defendant deliberately had another woman collect him from their home, where the plaintiff and the parties' children were, and take him to the airport for a flight to Israel. When the defendant returned from Israel on 31 May 2008, rather than returning home, the defendant went to the other woman's home. The defendant returned to the plaintiff's home on 2 June 2008. Problems escalated on 4 June 2008 when the defendant requested the plaintiff's permission to marry the other woman, since which time he had also failed to execute his duties as a husband or head of the household. The plaintiff submitted that she did not believe the defendant's temperament would have a positive influence on their children.

The defendant refuted these submissions, claiming that the cause of disharmony originated in 2004 when the defendant discovered that the plaintiff was still in contact with her ex-boyfriend. Moreover, that the woman with whom he was accused of having an extra-marital affair was merely a colleague, and that the two had never conducted themselves in an inappropriate manner. In December 2009, the defendant claimed that the plaintiff had told their children she had a new boyfriend and that she would introduce him to the children, before divorcing the defendant and taking the children to Jakarta to be with her new boyfriend. Furthermore, on 9 March 2010, the plaintiff left for Bali saying she had a business meeting there for one day. While in Bali she switched her mobile phone off and never provided the defendant or their children with any information as to her well-being or whereabouts. The defendant also claimed that on 14 March 2010, the plaintiff surreptitiously left for Bali again, where a friend of the defendant's saw her and her boyfriend in a hotel room. The plaintiff returned four days later, again having provided the defendant with no information as to her well-being or whereabouts. Since returning from Bali, the defendant claimed the plaintiff did not want her to touch him anymore, while admitting she had been involved with her boyfriend while in Bali. She had not even returned to the matrimonial home since then, leaving the defendant to take care of their children. The defendant told the court that the plaintiff had even changed her Facebook account status in March 2010 to 'not married'.

The court, pursuant to art 19(f) of Government Regulation No. 9 of 1975, and art 116(f) of the Compilation of Islamic Laws, acknowledged that the parties' ongoing conflict constituted a sufficient reason to grant the applicant an irrevocable divorce (talak ba'in sughra). It declined, however, to rule on the custody of the two children.

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