Indonesian Supreme Court Decision No. 311 of 2014: Irrevocable Divorce Cassation

The parties were married on 12 September 1984 and had two children (born 15 June 1985 and 9 April 1992). Initially, the marriage had been harmonious, however, by June 2006 it had become quarrelsome. The cassation respondent had submitted that the cassation applicant:

  1. in July 2006, had begun hitting her and demanding a divorce;
  2. married another woman without the cassation respondent's permission; and
  3. would often leave the home without any reason or warning.

Problems escalated and, on 26 October 2009, the cassation applicant left the cassation respondent. The cassation respondent, in the first instance, requested that the local religious court grant her an irrevocable divorce (talak satu ba’in sughra), as well as IDR 3 million per month in child maintenance.

The defendant submitted a counterclaim against the plaintiff for:

  1. divorce compensation (iwad) (IDR 2 billion); and
  2. permission to divorce the plaintiff before the Court (ikrar talak).

In the first instance, the Sidoarjo Religious Court (2881/Pdt.G/2012/PA.Sda) found in favour of the cassation respondent, granting her an irrevocable divorce (talak satu ba’in sughra), and ordering the cassation applicant to pay to the cassation respondent IDR 3 million per month in child maintenance, plus IDR 650,000 in court costs. The court dismissed the cassation applicant's counterclaim.

The cassation applicant then lodged an appeal with the Surabaya High Religious Court. The Surabaya High Religious Court upheld the judgment of the lower court, and ordered the cassation applicant to pay court costs.

On 11 December 2013, the cassation applicant submitted a request for cassation to the Indonesian Supreme Court based on the following grounds:

  1. the two lower courts had not considered his counterclaim for divorce compensation (khuluk) in the amount of IDR 2 billion; and
  2. the cassation applicant’s counterclaim was for land that he had previously purchased for the cassation respondent.

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, the court upheld the decision of the Surabaya High Religious Court, dismissing the cassation applicant’s reasons for cassation, and ordering him to pay court costs (IDR 500,000).

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