§ Family Law

Indonesian Family Law

Family law regulates legal relationships that come from family ties and describes rules for marriage or divorce, guardianship, family support, adoption of children and inheritance. The application of family law in Indonesia distinguishes several rules. Members of the Islamic religion are subject to Islamic law, as set out in the 1991 Presidential Decree No. 1. For all other people, the civil code is largely used, but also laws from common law (Adat).

Article 1 of Law No. 1 of 1974 on Marriage defines as follows: Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman as a husband and wife with the aim of creating a happy and lasting family (household) to form a religion and follow the principle of monogamy. Only when all provisions of the laws and regulations on marriage in Indonesia are met, is this valid and offers legal certainty.

Not all marriages end happily. Grounds for divorce are listed in Article 39 paragraph 2 of Law No. 1 of 1974:
- Adultery, one of the partners is alcoholics, gambling addiction, drug addiction and other problems that prove difficult to cure.
- One leaves the other for two years, without the permission of his spouse and for no valid reason.
- In the case of a prison sentence of five years or more after the marriage.
- One commits atrocities or serious abuse that endangers the other;
- A physical disability or illness where they cannot fulfill obligations as a husband/wife.
- There are ongoing disputes between husband and wife and there is no hope of living in harmony again in the household.

Inheritance law:
Inheritance law is referred to in the Civil Code as a guide for inheritance matters as a law, but is not laid down as the legal basis.
Based on the Instruction of the President No. 1 of 1991, inheritance law regulates the transfer of property rights to heirs, and then determines who is entitled to inherit and how much everyone receives.
Indonesia is a multicultural country and the existing rules cannot therefore include all existing local cultures. The same applies to inheritance law. There is no national inheritance law in Indonesia. The existence of inheritance law in Indonesia is linked to the customary inheritance law, Islamic inheritance law and civil inheritance law, and each has different rules that are explained here:

1. Common Law (Adat) Inheritance Law
Indonesia is an island nation made up of different ethnic groups, religions and customs that differ from each other. This affects the law in each class of society, known as common law (Adat).
Common law is an unwritten set of rules, norms, and customs that are followed by certain communities in an area and are only penalized for violations in that area.
Therefore, the usual inheritance law is strongly influenced by the social structure or kinship.

2. Islamic inheritance law
Islamic inheritance law applies to Indonesian Muslim religion and is regulated in Articles 171-214 in the compilation of Indonesian law. In Islamic inheritance law, the law of bilateral individual inheritance follows, neither collectively nor as main inheritance law. So the inheritance can come from the father or from the mother.

3. Civil or civil inheritance law
Civil inheritance law or so-called western inheritance law applies to non-Muslim persons, including descendants of Indonesian citizens, both Chinese and European, whose provisions are regulated in the Civil Code (KUHP).

Civil inheritance law adheres to an individual system in which each heir acquires or owns the inheritance according to its respective parts with 4 groups of heirs on the basis of the law:
- Group I consists of a husband and wife and children and their descendants
- Group II consists of parents and siblings and their descendants
- Group III consists of grandfathers, grandmothers, etc.
- Group IV consists of families that are sideways, including brothers and heirs of Group III and their descendants.

Inheritance is possible based on a will in the form of a person's statement of what they want after their death. A will can be amended or revoked by the author during his lifetime in accordance with Article 992 of the Civil Code. A change must be made with a new will or with a notary. The creation of an application for inheritance, which is based on wills, applies to persons who are at least 18 years old and who were appointed by the testator to be his heir.

Please note that the material on our website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as a legal opinion or legal advice.

How we can help you...

    • MARRIAGE AGREEMENTS: For people who are engaged or married and to set up pre-and / or post-marital agreements (marriage agreements).

    • DIVORCE: We assist divorce parties in filing and / or negotiating a divorce agreement, including property and debt sharing, custody, care and visiting rights of children.

    DRAFT AND EXECUTION OF TESTAMENTS: We ensure that a will complies with the state law and that heirs will receive the fixed share. After our extensive examination, our notary will carry out wills.

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