Marriage performed outside of Indonesia is not automatically legal and recognized. You must willing to go through the extra mile in order to gain recognition under the laws in Indonesia. We called it reporting of foreign marriage. This thing has substantial implication to you and your family. The marriage indeed is the foundation to everything important in our lives i.e. the children, property, inheritance, etc. You make a mess with the marriage, you're messing with your own life. Not to mention your children. So, whatever you do, always think twice.
The foreign marriage reporting has a set of time frame as imposed by the prevailing laws. You need to comply with it. They said don’t put till tomorrow what you can do today. This must be the reason why they put such a time frame in place. The reporting must be made within 30 (thirty) days since you return in Indonesia after the marriage. The older version of the law sets more leeway to report it i.e. one year. They use the new rule, without revoking the old one. The old one is the 1974 Marriage Law, and the new one is the 2003 Administration of Population Law. The old law is considered as general regulation, and the new one is a very specific law governing certain issues. The marriage registry in Indonesia, they tend to use the 2003 for governing your foreign marriage reporting. At Wijaya & Co., we alway identify the issues before they can potentially turns into a problem. At Wijaya & Co, we always pay attention to details of our client’s case.
There are two conditions or requirements that must be fulfilled in order to create legal recognition with the foreign marriage in Indonesia. First, formal requirement. The marriage is legal according to the local rules and regulation where it is performed and registered. So, when you’re married, you’re married. The laws in Indonesia will mirror anything that takes place in the country where the marriage performed and registered. Second, material requirements. This conditions applicable absolutely to the Indonesian citizen. It must refer to the prevailing laws and regulations in Indonesia especially regarding marriage. Issue under this criteria is, among others, the minimum age requirements to get marry. Mixed religion is also part of the material requirements. Failure to meet this requirement, the marriage may be voidable. It may be challengeable at the court of law. There’s a slight possibility that the marriage may be legal in the country where you register it, but it might not be recognized under the laws in Indonesia. It’s a quite tricky situation, please contact me should you wish to discuss any further about this. Things may be overlooked. This potentially can turn into something inevitably unpredictable. This can be used as one of the grounds for an annulment. See, there's more to this than meet the eyes.
Article 56 (1) of the Marriage Law imposed strict requirements as well as time frame for foreign reporting marriage to the Indonesia’s government. This law was retrieved from the Principle of Nationality that every Indonesian citizen submit themselves to the laws of the Republic of Indonesia, wherever they are. You see, this is the interesting part of your foreign marriage. The idea behind the issue is an ancient government ruling took place from the colonial government back in 18 century. It was the Algemene Bepalingen ("AB") in the Article 16. This ruling is still there until today and become the basic law of how we determine our individuals can access the legal system wherever they are. We proud ourselves that the laws of Indonesia is always prevail in the life of every Indonesian, even if they are not on the Indonesian soil.
So, the other inevitable legal consequences for getting marry in a foreign country is, among others, without you even realize, you’re inviting other foreign law elements into your marriage life. Not to mention, if your spouse is non-Indonesian. Another foreign law element is joining the club. You know, two is a company. Three is a crowd. You even have higher potential that you may overlook things. But remember, things can be mitigated with the help from the experienced international civil law in Indonesia. Please contact me should you wish to discuss any further about this.
Our thanks to Mr. Asep Wijaya of Wijaya & Co for sharing this article!