Prenuptial Agreement Clarifies Comments About Property Ownership for Foreigners in Indonesia

Prenuptial agreement in Indonesia is an agreement you sign with your partner before performing the marriage. The date when you execute it must shows clearly that it is being entered on or before the legal marriage date. I have reason to believe that your legal marriage date may be different than the solemnization date. It because the marriage in Indonesia is considered legal when you perform the religious marriage prior the civil ceremony, unless of course, if you were married in Moslem rites. The latter requires no civil marriage registration. So, the prenuptial agreement must be entered into before the date of the civil marriage, the legal one. 

Let’s have a look what the law said about it in Article 119 of Civil Code stipulates that from the moment of execution of the marriage, it shall arise by law joint marital property between the spouses to the extent that no other stipulations have been made in the pre-nuptial agreement. There you go, the prenuptial agreement must be executed before the marriage. Beside, if you did not sign any prenup, you will have joint property ownership. This condition is preventing your Indonesian spouse to keep owning a property after she/he married to you. At Wijaya & Co, we always pay attention to details of our client’s case. 

In the event you are a foreigner planning to marry to an Indonesian, the prenup have certain issues that must be addressed to. First, we have many types of the prenup, You need to get the right one. Failure to do so will affect the ability of property ownership in your mixed marriage. You need to get a prenup with total separation of property. This is applicable to both the assets and debts of the couple. Don't use the one that suggesting joint property ownership. This one is the last thing you need. They have an old Dutch term for this: "Gronds verponding verbood." Forgive my rusty Dutch. The idea of having this type of prenup is because the laws forbid foreigners to own lands in Indonesia. Article 26 (3) of Basic Agrarian Law imposed that in the event by marriage, inheritance, or by any other means she/he loses the citizenship of Indonesia, he/she must transfer the title of the land to other third party or the state will take possession. Please contact me should you wish to draw-up a more suitable prenuptial agreement that just right for you!

In terms of mixed-marriage, I would say the above situation only applicable if you marry to a foreigner and your status in owning the property is legally affected by your foreign spouse. Since the property falls into the definition of joint property, both of you co-own the assets and therefore require consent from each other. This is not good. In any way, the consent may not be retrieved because the foreigner is not in the legal position to own the property in the first place. At Wijaya & Co., we always pay attention to the details of our clients' case.

Second, legal constraints as set-out by Article 21 of Basic Agrarian Law certified that an Indonesian is precluded to own a freehold title after she married to you as a foreigner, without any prenup. In the event, the Indonesian spouse is pass-away, you may keep the property for 12 (twelve) months. Unless, if you transfer the title to other Indonesian. Transfer means you can sell it, give it away or inherit to your child, provided she/he is an Indonesian, of course. Standard tax rate is applicable for this transaction.  

The third one, you should consider to get yourself a last will and testament for the property in Indonesia that you acquired during the marriage. Inheritance issues in Indonesia are referred to a person’s religious affiliation. If you were in Moslem family, the people in layer one, the next of kin in the event one passes-away, are very crowded. If you want the assets distributed to just the surviving spouse and the children, and prevent the other extended families to even touch them, you should consider a last will. Seriously. 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!

About the Blog

Welcome to my blog! My name is Asep Wijaya. I am an attorney. I love what I do, I do what I love: being a lawyer. I am passionate about my work. I am always looking for some solutions to come up with for any legal problems of my clients. This blog is about my passion to the works I have been doing regarding legal issues in family and matrimonial law. Postnuptial agreement is one of the solutions available for married couple to proactively address their concerns.

People write postnup for so many reasons. Not only because they don’t have a prenup in the first place, but the idea of having a property separation contract during the course of marriage will enable them to keep up with the issues in their marriage. Over the passage of time, the relationship can often change in many unpredictable ways.

In Indonesia, people know more about prenups than postnups. Maybe because postnups are often held up to greater scrutiny in court, or maybe because prenups literally governed by the Marriage Law. Well, seeing is believing. Those things make postnups are not so popular. They keep to themselves. They mean you no harm. On the other hand, more and more people come to the conclusion that a postnuptial agreement is a necessity. Keep reading this blog, and I will make you believe in the postnups as well as you believe in the prenups.

Asep Wijaya

Asep Wijaya is a family attorney in Indonesia. He works with international clients exclusively for civil cases involving more than one legal system.