What You Need to Know About Guardianship of a Child in Indonesia

A guardian is a person or legal entity that perform the duty of child custody as a parent toward a child. He/she is entitled to represent it in or outside the court. The idea of having a guardian is to protect the child rights and to fulfil their basic necessities as well as to manage their assets to the best interests of the child. 

The Subject

The legal age in Indonesia is 18 years old. Any child under that age is under a guardianship of its parents or guardian. In the event its parents are unable to take that responsibility, any other party may step forward in carrying the job. Other family members may be able to replace the parents's job by meeting certain criteria. 

Article 50 (1) of the Marriage Law imposed that children who are not under the age of 18 or have never entered into a marriage, that are not under the authority of the parents, are under the authority of a guardian. The guardianship concerning the child's private matter and its property. Furthermore, the guardian has the responsibility in taking care the child as well as its property at his best by respecting the child's religion and belief. 

Are You Qualified?

Furthermore, according to the Procedures of Guardian Appointment of 2019, you may be a guardian of a child only if you meet the following capacity:

  1. Family of the child;
  2. Relatives;
  3. Other parties; or 
  4. Legal entities. 

The above parties can only become the guardian in the event the parents of the child are not longer available to do the job, their whereabout is unknown, or due to any specific reason they are unable to perform their duties. Those parties may step forward in the event the case meet the above situation.

The family of the child shall become the first priority to be appointed as the guardian. In this case, the family shall refer to as the smallest unit in society consisting of husband and wife, or husband and wife and children, or father and child, or mother and child, or blood relatives in a straight line up or down to the third degree. The relatives of the child may replace child's family in the event they are not willing to take the job, unknown, or they are not qualified as a family of the child. The same way goes to the next party.

Required Consent

The consent required is from the Social Ministry in the form of a recommendation. This requirement is similar when you're conducting an adoption application. The social worker will perform assessment to the person or legal entity being appointed to become a guardian. 

This may be the bottleneck in application for the guardianship at the court. But it may be a new standard operating procedures to monitor the duties of guardians. The state presence is reflecting in reviewing, and supervising the duties performed by the guardian. Regular reports and updates serve as the monitoring instrument in conducting the guardianship duties.

The End of It

The guardianship end when your case meet the following situation:

  1. The child reaches the age of 18;
  2. The child passes-away;
  3. The guardian passes-away;
  4. The legal entity guardianship files for bankruptcy.

 Your authority as the guardian, may also be revoked by the court. The revocation is due to the situation as follows:

  1. Neglecting your obligations as a guardian. As a guardian, your authority may be revoked if you're neglecting the child under your care;
  2. You're incompetent in performing any legal action. The incompetency must be reviewed by the court and an application must be submitted so they are able to reconsider your position as a guardian. This is a big case. You need to make sure you have enough evidence to turn back the ruling;
  3. Abusing your authority as a guardian. This has something to do with the management of the child's assets. This is a serious violation. They may not be able to revoke you as the guardian, but may also file complaint against you;
  4. Committing acts of violence against children under his/her care. Conducting duties as a guardian is not easy. This is similar with becoming a parent. They said it's the hardest job you'll ever love. But do you? 
  5. Parents are considered able to carry-out the obligation. When the child's parents are back on their feet and able to do the their jobs, the guardianship may be revoked and the court return the authority to them.

    “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.