MARRIAGE, POLYGAMY AND DIVORCE IN INDONESIA

MARRIAGE IN INDONESIA

Marriages in Indonesia are regarded as valid only of they have been performed in accordance with religious beliefs. Married couples must declare their religion and have it recognized by a government registrar and a religion official and have a ceremony conducted by a representative of their religion. The Civil Registry Office records marriages of members of all the major faiths but not atheists or agnostics. In most cases, in marriages between couples of two different religion, one member must adopt the faith of the other. Foreigners are required to get written permission from their embassy before they can get married to avoid "religious-related" marriage problems. Legal Muslim marriages are performed by a member of the office of Religious Affairs at a ceremony in a mosque, home a restaurant or other place.

Most marriages are monogamous, In rural areas arranged marriages are often the norm. In urban areas love match are more common. Among Javanese, individuals often chose their spouses with parental consent although marriages can also be arranged .Some types of marriages are frowned upon but these can be sanctioned by performing certain protective rituals.

Women in rural areas of Indonesia are often married by the time they are 20 years old. Although people throughout the country have more freedom to choose their own marriage partners than they had in the past, rural families are generally more involved than urban families are in the choice of their children's spouses, and men generally have somewhat more freedom in choosing their spouses than women have. Engagement is more than an agreement between the future bride and groom; it binds the two families. Members of the extended family often live under the same roof or near one another. Older people are shown special respect. [Source: Indonesia-fascination.blogspot.jp]

Javanese marriage formalities have traditionally consisted of the presentation of a gift to the bride’s parents from the groom’s parents, a meeting of the bride’s relatives at her house on the night before the wedding ceremony, civil and religions ceremonies and transactions and ceremonial meeting of the couple. In northern Sumatra young people decide who they want to marry but do not issue proposals themselves. Instead the groom’s parents send a representative to the bride’s parents to ask for her hand in marriage. If her parents agree they give the representative a kong narit, a gold ornament and a cash payment to seal the union.

For a Javanese marriage the parents of the groom-to-be man send an envoy to the parents of the bride-to-be, proposing that their son is willing to marry their daughter. Nowadays, for practical reasons, the parents of both sides can talk directly. The parents of the couple have to approve the marriage. Usually, the parents of bride-to-behave a greater say, as they are the ones who will organise the ceremonies (a big wedding will require a Paés Agung (kings make-up), a small one will require a Paés Kesatrian (knight’s make-up). They are responsible for the wedding ceremonies that will be followed, such as Siraman (bathing ceremony), Midodareni (ceremony on the eve before the wedding), Peningsetan (traditional engagement ceremony), Ijab (religious marriage consecration) and other Javanese ceremonies following the wedding celebration. They will also organise the wedding reception to give family and friends the opportunity to send their blessings to the newly wed couple. [Source: Dirk and Irien, Javenese Ceremonies, users.skynet.be]

Marriage Discrimination in Indonesia

The civil registration system discriminates against persons not belonging to one of the six recognized religious groups. Animists, Bahais, and members of other small minority religious groups sometimes have found it difficult to register births or marriages, notwithstanding the 2007 regulation pertaining to marriage and civil administration that allowed Aliran Kepercayaan marriages to be officially recognized. According to representatives of the Aliran Kepercayaan communities, adherents sometimes found it difficult to find employment or educational opportunities due to the blank religion field on their identity cards (KTPs). [Source: International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, Indonesia, U.S. Department of State <>]

In practice, couples prevented from registering their marriage or the birth of a child sometimes converted to one of the recognized religions or misrepresented themselves as belonging to one of the six religions. Those who chose not to register their marriages or births risked future difficulties, such as an inability to obtain birth certificates for children, which were required for school enrollment, scholarships, and government employment. <>

Interreligious couples also continued to face obstacles to marrying and officially registering their marriages and often had difficulty finding clergy to perform the required ceremonies before registering a marriage. As a result, some couples traveled outside the country to marry and then registered the marriage at an Indonesian embassy. Despite being among the officially recognized religious groups, Hindus stated that they frequently had to travel long distances to have their marriages registered, because in many rural areas the local government could not or would not process the registration. On November 12, the director of the local office of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Salawu, West Java refused to register the marriage of an Ahmadi Muslim groom and Sunni bride, as it was “haram (prohibited under Islamic Law) to record their marriage as they (Ahmadis) are not the real Muslims.”

Polygamy in Indonesia

Polygamy is rare but allowed in Indonesia and has traditionally only been practiced by the urban lower class, the nobility and high-ranking government officials. In accordance with Muslim custom men are allowed to have up to four wives under strict terms, as defined by Islamic and family codes, namely permission from the first wife. The practice was discouraged in the Suharto years. Those who did it did it quietly. Polygamy reemerged as an issue after Suharto was ousted. Those that do it are much more open it and has become a matter of public debate.

Some Orthodox Muslims have publically praised polygamy and several government ministers, including the vice president and minster of cooperatives under President Megawati (2001-2004) admitted they had multiple wives. The owner of a chicken restaurant chain with four wives launched some polygamy awards. Supporters of polygamy claim it provides a social purpose: there are more women than men and men have a strong sex drive their whole life and polygamy prevents adultery. Liberal Muslim clerics and feminists have condemned it and spoken out in favor the equality of the sexes. Some want to see a law put on the books, outlawing polygamy.

Some wives accuse their polygamous husbands as using Islam as a cover for philandering ways. Some men get around the rules by marrying privately before a Muslim cleric and witnesses without permission from a Muslim court, which in turn requires the permission of the first wife. In the meantime, an increasing number of women are seeking help from counselors in women’s crisis centers on how to handle their polygamous marriages.

In 2011, Sean Yoong, of Associated Press wrote: “The vast majority of young Muslims in Indonesia and Malaysia appear to disapprove of the traditional acceptance of polygamy but remain reluctant to openly support interfaith marriages or premarital sex, a new survey shows. In the survey coordinated by two German-based cultural organizations, 86.5 percent of 1,496 Indonesians interviewed and 72.7 percent of 1,060 Malaysians said they were against polygamy. More females opposed polygamy compared to males, who are permitted four wives under Islamic law. [Source: Sean Yoong, AP, July 12, 2011]

Indonesian academic Nina Nurmila has published papers on polygamy in Southeast Asia and is the author of "Women, Islam and Everyday Life: Renegotiating Polygamy in Indonesia". She has categorised Muslims into three groups where their views on polygamy are concerned. According to her, the first group comprises Muslims who see polygamy as permitted in Islam (the literalists), the second who see it as permitted with certain conditions (the semi-literalists) and the third who see it as indirectly prohibited (the contextualists). More often than not, Nina said, Muslims failed to read and understand the Quranic verse on polygamy in its full context. "If you believe that Islam allows polygamy or that it is a God-given right, then you are going by the human interpretation of the Quran," she said. “

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Polygamy Laws in Indonesia

The 1974 marriage law for Muslims draws from Sharia and allows a man to have up to four wives, provided he is able to support each equally.For a man to take a second, third, or fourth wife, he must obtain court permission and the consent of the first wife; however, these conditions are not always required in practice. Many women reportedly encounter societal pressures that compel them to grant permission for additional marriages. Islamic women’s groups remain divided over whether the system needs revision. In 2007 the Constitutional Court upheld a spouse’s right to deny a husband’s demand to take on additional wives, ruling that restrictions on polygamy in the marriage law violate neither the constitution nor tenets of Islam and are necessary to protect the rights of women. Some members of Islamic groups view this as a restriction of their religious freedom. [Source: International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, Indonesia, U.S. Department of State <>]

The marriage law makes polygamy illegal for civil servants, except in limited circumstances. A government regulation from 1983 requires male civil servants to receive permission from a government official and their first wives prior to marrying second, third, or fourth wives and prohibits female civil servants from becoming second, third, or fourth wives. <>

Examples of Polygamy in Indonesia

Polygamy is mostly practiced by lower to lower-middle-class men in Indonesia. On the island of Sumbawa in the 1990s you could find an 80-year-old shaman with six wives and 23 children. Most educated women find the practice too humiliating to endure. Often they ask for a divorce.

One man with two wives described in the Washington Post spent half the week with each of his wives, who live in small houses about four miles apart. The first wife said she found out about the second wife when she notices a strange number on her family cell phone bill. She said when she got over the shock she decided to stay with her husband for the sake of their children.

The husband said he did not seek his second wife. The relationship just happened and he decided to marry the woman, who was a widow, out of a “a mix of passion, love and social responsibility.” His father had two wives and his grandfather had three. He said that the second marriage made him feel like a better Muslim because he could help out a woman who needed some financial help.

Reporting on group in Jakarta called Men’s Coalition against Polygamy, Leo Lewis wrote in The Times, “It joins an alliance of enraged housewives and other snarling activists who see Indonesia’s marriage laws, which allow men to have multiple wives, as unbalanced and a recipe for domestic violence. That line, though, is not the coalition’s central argument: their rather flimsy charge is that the existence of polygamy “labels men as egotistical, aggressive, unfaithful and unable to control their libidos”. Maybe so, but most of us merrily tick all those boxes by simply sitting in the boozer, watching the football, bellowing at the ref and chatting up the barmaid. The creation of the Men’s Coalition against Polygamy is a direct response to the emergence of the Bandung chapter of the Global Ikhwan, or Polygamy Club — an originally Malaysian group chaired by a woman and dedicated to evangelising “the beautiful side of polygamy”.[Source: Leo Lewis, The Times November 4, 2009]

Indonesian Muslim Cleric Arrested over 12-Year-Old Bride

Arranged marriages between older men and much younger girls are common in poor rural areas in Indonesia. These marriages are not registered so they are not legally recognized, but are religiously sanctioned. Indonesian law has harsh penalties for pedophilia, which have been applied to child marriages. According to UNICEF the practice of early marriage is most common in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

In March 2009, an Indonesian Muslim cleric, who took a 12-year-old girl as a second wife, was arrested on charges of obscenity, and might face up to 15 years in prison the Jakarta Globe reported. The 43-year-old Pujiono Cayho Widiyanto, a wealthy businessman and cleric, was arrested by police in the central Java city of Semarang, after her married a poor village girl, Lutfiana Ulfa, sparking nationwide outrage. "We've collected enough evidence to charge him with under age obscenity under the Criminal Code," chief detective Royhardi Siahaan was quoted as saying by the Indonesian daily the Jakarta Globe.[Source:AlArabiya.net, March 18, 2009]

AlArabiya.net reported: “The cleric was arrested after police collected documents proving Ulfa was under age, Siahaan said. Widiyanto and his supporters argued that his actions are acceptable under Islam but others say he should abide by state law, which sets 16 as the minimum age for female marriage, and 19 for males. [Ibid]

Six months later the Jakarta Post reported from Semarang: Prosecutors have demanded a court sentence a wealthy Muslim cleric to six years in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl he took as his unofficial wife. Widiyanto Pujiono Cahyo, 45, also known as Sheikh Puji, married the girl in August 2008. He has defended his unofficial second marriage by saying the girl had reached puberty. Prosecutors also asked the court to fine Pujiono, 45, Rp 60 million ($6,700) or face a further six months in prison. “We recommend six years in prison for him,” prosecutor Suningsih told the court. “He has been sexually abusive toward women, especially towards this underage girl. As the owner of a religious school, he does not set a good example.” [Source: Candra Malik, Jakarta Globe, October 22, 2010]

Lutfiana became the cleric’s second wife after a wedding ceremony that the cleric said was valid under Islamic law but not civil law. The marriage sparked a public outcry, with critics accusing the cleric of practicing legalized pedophilia. Pujiono’s lawyer has said the girl refused to annul the marriage because she loved the cleric.

Pujiono, the head of the Miftachul Jannah Islamic boarding school in Central Java, was arrested after a report was filed against him by the Anti-Corruption Civil Society Coalition (Kompak). He claimed in his defense that he had his wife’s approval for the marriage. Seto Mulyadi, chairman of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission, said he regretted prosecutors had not sought a longer sentence. “Both articles of the law he is charged under would warrant a 15-year jail term,” he told the Jakarta Globe.

Indonesia Proposes Foreign Men Pay $55,000 to Marry Local Women

In 2010, the Indonesian government proposed that foreign men pay a US$55,000 “security guarantee” to marry Indonesian women. AFP reported: “Alarm bells not wedding bells are ringing over Indonesian proposals to demand a US$55,000 “security guarantee” from foreign men who marry Indonesian women. Enraged brides-to-be are threatening to flee the country and marry their boyfriends abroad if the government approves the plan, which is part of a wider marriage law reform being pushed by Muslim conservatives. And befuddled foreign grooms are asking why they are being targeted when stories of foreign men being exploited by gold-digging women are rife in Indonesia. [Source: AFP, June 1, 2010 <>]

“The proposal requires foreign men wishing to wed Muslim women – it will not apply to Christians or Buddhists or Hindus – to put a guarantee of Rp500 million ($55,000) into a bank. If the couple divorce, the wife will be entitled to take the money. If they stick together for at least 10 years, they can claim it as “shared property.” “The provision… is intended to protect the rights of women and their children if their husbands neglect, fail to provide for, leave Indonesia secretly… divorce or do anything which harms their interests,” the bill says. <>

“The proposal, spearheaded by the Religious Affairs Ministry, will be sent to parliament for approval by the end of the year, an official said. The guarantee is designed to stop foreigners entering fake marriages in order to set up businesses or buy property in their wives’ names, and to ensure that women are financially secured against divorce, ministry official Nasaruddin Umar said. “When the women are no longer of use, it’s usually goodbye to them,” he added without providing figures or research to back up his statement. “Marriage is pure and sacred; it shouldn’t be tainted by lust or personal interests. We want to protect our women.” <>

Reaction to the $55,000 Marriage Fee for Foreign Men

AFP reported: “Love-struck couples are outraged. “How ridiculous… the government wants to sell me off,” sniffed 36-year-old events organiser Roslina, who is planning to tie the knot with her German boyfriend, Christopher, in September. “My future husband will pay the amount but that’s not the point. We’ll definitely marry abroad if this becomes law.” A 24-year-old model who declined to be named said she and her boyfriend, also from Germany, were being unfairly discriminated against. “It looks like the government has no respect for Indonesian women. It’s crazy to penalise only foreign men. Why not charge local men who marry three or four wives but can’t afford it?” she said. Her 39-year-old boyfriend, a banker who declined to give his name, said: “It’s a clear statement by the government that it owns its people and it sells them on the meat market.” “Maybe we’ll also see catalogues in the future of women who are on the market for sale. Maybe I can open an office abroad and start marketing Indonesian women,” he added sarcastically. Female student Masyita agreed: “People say that love is priceless, but you have to pay a penalty if you fall in love in Indonesia. But don’t worry; it’s only Rp500 million — so cheap, aren’t we?” <>

“The plan has drawn mixed responses from the country’s clerics, women’s groups and lawmakers. Clerics in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country have thrown their weight behind the draft bill. Critics say it will only encourage people to “live in sin” outside of wedlock, leaving women more vulnerable. “I applaud this proposal. We’ve heard many cases of foreigners marrying our women and then deserting them and their kids with nothing,” Indonesian Council of Ulema chairman Amidhan said. But lawmaker Iskan Qolba Lubis said: “People want to marry because they’re in love. So why are we making things difficult for them? It’s also discriminatory. We wouldn’t be happy if other countries did the same to us.” <>

“Nia Schumacher of Melati Worldwide, a group which lobbies for the interests of people in mixed marriages, said the proposal would lead to an exodus of “runaway brides.” “Or the couples may not register their marriages or skip marriage altogether and co-habit instead. Is that what the government wants?” she asked. Some women’s rights activists say the plan treats women like a commodity and discriminates against foreign men. “We clearly reject the proposal. It lowers the dignity of women and not all foreign men have that much money,” Association of Indonesian Women in Multinational Marriages (Srikandi) co-chairwoman Emmylia Hannig said. “If the basis of the law is to protect women, it should apply to both foreign and local men. There are many cases of local men having several wives and ditching them without giving money,” she added.

“Roslina said the bill was ruining romances as foreign men walked away from promises. “My friend has lost a potential husband. She and her French boyfriend had been dating for four years and were planning to get married. But I heard the wedding has been postponed indefinitely,” she said. “The man said he’s scared to get married because it’s unfair that he needs to pay.”

Divorce in Indonesia

In Java, divorce is common and achieved through Muslim law. Women can initiate divorce proceedings which is not always the case in Muslim countries. Feminists and liberals would like to see better laws in the books that make it easier for women to get a divorce.

In September 2013, Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs said there 212,000 divorce cases a year in Indonesia, a significant increase from 10 years earlier. "The numbers increased from 10 years ago, in which the divorce rate was only around 50,000 per year," Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Dr. Nasaruddin Umar said. Nasaruddin is deeply concerned about the high divorce rate. Moreover, nearly 80 percent who divorced were at a young age. "The age of marriage is relatively young with small children. This will lead to more social impact," he explained. [Source: Antaranews.com, September 17, 2013]

“Nearly 70 percent of divorces are khul'a divorce. In other words, more women filed for divorce than a man who divorces his wife. "Divorce also raises new issues that is the emergence of the new poor," added Nasaruddin. There are a variety of reasons of divorce, he added, but what does not make sense is that divorce is due to differences in political views. "It really does not make sense, but it happens," he said.

The conservative Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia said: “The ministry of religious affairs has anticipated the high number of divorce cases by providing 'short courses on marriage knowledge' for the future bride. The future couple is given an understanding of what are the rights and responsibilities of both wife and husband. But this is not the real solution for the problem. There are a lot of Indonesian women who filed for divorce because of economic and psychological problems. Their husbands committed domestic violence, didn't afford their family's needs because they were jobless, low income or no responsibility. Other factor triggers the khul'a is the poison of gender equality. Women tend to be independent with no need for men and marriage as they can earn money by themselves. The financial security is mostly the reason of khul'a when there is a marriage problem. [Source: Iffah Ainur Rochmah, Khilafah, hizbut-tahrir.or.id]

From the fact we can conclude that the increasing number of divorces is a problem faced by a society in which capitalism is implemented. No responsibility to family and committing domestic violence is a picture of men in capitalist system. Poverty, insufficient jobs and no prosperity among people are also the result of capitalism. Women's liberty is also the rotten fruit of liberal ideas such as gender equality and human rights. Those ideas are grown up in capitalism and the absence of Islamic values and system in the society. The only solution for this social problem is to redefine the responsibility of the government. Not only by providing short courses about marriage to the bride. Fostering every people to values of marriage and family should be integrated through the education and counseling curriculum. This program should be accompanied by removing all of the media and spread of ideas that are counterproductive to the value of the family. It is also the obligation for the government to generate adequate employment, realize a conducive climate for business, and provide public needs such as education and health without any charge.

Divorce Laws in Indonesia

Indonesian judge Rahmat Arijaya wrote in the Jakarta Post: “Let us look at the real condition. Law No. 1/1974 on Marriage and Government Regulation No. 9/1975 on the implementation of the Marriage Law clearly state that divorce is not allowed to be carried out except in court, after careful examination of each case by judges. The law stipulates that divorce can only be allowed for one of the following reasons: One of the spouses is adulterous, a drunk, a junkie or a gambler, and he or she is not yet rehabilitated; one spouse leaves the other for two years successively without any legal reason or the other’s permission; one of the spouses is convicted by a court and sentenced to five years’ incarceration or longer during the marriage; one of the spouses commits cruelty and extreme oppression which threatens the other’s safety; one of the spouses suffers from a disease and/or physical defect which is incurable, preventing him or her from fulfilling his/her spousal duties; and the spouses are in an extreme and continuous dispute without hope of living together in harmony. [Source:Rahmat Arijaya, Jakarta Post, Opinion September 12, 2011 |*|]

“It is necessary to note that according to article 10 verse 1 of Law No. 48/2009 on Religious Courts, courts are not allowed to reject any case filed with them. Thus, judges have to examine and decide the cases brought before them. The law stipulates some difficult requirements that need to be fulfilled by spouses seeking divorce. The law does not recognize as a basis for divorce the kind of agreement that is accepted in Australia: namely, where spouses can mutually agree to end their marriage contract after 12 months of living separate lives. I often found many spouses tried to deceive the law by presenting a joint agreement to divorce while they did not have any legal reason to support their desire to divorce as stated by the law. In this case, judges are not immediately convinced to divorce them, but must examine whether they really have strong legal reasons or not. Judges will not divorce spouses if their marriage is in fact harmonious. |*|

“Furthermore, judges are obliged to comply with Supreme Court Regulation No. 1/2008 on mediation procedures in courts. Article 2, verse 4, states that judges must mention in their verdicts that a mediation procedure has been performed. If not, a verdict will be declared invalid. Spouses are given 40 days for mediation, which is extendable by 14 days. Indeed, spouses have ample time to find the best solution for their marriage. They are assisted by a professional, independent mediator, or one of the judges acts as mediator.” |*|

Indonesian Divorce Rate Surges

In 2009, the BBC reported: “The divorce rate in Indonesia has risen dramatically over the past decade, according to official figures. Women have a greater awareness of their rights and are bringing more cases to court. The number citing polygamy as grounds for divorce is also rising. The Religious Affairs Ministry said the divorce rate had jumped from an average of 20,000 a year to more than 200,000. [Source: BBC, February 4, 2009 <*>]

Since the introduction of democratic reforms 10 years ago, authoritarian attitudes to marriage are changing. The BBC correspondent in Jakarta, Lucy Williamson, says it is mainly women who are driving this. Women are becoming more economically independent, and the free flow of information is spreading a greater awareness of their rights, our correspondent says. One result of this is that - quite apart from infidelity and financial issues - they are refusing to put up with domestic violence or absent husbands. <*>

But changes in lifestyle are not the only cause of marriage break-up, according to an official at the Religious Affairs Ministry, Nasaruddin Umar. "Believe it or not," said Mr Umar, "some couples decide to divorce because the husband and wife have different takes on political issues. This has never happened before." Religious difference can also cause friction. Indonesia has sizeable Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities, and the latest figures show that 90 percent of Indonesians who marry someone of a different faith end up going through divorce. <*>

Why is Divorce in Indonesia Increasing?

Rahmat Arijaya wrote in the Jakarta Post: “Quite recently, a prominent Indonesian Muslim scholar, Nazarudin Umar, expressed curiosity as to why the divorce rate in Indonesia has increased, particularly after the Supreme Court adopted a one-roof judicial system. According to him, most judges at the Religious Courts conduct divorces for couples too easily. As a judge, and based on my experiences in many divorce cases, such a statement is absolutely wrong. Worse, Nazarudin said most judges were motivated to gain “reward points” for promotion in their careers. The more they separate spouses, the more reward points they get. [Source: Rahmat Arijaya, Jakarta Post, Opinion September 12, 2011. The writer is a judge at the Religious Court in Cilegon and a staff member with the Directorate General of Religious Courts for Foreign Affairs. |*|]

“The courts work hard to save family unity and it often pays off. It is urgently noted that in litigation, judges endeavor to reconcile spouses by giving them advice. Do the judges seek “reward points”? It is obviously a contemptible accusation. As judges, we are never promised that. On the contrary, we are required to give serious attention to the mediation procedure. Indeed, the Supreme Court has provided a number of mediation trainings for judges. It is all aimed at saving Indonesian families. “Frankly speaking, we feel very happy when we succeed in mediating conflicting spouses. They will continue their married life with their beloved children in harmony. It is no different in style or trend to the litigation procedures in religious courts after the one-roof system took effect. Judges apply the same procedural law they used to follow.|*|

“So why does divorce increase every year? There are so many factors involved, all of which are very complicated and interrelated behind a decision to divorce. First, a poor economic condition within a family will influence the longevity of married life. In 2010, divorce data from the Directorate General of the Religious Courts (Badilag) showed that 67,891 couples (24 percent) divorced due to economic problems. In Indonesia, it commonly happens that a young man is allowed to marry a girl even though he is not economically independent. He has no permanent job to make money. Even worse, he still completely depends on maintenance from his parents.|*|

“Second, a lack of responsibility by spouses for their marriages is also responsible for divorce. A husband leaves his wife for several years and he never comes back. In some extreme cases, he even marries another woman. There were 78,407 divorces (27 percent) in 2010 due to this reason. Third, a continuing dispute between spouses also causes divorce. This is commonly triggered and prolonged by bad communication, immaturity, a lack of mutual understanding, etc. In this case, judges will examine whether there is a possibility or not to save a family by giving the spouses more time. Judges will also commonly suggest that, in such cases, they should seek reconciliation with help from their families, religious leaders, priests and others. The data shows that 40 percent, or 112,374 couples divorced due to this factor. |*|

“Fourth, awareness of the law, particularly relating to people’s rights, also plays an important role in causing divorce. When a spouse is consciously aware that his or her marriage is not working anymore and has broken down, he or she will suddenly think to come to the court. They already know that divorce can only take place in court as stipulated by the law. Interestingly, most women have begun to understand that they also have the legal right to end their marriage. In 2010, 169,673 divorce cases (57 percent) were filed by women, and 81,535 (28 percent) by men.” |*|

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated June 2015

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