Sabtu, 08 Januari 2022

How to Obtain Child Custody in Indonesia


Mahmud Kusuma, S.H., M.H.
(Certified Attorneys at Law)

Previously, the platform has talk about "What Legal Ties Underlie The Relationship Between The Client and The Lawyer?", read also: "How To Legally Adopt a Child in Indonesia?" and on this occasion we will discuss about 'How to Obtain Child Custody in Indonesia'.

Sir, I am a father of two cute children. My wife is an Indonesian citizen, while I am an 'A' citizen. Since the pandemic hit, our domestic life has become more difficult, and I have rarely visited Indonesia. My relationship with my wife seems to be irreversible, but I still have the desire to take care of my children. I need your advice to obtain custody of my child.

Governing Law

Dear Mr. X, we are saddened to hear about your legal concerns. With the limited data you provide, we will try to help solve this problem. You did not mention which country you got married in, so we assume that you are married in Indonesia according to Indonesian law. This is based on your words which write that: "My wife is an Indonesian citizen...I have rarely visited Indonesia". Thus, the applicable law is Indonesian law, that is based on Law Number: 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage.[1]

How to Obtain Child Custody?

From the information we received, you did not mention what religion you married. Because you must first file a divorce before taking care of child custody issues. Under Indonesian law, child custody is one of the consequences of breaking up a marriage. In this regard, the following provisions of Law Number: 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage apply. 

Article 41:

The consequences of breaking up a marriage due to divorce are:
  1. Both mothers and fathers are still obliged to care for and educate their children, solely based on the interests of the child; if there is a dispute regarding the child custody, the Court gives its decision;
  2. The father who is responsible for all the care and education costs needed by the child; if the father is in fact unable to fulfill these obligations, the Court may determine that the mother will share the costs;
  3. The court may require the ex-husband to provide living expenses and/or determine an obligation for the ex-wife.

We assume that because your relationship with your wife is not harmonious, it is very likely that later it will be difficult to find a peaceful way regarding child custody. As stipulated in Article 41 of Law Number: 1 of 1974 Paragraph 1 concerning Marriage, then "...if there is a dispute regarding the child custody, the Court gives its decision;" apply.


Thus, we recommend that you file a divorce lawsuit against your wife at the relevant court in the jurisdiction of Indonesia. And according to civil procedural law in Indonesia, it is possible to merge a divorce lawsuit with child custody. This will certainly save your time and energy. 

And if you have any issue with this topic, contact us, feel free in 24 hours, we will be glad to help you.

*) For further information please contact:
Mahmud Kusuma Advocate
Law Office
Tokopedia Care Tower, 17th Floor, Unit 2&5,
Outer West Ring Road, 101, Rawa Buaya,
Cengkareng Subdistrict, West Jakarta,
Jakarta - Indonesia.


1. Law Number: 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage.

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