Getting marry is going to be the best decision you'll ever made. It is a simple decision with the a future lying ahead of you. They said the marriage is the foundation to everything in your life, among other, property. Both husband and wife are to have joint property ownership after the marriage, if they did not sign anything like a prenuptial agreement. Sometime, you don't get one just because you thought you did not need one. But now, the Constitutional Court revised the Article 29 (1) of the Marriage Law that the marital agreement may be entered as well during the course of marriage. The verdict number 69/PUU-XII/2015 officially created a postnuptial agreement on October 27, 2016 as one of the legal instrument in management of your assets in the marriage. Now, you can have one when you feel you need one.

The ideas behind this decision to officially allow the postnuptial agreement for married couples were to create separation of property and assets between husband and wife. Their separate assets are protected. No drama in fighting for property division. The same idea also applicable to debts. Husband and wife shall responsible for debts they created. The postnup therefore shall create separation of liability during the course of marriage. Furthermore, no consent is required from each of the party in the marriage in the event they want to sell their own separate assets. As for loan application with the bank, neither party is required to obtain consent from their spouse in putting their separate assets as a mortgage. In view of the above, the court wants both parties are totally independent in managing their assets. This is a fine legal reasoning. The Constitutional Court, they keep-up with the contemporary developments within the society in Indonesia. Awesome!

The validity of the postnup shall be initiated as soon as you’ve signed it. It is applicable since you entered it, and it is advisable not retroactively backward. It is applicable on actual date. This is to avoid any conflict of interests with any third party, because since the marriage date the couple might have been created jointly owned marital assets. It is very difficult to differentiate which property belongs to separate or joint property. You may potentially jeopardize the third party’s interests such as banks, and other investors in your marital assets. If you should retroactively draw the postnup back to the marriage date, at least you need to have the properties included into the exhibit and make sure they are mortgage-free. Apart from the ones listed in the exhibit, they belong to both of them. The couple is to have equal shares. This will also include the creditor(s) having a portion in the unlisted properties for the part that a mortgage has been put under. You may want to contact me here to discuss any further about this matter. At Wijaya & Co, we always pay attention to details of our client’s case. 

The postnup created under the verdict from the Constitutional Court has potential challengeable issues. The verdict put a notary as the party that legalize the postnup. According to the civil law procedures doctrines, this is not a proper ruling. They put the role of a notary to substitute the authority of a judge. You see, having a prenup and not having a prenup is a big deal, because it creates a property separation during the course of marriage. This situation is full of potential issues because when you're having a property, whether you like it or not, it involves other third party(ies) too, not just you and your spouse. The other third party such as bank as the lender if the property under mortgage, the government through the BPN (Badan Pertanahan National/National Land Registry), and other party that may have interest in your assets acquired during the marriage. At Wijaya & Co., we always pay attention to our clients' details and therefore issues are identified before they become potential hiccoughs. 

By having a notary legalizes a postnup, they are driven to declare some new legal situation. Last time I checked, this is the domain of a court through their legal instruments i.e. court decree. They called it a Declaratory Verdict. It creates a new legal facts, a new situation. For instance, declaring from joint property ownership to separation of ownership. As far as I concern, the court have a very established sets of law in civil procedures. Before finally reaching the verdict, the court must conduct a cross examination. This is a very important phase in civil legal system. If you were not happy with the verdict, you may file an appeal to the higher court within 14 (fourteen) days since the date the verdict reached. If there was nothing within that set of time-frame, the court finds that you are happy with the verdict, and everybody can get on with their lives. Your Indonesian attorney may proceed to draft a postnup for you.

You can't have those situations if a notary is to legalise the postnup. The convert from joint property to separate property, is not legally assessed with substantial rule of evidence, like the one they're doing it at a court proceeding. If one of the spouses was not happy, or seek any potential leeway that may benefit them in a divorce case, they might want to revoke the prenup. I would say they may be able to do that. Therefore, the postnup as its final outcome, is challengeable, and may be voidable. I would suggest you should consider it with full discretion. If your situation is full with substantial marital property, you should decide if any further reasonable action may be taken to secure your interests. Please contact me should you wish to discuss any further about this.

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Postnuptial agreement in Indonesia is 100 percent legal and recognized by the courts of law. In 2015, the Indonesia’s Constitutional Court issued a verdict saying that the marital agreement may be entered into before, after, and during the marriage. Many thinks that this ruling is a breakthrough verdict, but surprisingly, of course, it's not the first one to ever happened in Indonesia.

Long before the ground breaking verdict, courts in Indonesia have been come up with similar rulings. From Jakarta to Malang, from Makassar to Tanjung Pandan. All of them are saying the same thing: postnup is legal. The way they see it, it's a contract between two parties entered into freely, with voluntarily consent, and without any duress. 

I managed to get some court orders gathered from a few places in Indonesia, such from Malang, Tanjung Pandan, Makassar, North Jakarta, Central Jakarta, and of course South Jakarta. Their considerations in reaching the verdicts were pretty similar. The courts tends to think that even though the marital agreement may only be entered before and on the marriage date, but as long as it does not violate the rules, religious norms, and moral, the amendment of marital agreement may take place during the course of marriage. This is where they allow postnuptial agreement. Mutual consent, and as long as the contract does not jeopardizing the third party, the courts are welcome with the marital agreement after the marriage.

The other legal reasoning is because the Marriage Law in Article 29 allows amendment to the marital agreement. This does not contradicts with the other provision that postnuptial agreement is forbidden. Furthermore, our Civil Code recognised post-married contract  in Aricle 139, and therefore, they allow postnuptial agreement to legally take effect without any hesitation. 

The only hi-cough was we didn't have any prevailing rules regarding registration at the civil registries. This is in order to meet the requirement as imposed by the Marriage Law that a marital agreement must be registered at a marriage registry in order to take effect legally between the two spouses. As the holding from the court does not say anything about registering the postnup with a marriage registry, it does not prevent the postnup from taking a legal stand within our legal system. But luckily, the circular letter from the Ministry of Interior breaks the ice. Marriage registries all over Indonesia have been instructed to receive registration for postnuptial agreements, and issued a certificate as proof of a registration. This heals the hi-coughs.

I am Asep Wijaya. Thank you for visiting my blog, and reading my posts.

 

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017 12:38

Postnup in Indonesia: A Walk in the Park

Postnuptial agreement is a marital agreement. It’s the same thing like any other type of contract in Indonesia. The basic requirement that make the postnup valid is consent between the parties in the contract, husband and wife. It’s that simple! I can’t imagine other people take it more complicated than a walk in the park. Well, at least that’s what I’ve heard from the people on the forum. I don’t really have time to investigate what they say about posts I wrote. I provide the posts and they provide the comments. But this one is really worth a response from me. At least, it inspires me to use it as the title of this post. The postnup, moreover, is legal and it’s doable. It’s like a walk in the park! More important is, it works! Read my lips, it works! Let me explain it further.
The postnup is very useful when spouses failed to create a prenuptial agreement but want to protect their assets. It is not something usual in Indonesia because the law thinks that you should’ve get the prenup in the first place. Therefore, requirements to get a postnup are stricter than getting a prenup. Certain conditions must be met before a judge considers a postnuptial agreement valid. The contract must be created with full disclosure of assets, be entered voluntarily by both parties, and have terms that are fair and equitable. However, even if these conditions are met in a postnuptial agreement, a judge can refuse to enforce it. Therefore, it is very important to start the proceedings with enough legal grounds, previous court precedence that might help the judge to have more leeway for your case.
The postnup will create separation of property ownership in your marriage with the basis of having an affidavit of release and discharge by the foreign spouse. The foreign spouse shall release her/his right in the property ownership and vested in his/her Indonesian spouse. The Indonesian spouse therefore shall act as the title holder of the property in the matrimony. The postnup shall enlist the property acquired during the marriage obtained before the couple have a postnup.
The end results of your postnuptial agreement proceedings is in the form of a deed. The same like an ordinary prenup. The deed shall serves as your separation of property regimes and can be used to prove that there is a property separation in your marriage. Therefore, it gives you and your Indonesian spouse the authority to conduct any property transaction, without any mutual consent. Once the property separation created and vested in a postnup deed, your Indonesian spouse still be the holder of the property title. As long as there is a separation of property in the deed, your Indonesian spouse may keep the property for good. That situation will create legal protection for an Indonesian married to a foreigner.
Please forward this post to people who discuss this issue on the forum. We need to make sure that it is like a walk in the park. I am Asep Wijaya. Thank you for helping me spread the access to the legal system in Indonesia.
Our thanks to Asep Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co
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