Marriage and Its Legal Implications

A married couple has the glorious obligation to maintain a household that becomes the principles and structure of any community. The rights and obligations of a wife is equal with those of her husband in any household life and social interaction in the community.

A husband is the head of a family, while the wife is the housewife. Married couple must have a home of their choice. As the head of the family, a husband is required to protect his wife and provide the household necessity according to his capacity. A wife is required to manage the household affairs the best she can.

If a husband or wife fails to fulfill his/her obligations, the spouse may file a petition to a court of law for proper settlement.

Property in the Marriage

A marriage has legal consequences concering the property of the husband and wife (including gifts and inheritance), wealth acquired during the marriage, and legal consequences to the property when a divorce should occur.

The property brought by each husband and wife and the property earned of respective parties as gifts or inheritance is under their own possession, unless otherwise specified by respective parties. Each of the parties shall separately retain all rights and interests in all property of any kind which he or she owns to dispose of such separate property.

The property acquired during the marriage becomes joint property of a married  couple. Husband and /or wife may have a legal  capacity to dispose such property upon approval of the two parties. In accordance with the Marriage Law, such property shall be referred to as marital property.

In the event marriage is terminated due to divorce, the marital property must be arrange in accordance with the respective law. The respective law means religious law, ethnic (adat) law, and other laws.

Children or Offspring

A marriage also has legal implication to the child or offspring. Furthermore, pursuant to law, child or offspring is divided into two (2) categories, namely:

  1. Legitimate child, which is a child born in the legitimate marriage;
  2. Illegitimate child, which is a child born out of wedlock.

A husband may deny the validity of a child given birth by his wife if he can prove that his wife has committed adultery and the child is the result of such activity. The party that will decide the legitimacy of the child is a court of law upon request of the relevant party under oath.

Evidence of Child Origin

The origin of a child can only be proved with an authentic birth certificate issued by the officer of civil registry. If the birth certificate doesn’t exist, a court may issue a determination on the origin of the child after conducting an accurate hearing based on lawful evidence.

Based on the court decree, a birth registration agency in the jurisdiction of the court will in turn issue a birth certificate of the child.

The Rights and Obligations of Parents and Child

Parents are required to raise and educate their child properly. These obligations apply until the child gets married or becomes independent.

A child under the age of 18 years or has yet to marry remain under the control of the parents so long as the parent’s authority is not annulled as parents. The parents represent the child in any legal action inside and outside the court of law. Parents are not allowed to transfer the right of pawn any permanent property owned by the child, unless otherwise desired for the child interest.

Any of or both parents may have his/her/their parental authority revoked for one or more children for certain period. The meaning of authority doen’t include the power as the guardian in a marriage. The parents’ authority may be revoked through court’s decision in the event that:

  1. They seriously neglect their power to the child;
  2. They have extremely bad behavior.

Although the parents have their authority revoked, they still have the obligation to provide child support to the child.

The child is required to respect his/her parents and comply with their will properly. In the event the child has grown up, he/she is required to take care of his/her parents and family in a straight line and above if they need any help according to his/her capacity.


A child under 18 years old or has yet to marry still under the authority of the parents is under the gurdian authority. Such guardianship applies to the child and his/her property.

A guardian can be appointed by a person to execute the parents’ authority before he/she dies, with a testamentary will or orally before two (2) witnesses. The guardian should be, as far as possible, taken from the child’s relative or someone else that is adults, healthy in mind, fair, honest and has good manner.

A guardian may have his/her authority revoked in the event he/she fails to fulfill his/her obligations and has extremely bad manner. If such authority is revoked, a court will appoint another as the replacement.

In executing his/her authority, a guardian has the following obligations:

  1. to take a good care of the child and the child’s property by respecting the child’s religion and belief;
  2. to make a list of property and to record any changes to such property;
  3. to be responsible for the property and to bear any damage arising out of his/her negligence. The replacement is specified by court’s decision upon the claim from the child or the child’s family;
  4. Not to transfer the right or pawn the child’s permanent property, unless otherwise demanded by the child.

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


Our thanks to Asep Wijaya, Managing Director of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with us!


The above is provided for informational purposes only and is NOT to be relied upon as legal advice. This information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney and should not be construed as a solicitation. No attorney-client relationship is established by use of information found within this article nor in this website.

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