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  • Advice about "unofficial" muslim wedding

    Hello everyone,

    I'll try not to be to long:

    I am an European in Indonesia who started dating an Indonesian girl and after some time she got pregnant. She decided to keep the baby even if I was against it considering our current situation was very far from ideal. She gave me the option to decide if I wanted to be involved in the parenting and stay with her or walk away, and I decided to get involved and come back to Indonesia (as I was in Europe at the moment).

    I knew her mother is quite strict muslim and this could obviously be an issue. When I asked my gf she lied to me saying this wouldnt be an issue and we would not need to marry so I wouldn't be more worried about the whole thing and came back to Indo. I believed her as her family is mixed bule-indonesian marriage and quite modern in some aspects, wrong of me. As soon as I got back to Indonesia the getting married has become something absolutely necessary with so much pressure on her and me to get on with it asap. She personally doesnt care much but the mother will not let us be together unless we go through it.

    They have told me we just have to do the muslim marriage ceremony so the family/friends/society around can "allow" this and not be a taboo and so on, you know what I mean. So this would not be an official marriage, just the ceremony with the imam at home, so they say. I'm definitely quite unhappy with this, first of all because I need to convert to muslim which for me it is hard as I strongly don't belive in any religion. But seeing how far the situation can go, kind of basically "kicking her out" of the family if this doesn't happen, I have even started considering it.

    I have been reading a lot on the forum and even made contact with a lawyer already but still there are a few things I am not 100% sure:

    - I understand If the ceremony doesn't involve anyone from the KUA and just the imam at home producing a "nikah siri" this is still not a legal marriage to the indonesian government. Is this right?? Does it have any other future implications? Is there a way I can be sure that this is not involving the KUA?

    - What considerations should I take so in the future if things go wrong I still can be part of the baby's life?

    I have read many advice against converting to muslim if this is not what you really want or believe in... which is my case, so I guess this can sound offending to other religious people on the forum, I apologize for that. But honestly, in my situation I don't see any way to not destroy my gf relationship with mother and brothers probably forever unless I go through this.

    I will appreciate so much opinions and advice on the matter from people with similar experiences.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by topotopo8 View Post
    1- ... I'm definitely quite unhappy with this, first of all because I need to convert to muslim which for me it is hard as I strongly don't belive in any religion.

    2- I understand If the ceremony doesn't involve anyone from the KUA and just the imam at home producing a "nikah siri" this is still not a legal marriage to the indonesian government. Is this right??

    2a- Does it have any other future implications?

    2b- Is there a way I can be sure that this is not involving the KUA?

    3- What considerations should I take so in the future if things go wrong I still can be part of the baby's life? ...

    1- This is my personal experience : I am also not religious , but ended up converting to Islam (very easy & simple) and after 10 years of marriage , we divorced (also very easy & simple) .

    2- Right , it is not a legal marriage , which is , in my view , a disadvantage because the child's birth certificate (if born in Indonesia) will not include you as the father , you will not be eligible for an Indonesian marriage residence permit , ..

    2a- As I see it , in a "nikah siri" you have all the moral obligations without any of the legal benefits .

    2b- If you don't provide the KUA required documents (see the link below) , it is probably not the official marriage .

    3- I think that you will have no legal rights in a nikah siri . In an official KUA marriage , after the divorce , the son/daughter can choose to live with the father after the age of 12 .


    http://www.expat.or.id/info/gettingm...indonesia.html (theoretical list of required documents to marry in Indonesia)
    Last edited by marcus; 2 weeks ago.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by marcus View Post


      1- This is my personal experience : I am also not religious , but ended up converting to Islam (very easy & simple) and after 10 years of marriage , we divorced (also very easy & simple) .

      2- Right , has no legal consequence , which is , in my view , a disadvantage because the child's birth certificate (if born in Indonesia) will not include you as the father , you will not be eligible for an Indonesian marriage residence permit , ..

      2a- As I see it , in a "nikah siri" you have all the moral obligations without any of the legal benefities .

      2b- If you don't provide the KUA required documents (see the link below) , it is probably not the official marriage .

      3- I think there is no legal rights in a nikah siri . In an official marriage , after the divorce , the son/daughter can choose to live with the father after the age of 12 .


      http://www.expat.or.id/info/gettingm...indonesia.html (theoretical list of required documents to marry in Indonesia)
      Thank you so much Marcus for your detailed answer, it is really helpful for me.

      1 - This is indeed a delicate thing, as even knowing it can be done as "a formality" it certainly has a deep meaning and create expectations from others or unpredictable issues in the future...

      2a - Quite true actually, I hadn't thought of it this way.

      2b - Thanks, I'm checking that then.

      3 - I understand that not being legally the father can certainly be a complication in the future, however me and my girlfriend are not really interested in getting married at the moment, so I hope things stay fine between us (as they are now) and this doesnt' cause me any problems.

      Regards

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by topotopo8 View Post
        ... me and my girlfriend are not really interested in getting married at the moment, ...

        Personally I am also against marriage if there is no intention to have children and both are from a same country (or living in a country were both are foreigners) . But I think that in your case (a foreigner + a local) plus having a child together , a marriage is the best option .

        Could you tell us why you & your girlfriend are against a marriage ?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by topotopo8 View Post
          ... I have read many advice against converting to muslim if this is not what you really want or believe in... which is my case, ...

          I am in this Forum for more than 12 years but I don't remember of any important reason for being too much concerned about religion . Yes , sometimes you don't understand your partner's religious behavior , but I think that we are all different people , if not religious diferences there will be certainly other kind of differences , so living together means you have to just respect each others different thinking/behavior .

          To me , converting was only to comply with the Indonesian Marriage Law , I didn't change my thinking/behavior , my (then) wife also didn't change her thinking/behavior , and this difference was not important to our relationship (we divorced due to other subject) . But of course , before the marriage we agreed in having this different religious thinking/behavior .

          Yes , I guess Indonesians in general think that the religion is very important . In 21 years here the biggest problem I heard was about parents cutting all relationship with daughters who changed their religion .

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by marcus View Post

            Could you tell us why you & your girlfriend are against a marriage ?
            It is not that we are so against it, it's more that as we were not planning to do it before the pregnancy happened, we are still not planning to now, even considering the situation. I understand this could make things easier now, but maybe it's my "European" mentality (hers is similar in this point) thinking that marriage is something that you don't do because "you should" but because you're 100% sure that you want to marry that person and (hopefully) be together for the rest of your lives.


            Originally posted by marcus View Post


            I am in this Forum for more than 12 years but I don't remember of any important reason for being too much concerned about religion . Yes , sometimes you don't understand your partner's religious behavior , but I think that we are all different people , if not religious diferences there will be certainly other kind of differences , so living together means you have to just respect each others different thinking/behavior .
            their religion .
            I agree with you that the most important part is to agree with each other thinking and behavior and respect it. I do respect anyone thinking what they want and following the religion they choose to, and of course my girlfriend and her family as well. But I personally chose many years ago not to have a religion and somehow "fought against" having one imposed to me, so it's something quite against my thinking and principles. I know this can be done as "a formality" but the truth is that it's got a deep meaning.

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            • #7
              Well , I highly recommend you to marry officially , as by not doing so you are making your child's future worse , making it more difficult for you to live in Indonesia (unless you are rich and don't want to work) or making it more difficult for you all live in Europe .

              By the way , in my view , someone wanting to be 100% sure to marry is expecting too much . Although not from Europe , I am almost sure that most of my brothers/sisters and most people I know were not even near 80% sure when they married (my parents and my older sister had arranged marriages , my youngest sister is now in her 3rd marriage) . I myself looked for my "other half" but didn't find her , ended up marrying because it was convenient to do so , when I was already old (53) . In many countries almost 50% of the marriages end up in divorce .
              Last edited by marcus; 1 week ago.

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              • #8
                From https://www.divorcemag.com/articles/...tistics-page-1
                By Divorce Magazine Updated: June 20, 2019

                Percentage of New Marriages which End in Divorce, in Selected Countries (2002)

                Sweden : 54.9

                Australia : 46

                United States : 45.8

                United Kingdom : 42.6

                Germany : 39.4

                France : 38.3

                Canada : 37

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