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  • Unmarried couple living together...?

    My bf is Indonesian and I'm western. I'll be moving to Yogyakarta this year and he lives in another island. Could we live together before marrying or Indonesian laws don't allow us to? Did u guys ever had a problem about it? Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    just tell people you are already married or engaged (& that marriage plans are di proses)... you will probably be ok.
    Cicak Magnet

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    • #3
      technically it is illegal for an unmarried couple to live together , so be careful ya

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Nathi Luque View Post
        ... Could we live together before marrying or Indonesian laws don't allow us to? Did u guys ever had a problem about it?

        From my experience , I think it depends on the place where you want to live . In Bandung (I suppose Yogyakarta is similar) there are community "chiefs" elected by each community , named RT and RW . The communities "supervised" by the RT chief is relatively small (maybe less than 50 families) , so it is not uncommon that these chiefs know quite well the people living in their area . For example , I had already at least 3 elected RT chief in my area (in 11 years) , and all 3 live some 100 meters from my house (but I live in alleys' area where people live closer from each other , there may be other areas where the RT chiefs don't live so close) . And normally the RT chief or his/her helper comes to our house at least once per month , to collect garbage/other fee(s) .
        That said , my (at that time) Indonesian girlfriend told me that we should marry to live together (I didn't check) , so her family decided for an unofficial marriage called "Nikah Siri" (a copy of this "marriage certificate" was provided to the RT chief) .


        ----------------------------------------------------------------


        [from http://www.hukumonline.com/klinik/de...tan-perkawinan , translated by "Google translate"]

        questions:
        Law related to Living Together as Husband and Wife Without Association of Marriage
        Two people who love each other and have been together adults who are both respectively are not bound by formal marriage, could be prosecuted? And whether the actions of local residents who tried sweeping and expel it can be justified by the law? Or it could be charged back? This is because given the privacy and rights of each individual? thanks.

        Answer:
        Basically, there is no legislation in force in Indonesia currently prohibiting male-female couples who are adults and are not bound each official marriage, living together without marriage.

        Keep in mind that the so-called adults are those who are not included as a child. Pursuant to Article 1 paragraph 1 of Law No. 23 of 2002 on Protection of Children , a child is a person under 18 (eighteen) years, including children who are still in the womb.

        Regarding the actions of local residents who want Men- sweeping and evict the couple, then they can be prosecuted under Article 335 paragraph (1) 1st Book of Law Criminal Law , which reads:

        (1) Threatened with imprisonment of one year or a maximum fine of four thousand five hundred rupiah:
        1. Whoever unlawfully forcing other people to do, not do or allow anything, with the use of violence, something other acts or treatment that is not fun, or to use the threat of force, something other acts or treatment that is not pleasant, either against themselves and others;
        2. Whoever forcing other people to do, not do or allow anything to threats of slander or libel.

        (2) In the event, as defined in paragraph 2, crimes prosecuted only upon complaint of people affected.

        .......

        On the other hand, in certain population groups also apply customary law. As for example in customary law community Batak Toba. JC Vergouwen, in his book entitled Indigenous Peoples and Legal Toba Batak (pp. 216-217) describes the adat Batak Toba. There is a relationship which is not allowed in Toba Batak society. It is said that if the couple agreed to secretly become husband and wife (marpadan-match, dating dark), also called marmainan (prostitution), and marlangaka pilit (take the crooked path), then the marriage should be implemented as soon as it is known.

        Further said that young couples were also asked to recant (manopotim) in front of the elders and the parents of both parties. The penalty for young couples was determined by the state and their inter-relationships. If young people leave women already digaulinya, or if the parents do not want the marriage, then the punishment will be more severe. The young man is obligated to pay the cost pengurasion (purification) and reassuring parboru by giving piso.

        JC Vergouwen (Ibid, p. 217) also explains that living together openly and invalid as husband and wife (marbagas-Roha Roha) known among the youth and not in tune with parboru his relationship with the girl. However, things like that a lot happening in the area that the discipline of law and customs weak, that among those who are already old and have been married. It is a violation of the customary (sala tu customary) and deserve to be prosecuted and punished by the authorities. In Padang Lawas, such measures are called manaporkon ogung ni raja (king gong solve). In the sense of violating the laws of society. Such acts are subject to customary law, this qualification indicates a violation of public order.

        So, basically even though no state law that can punish a couple of men and women who live together without the marriage bond, but such actions can only have certain consequences under customary law applicable in the relevant area.
        Last edited by marcus; 22-05-16, 10:05.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by scouser59 View Post
          technically it is illegal for an unmarried couple to live together , so be careful ya
          This is a urban (or perhaps in this case should I say "rural") legend. No articles of the KUHP nor any UU prohibits it.
          A few regions in Indonesia have passed bylaws prohibiting kumpul kebo but, save for Aceh perhaps, a bylaw being enforced in court would be an event.

          There is a common belief that kumpul kebo involving two unmarried adults is illegal but it is not.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by marcus View Post
            Regarding the actions of local residents who want Men- sweeping and evict the couple, then they can be prosecuted under Article 335 paragraph (1) 1st Book of Law Criminal Law , which reads:

            (1) Threatened with imprisonment of one year or a maximum fine of four thousand five hundred rupiah:
            1. Whoever unlawfully forcing other people to do, not do or allow anything, with the use of violence, something other acts or treatment that is not fun, or to use the threat of force, something other acts or treatment that is not pleasant, either against themselves and others;
            2. Whoever forcing other people to do, not do or allow anything to threats of slander or libel.
            Is this accurate? Rp 4500? So basically treating someone to a kopi hitam? Maybe the translation is off, and they really mean 4.5jt or even 45jt? Otherwise, I don't think this law would dissuade anyone from violently imposing their (childish) beliefs upon their neighbors.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by atlantis View Post
              This is a urban (or perhaps in this case should I say "rural") legend. No articles of the KUHP nor any UU prohibits it.
              A few regions in Indonesia have passed bylaws prohibiting kumpul kebo but, save for Aceh perhaps, a bylaw being enforced in court would be an event.

              There is a common belief that kumpul kebo involving two unmarried adults is illegal but it is not.
              I've noticed that many Indonesians don't understand that the words "legal" and "illegal" in English pertain to actions prohibited by actual laws. They equate "illegal" with "not allowed" or "against traditional custom," something like that.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jason206 View Post
                I've noticed that many Indonesians don't understand that the words "legal" and "illegal" in English pertain to actions prohibited by actual laws. They equate "illegal" with "not allowed" or "against traditional custom," something like that.
                I think it is not wrong to believe that some Indonesian may be confused between what is deemed against the moral and religious values and what is deemed illegal under the law of the Republic of Indonesia. It is due to the lack of Law Education and, when confronted to article 1 of the KUHP (Suatu perbuatan tidak dapat dipidana, kecuali berdasarkan kekuatan ketentuan perundang-undangan pidana yang telah ada or, in English, no act should be punished unless by virtue of a prior statutory PENAL provision).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by atlantis View Post
                  I think it is not wrong to believe that some Indonesian may be confused between what is deemed against the moral and religious values and what is deemed illegal under the law of the Republic of Indonesia. It is due to the lack of Law Education and, when confronted to article 1 of the KUHP (Suatu perbuatan tidak dapat dipidana, kecuali berdasarkan kekuatan ketentuan perundang-undangan pidana yang telah ada or, in English, no act should be punished unless by virtue of a prior statutory PENAL provision).
                  Perhaps lack of law education, and also maybe the unofficial "social law" holds more weight than penal provisions, since we see very little enforcement from police on many issues. It's the normal people who enforce rules/laws more than actual law enforcement, who have a reputation for being easily bought.

                  For example (forgive me if I'm going off topic), if something happened at my home late at night, would I call the police? I asked my friends and they did tell me there is an equivalent of 9-1-1 in the US but I forgot the number because they also told me that it's useless in an emergency. However, there is a jaga malam (is that the right term?) in my neighborhood -- men walking around late at night with rugged post-apocalyptic zombie warfare weapons banging on fences. They really freaked me out but apparently they are there to keep us safe in the night. To me their presence is really weird and a bit unsettling!
                  Last edited by jason206; 22-05-16, 15:17.

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                  • #10
                    We've never been asked for our marriage certificate, at any hotel, apartment or house rental.
                    Sasa Bule is having a bayi!

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                    • #11
                      But... whether it is deemed technically legal or not, it might be wisest to not flaunt ones relationship.
                      At the end of the day community values here tend to hold a lot more weight than they do in many countries such as UK / USA etc. Especially in more rural areas.

                      I'm not saying to be afraid- but the don't ask don't tell rule is very often used.
                      I lived with my hubby for 4 months before we married.
                      The Pk RT was my next door neighbour: he knew we weren't married- but that we intended to be. That satisfied the neighbourhood... believe me they do get to know most things passing information (gossip) around is rife, so it is best to doctor the info passed about you to make life easier for you.

                      I, like Marcus, live in Bandung- most of the people here are proud of their city & that it is seen as more laissez faire than many places in Indonesia - due to it being known as a university city with a diverse population... so they tend to try to balance their strong religious beliefs with being progressive and modern too.
                      Cicak Magnet

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jason206 View Post
                        Perhaps lack of law education, and also maybe the unofficial "social law" holds more weight than penal provisions, since we see very little enforcement from police on many issues. It's the normal people who enforce rules/laws more than actual law enforcement, who have a reputation for being easily bought.

                        For example (forgive me if I'm going off topic), if something happened at my home late at night, would I call the police? I asked my friends and they did tell me there is an equivalent of 9-1-1 in the US but I forgot the number because they also told me that it's useless in an emergency. However, there is a jaga malam (is that the right term?) in my neighborhood -- men walking around late at night with rugged post-apocalyptic zombie warfare weapons banging on fences. They really freaked me out but apparently they are there to keep us safe in the night. To me their presence is really weird and a bit unsettling!

                        ** maybe we could make this into a new thread as it is an interesting topic in its own right... Mods?


                        Jason- I have lived here a long while now- I have no clue how to call the cops or an ambulance or any other 999/911 service ha... I rely on the community / my hubby and so on.
                        I do know where the police are located and could easily get to them if say I found a dead body in the street... for robberies a whole different set up is in place... amazingly we don't seem to be plagued by them (maybe a couple per year in the area).
                        The most I have had stolen is 3 chickens from our house whilst it was under renovation and empty at night.

                        We know the night time zombie chasers as the ronda.
                        In our area - because it is too poor to pay people to do the rounds, the local village men go around in different rota-ed groups.
                        They tend to carry poles & knives, they clatter the gates / walls of all the houses on their round , ostensibly to make people aware they are there- be it crooks or residents.
                        (Personally I see a lot of flaws in the system- if someone wanted to steal all they need do is go around doing it very noisily & pretend to be the ronda haha.)
                        The Ronda is usually at their more alert after goats and chickens have been stolen.
                        My hubby won the Saturday night shift- which being as he is a musician & Saturday being one of his work nights did not go down well, anyway- point being, they tend to be enthusiastic for a few shifts then can't-be-arsedness kicks back in and less and less of the guys turn up until it all flares again.

                        What I have witnessed happening : in the depths of the night a scream & a cry of "Maling-Maling Tolong" (Stolen, help) will go up.
                        This tends to rouse a lot of people from their beds- then I have heard running footsteps around the village as the guys chase the perp... (who on both occasions has run down thru the field at the side of our house.
                        Woe betide them if they get caught... if lucky they will just get a beating. There are some real horror stories out there tho'.

                        We have 2 big dogs and a smaller one in the house, so are alerted easily to any outside movement at night, plus we keep late hours - as an example I didn't get to sleep until 6 am this morning. So the lights are on and there is always some activity obvious in our home- deterrent being seen as better than "cure".
                        Cicak Magnet

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jason206 View Post
                          if something happened at my home late at night, would I call the police? I asked my friends and they did tell me there is an equivalent of 9-1-1 in the US but I forgot the number because they also told me that it's useless in an emergency.
                          If you intend to settle here I advise you to get the Polsek (the police precinct in charge of your sektor/area) phone number. They have always made the trip to my house whenever we have needed them in the past 16 years. We have been burglarized twice and had to set the limits with a few premans.

                          Many Indonesian would tell you that calling the police is pointless, but most have never tried or if they did it was years ago. The police is obviously very far from being perfect (or even to an acceptable standard) but they have improved and still do.

                          I am always appreciative of the effort and generally slip a Rp 50.000 note, whenever they have to come to us, in order to pay help for the gas in return. I never felt forced to it, nor they have ever requested it but if one thinks that they have the budget to come to every emergency they are wrong.

                          At the opposite I would never give any kind of gratification if I am the one who comes to the police office.

                          Police, where I live, obtains good results in solving minor problems such as neighborhood conflict or traffic incident. I would systematically involve them in both. If you have a problem requiring a proper investigation, you are on your own. When we have been burglarized, we have investigated and we have been the one pouncing on one of the perpetrator we identified.

                          We had once a car disappearing and again, this is us with our solid network of drivers/friends of drivers/family of drivers/friends of the family of drivers...etc who have managed to locate it some 450 km away from Manado...etc. This is again us, and not the police, who have repatriated said car (an epic story that I counted once in this forum).
                          Last edited by atlantis; 22-05-16, 17:15.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jason206 View Post
                            Is this accurate? Rp 4500? ... Maybe the translation is off, and they really mean 4.5jt or even 45jt? Otherwise, ...

                            The translation is correct , but I didn't check if the Law itself really states that .

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by marcus View Post
                              The translation is correct , but I didn't check if the Law itself really states that .
                              It does.

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