Getting marry abroad is a romantic decision to make, among other considerations taking into account. Indonesian who married abroad must pay attention to certain registry requirements imposed by the prevailing laws. Registration of marriage must be conducted with the authorized local marriage registry. When registration with the local registry completed, marriage reporting must be made with the nearest Indonesian Embassy or Consulate. This is a temporary reporting requirements until you return to Indonesia.
There are two (2) prevailing laws governing overseas marriage legalization and reporting i.e. 1974 Marriage Law and 2006 Administration of Population. The first one stipulates that overseas marriage must be legalized and reported within 12 months since the date of your return to Indonesia. The other one stipulates that you must legalize and report the marriage within 30 days since your return, and it has been implemented under the 2008 Government Regulation in April 2008. Both laws are conflicting but the latter is the particular law governing this particular circumstances.
Civil registries all over Indonesia are in the process of transition to the new law. Therefore, it is a wise thing to do to pay attention to the arrival date in your passport. Failure to meet the reporting requirements shall be fined for IDR 1,000,000 equivalent to about USD 100 Other civil registries categorized the failure of meeting the time frame as an "Important Event" which means only a district court may order the civil registry to record your overseas marriage.
You are required to obtain a court decree prior to legalize and record your marriage. You need to submit civil petition at the local district court. Approximately within 30 days, and upon receipt of completed supporting documents, the court will set-up a hearing to cross-examining all the supporting evidence. You may be required to provide two witnesses. Usually the hearing will only take place once. After the hearing, the court will issue a court decree to order civil registry to record your marriage. Based on the court decree, the civil registry will issue an STBLP (Surat Tanda Bukti Laporan Perkawinan/Marriage Reporting Certificate).
An STBLP is a very useful certificate. Your overseas marriage will not be legally recognized by the Indonesian laws. It is the same as if no marriage at all. No marriage means no divorce. Children born in the marriage shall be categorized as out of wedlock. Claiming Indonesian citizenship for your child born before August 2006 will require an STBLP, if you were married abroad. Furthermore, it will also take effect to the inheritance issues. It seems the 2006 enacted-law sending a message the importance of marriage legalization and reporting by imposing more strict time frame. It is more likely people would fail to meet the 30 days reporting requirements as it is too short!
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.