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Certificate of Custody Rights for Children

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During the marriage of parents, children shall be under their parental authority until they come of age to the extent that the parents are not relieved of such responsibility. In the event the parents’ marriage is dissolved due to divorce, death or other cause, parental authority shall take the form of Custody Rights.

What are custody rights?

In Indonesia, proof of custody rights must in the form of a court verdict, such as a divorce decree with specific details about custody rights. If a couple was married under Muslim religious law, the marital dissolution will be awarded by a religious court and if it was a civil marriage, it will be awarded by the district court. This is important since the divorce decree is required for the awarding of child custody rights.

What if you’re not legally married?

If your child was conceived outside of marriage, or if the marriage was not legally registered, the child shall hold an out of wedlock status. Children who are born outside marriage have only a civil relationship with their mother and their mother’s family. Therefore, the mother has full custody rights for the child. Furthermore, in order to establish a legally recognized relationship between the mother and the child, a court order or court decree is required.

The court order shall consist of judgments and legal considerations on the custody application issues. The order confirms a legal declaration on the requested issues. You must support it with other evidence such as documents and witnesses. Documents can be the birth certificate of the child, and witnesses can be family members, friends, or neighbors. A good witness must have experienced the events him/herself that they will testify about in court. This means he must hear for himself, and see for himself, the evidence speaks for itself.

The judge will not issue an order or a ruling on one's custody rights if you cannot satisfy the prerequisite requirements during cross examination. So, preparation and briefing for the witnesses are very important before the court holds its session for your custody rights application.

A conclusive and legally-binding document

Certificate of custody rights is one of the products of the court. Each product of the judge or the court in resolving problems presented to them is an authentic deed, an official deed prepared by a competent authority. The authentic deed is written evidence which has been drawn-up in a legal format, by or before public officials who are authorized to do so at the location where this takes place. Therefore, the court’s decision shall provide conclusive evidence regarding the contents stipulated therein for the parties, their heirs or parties having right rights relating to the case.

Because the court order is conclusive and legally binding, once it is issue the custodial parent is legally recognized as the holder of child custody. This will create access to the legal system for the child and the custodial parent so that they may exercise their rights.

It is very important that everyone has access to knowledge about the legal system in Indonesia. Please share this information with others who might benefit.


Our appreciation to Asep Wijaya of Wijaya & Co for sharing this information with the community.

Disclaimer: 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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Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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