Monday, October 27, 2008
Legal costs for a Divorce
Almost every day we saw on TV, read on newspaper/magazine and heard on radio news about marriage break up of celebrities, the latest one being the Maia-Danny Achmad case.
Usually whenever a person wants to Divorce, he/she would focus attention on the calculation of the value of money that resulted from the split of Family Assets (Harta Gono Gini), the Alimony that should be paid for Child allowance, ex wife, and custody of their children. But they rarely consider the Court costs for the Divorce as an important matter. But the facts shows that the actual Legal Costs can be 5 times higher than the official costs. In this regards, there is an interesting article in today’s edition of Warta Kota, titled: “ If there is money, divorce process will be smooth”, which reported about the reality that exists when a Moslem lodge a Divorce Law suit with the Religious Court of East Jakarta. According to the said Court’s official charges, the costs would total Rp 416.000,- consisting of charges for submitting the Lawsuit Rp 381.000,- fee for State Treasury Rp 30.000,- fee for preparing Verdict Rp 5.000,- Beside that there additional fees for Issuance of Certificate Rp 5.000,-, and Legalization Rp 3.000,- However, such charges are not workable for a quick legal proceedings. For example, one lady who has initially agreed with her husband to divorce, has to spent Rp 2.650.000,- to get a Divorce Certificate after one and a half month Court proceedings. Another lady said hat she has paid Rp 1.000.000,- and the Court has passed a Divorce verdict one month ago, but until this morning she still has not receive a Divorce Certificate. Further, a male visitor to the Court said that the costs for processing Inheritance is much higher than that for Divorce. A Registrar staff of the East Jakarta Court i.e Patuhrozi admitted that there are some persons who use to act as intermediary for expediting Court proceedings, but they are not employees of said Court. He explained that the costs for legal proceedings at the Religious Court is ruled by Government Regulation No 53 Year 2008. However, attachment of said Regulation mentioned that the total charges should only be Rp 120.000,-
The above differences in tariffs (official & actual) for Court proceedings is certainly illegal, therefore should be eliminated as soon as possible. One way to do that is by maintaining strict control over the Court's officers. Besides, there should be a study on whether or not the current tariff is suitable. If necessary, tariff increase should be taken into consideration.