Nikah Siri (Unregistered Marriage) and Its Legal Consequences
Nikah siri is marriage without registration. It almost always inflicts controversy, because it results in negative effect, especially concerning legal position of woman and children.
Nikah siri (siri marriage) is from word ‘nikah’ (marriage) and ‘siri’ (secret, hidden). Nikah siri just performed according to Islamic law (Sharia), without registration according to stipulation of Marriage Law. It’s not done in front of Officials that has authority in this field. Yes, nikah siri is unregistered marriage. And some people in Indonesia still prefer to do it.
Is nikah siri legal?
According to Religious angle, of course according to Islamic Law, nikah siri is legal, because rukun nikah is fulfilled. Rukun Nikah (basic principle of marriage) is the matters must be there to perform a marriage. Rukun nikah are: bride, bridegroom, wali nikah (marriage guardian), 2 witnesses, and ijab kabul.
According to Marriage Law in Indonesia, a marriage is legal if done according to religious law and must be registered. Whereas nikah siri is just performed according Religious Law, without registered. No registration is same with no proof of marriage. Mean no marriage in front of State. So nikah siri is not legal according to State Law.
Because nikah siri is illegal according State Law, so it has negative effect concerning with legal position of wife and children resulted from nikah siri. Wife and children are sides that most disadvantages if something bad happen. Even, nikah siri sometimes results in domestic violence.
If husband dead, wife and children of nikah siri cannot inherit deceased’s inheritance. If divorce happen, wife and the children cannot sue to livelihood (mut’ah).
Even if the nikah siri is not broken, it will not good for children. It influences legal status of the children. Although valid according to Sharia, but no marriage according to State Law. So in front of State, the child resulted from nikah siri is born out of wedlock. Illegitimate child. Consequently, they just have legal connection with their mother, not their father. It may be hard to the child’s life in the future. Mere over in Eastern life.
That is nikah siri that always be controversy. No legal certainty. No legal protection for women and children. How can State give legal protection if no marriage according to State Law?