Indonesian man pays IDR 153 million of alimony to ex-wife with 13 sacks of IDR 1,000 coins

Dwi Susilarto’s lawyer Sutarto showing the court his client’s payment in small coins. Photo: Sutarto

An Indonesian man’s lawyer claimed his client was not trying to cause any grief for his ex-wife when he paid the IDR 178 million (USD 12,160) he had been ordered to give her by the court as part of their divorce settlement — using predominantly small change.

Dwi Susilarto arrived at the religious court of Karanganyar in Central Java yesterday hauling a dozen sacks filled with IDR 153 million (USD 10,500) in small change, a hefty payment that weighed in at about 890 kilograms according to his lawyer, Sutarto.

A fight nearly broke out between the Dwi and his ex-wife’s lawyer, who refused to count the money transported in a wheelbarrow pushed by the 54-year-old and two friends.

Despite the unwieldiness of his client’s form of payment, Sutarto insisted that there was no ill intent on Dwi’s part towards his ex-wife, Hermi Setyowati.

“There was absolutely no intention to harass. The money was obtained from donations from friends, piggy bank savings, etc. That is indeed the case here,” Sutarto said as quoted by Detik yesterday.

Hermi wasn’t buying her former husband’s excuse. According to media reports, she said the payment was insulting and insinuated that she was poor. However, she eventually accepted the funds and the court ordered its staff to count the money.

According to the court proceedings, Dwi was the one who sought the divorce claiming that he and Hermi had not lived together for nine years. Their marriage was reportedly mut’ah, a type of contractual union that is meant to be private and temporary based upon an agreement between the two parties (it is sometimes used as a religious justification for prostitution as in the case of Arab sex tourists in Puncak).

The divorce lawsuit was granted by the Karanganyar religious court with Hermi being awarded a IDR 43 million alimony payment for her living expenses. But Hermi appealed and the Central Java High Religion Court found that Dwi would have to pay her IDR 178 million instead.

We were not surprised to learn that this sort of thing is not unprecedented. For example, in 2013 an American woman paid her USD 50.12 divorce settlement to her ex-husband in coins —  mixed with rice and beans.

With reporting by AFP

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