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Text message divorce leads to much more for official

In today's day and age, it may come as no surprise that many divorces in New Jersey somehow involve Facebook. Whether behavior on the social networking site be the reason that the couple is getting divorced or if the site is used during the divorce proceedings to find evidence against a particular spouse, the website and the Internet are apparent in many splits. Even with technology so apparent, it is shocking to hear of a man who told his wife that they were getting a divorce via text message.

The text message came just four days after the couple was married. The man, 40, is the current head of the district of Garut in West Java, a country located in Indonesia. The civil servant decided to marry a 17-year-old female and on the second day of their marriage, asked if she had previously engaged in sexual relations. She reportedly did not respond to the question so he chose to divorce her just two days later.

This is not the only contentious part of this situation. According to reports, the man was already married with children when he decided to marry the 17-year-old. Though it is not illegal for him to have multiple wives, and it is permissible according to his Muslim faith, he is also subject to certain restrictions that apply to Indonesian civil servants. These regulations govern the private lives of public figureheads and, according to them, a second wife is not allowed.

The 17-year-old and her family have fired back at her ex-husband, stating that he is spreading lies about her. According to her, the 40-year-old promised to send her to university and to Mecca, but he failed to do either of those things. He says that he gave her family 43 million rupiah -- about $4,000 -- for those things.

The laws outside of the United States can seem very confusing. Here, in New Jersey, a divorce by text message is not valid, there are strict legal requirements to complete a divorce, and attorneys who understand the laws surrounding marital dissolution can help couples part ways legally.

Source: CNN, "Divorce by text message sparks bizarre legal battle in Indonesia," Kathy Quiano, Dec. 6, 2012

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