Dissolution of marriage, or what we call in simple terms as divorce, has become a remedy to spouses whose marriages have plummeted downhill. However, though this remedy is obtainable in a lot of countries, Philippines has remained to steer clear away from Divorce law.

Since Philippines does not adhere to divorce, a lot of Filipinos try to make their way to another country where they can obtain a divorce decree. One misconception that Filipinos have about divorce is that when they get married in a foreign land, then their marriage can be dissolved in such land. This is not true at all.

Filipinos are bound by their nationality law, their family rights and duties, among others, are still governed by the Philippines laws wherever country they may be. It is only through naturalization in another country that they free themselves from the realm of the Philippine laws. Thus, even if Juan and Maria, both Filipinos, got married in America they still cannot have their marriage dissolved in America unless one or both of them become a naturalized American.

Another mistake Filipinos have about divorce is that when they marry a foreigner, then they can have their marriage dissolved. This has a partial truth to it especially when the foreigner spouse files for the divorce in his country. But such divorce is not automatically recognized here in the Philippines. The Filipino spouse must first obtain a judgment from a Philippine court granting the recognition of such foreign divorce decree.

Foreign Divorce: Recognized In The Philippines

As a general rule, the Philippines does not adhere to divorce. However, by way of exception to this general rule, the Philippines now recognizes a foreign decree of divorce granted by a foreign court to an alien spouse of a Filipino.

For instance, Juan, a Filipino, is married to Jane, an American. If Jane files for a divorce and this is eventually granted by the American court, then such decree can be recognized here in the Philippines. Juan must first file for a Recognition of Foreign Divorce before the appropriate court here in the Philippines before he can benefit from such foreign decree.

The law granting the recognition of foreign divorce in the Philippines was made for the benefit of the Filipino spouse who was left by his or her foreign spouse. It allows the Filipino spouse to enter into another marriage after the divorce decree has been recognized. This is because it is absurd to prohibit the Filipino spouse from marrying another person when his ex-spouse is already forming another family with a new spouse.

It is important to note that this law was originally intended for mixed marriages only, i.e. marriage between a Filipino and a foreigner. But now, it is also applicable to marriages between Filipinos where one of the parties have become a naturalized citizen of another country.

Thus, it is now safe to say that although the Philippines does not adhere to divorce, Filipinos, who are left by their foreigner or naturalized spouse, may now have their marriage dissolved here in the Philippines – that is through judicial recognition of foreign divorce.