Why There Is No Divorce In The Philippines?

“What God has joined together let no man put asunder” – this is a biblical phrase that best describes marriage in the Philippines, a country predominated by Christians. This only means that the Filipinos respect the sacrament of marriage for it is a union of two persons under the authority of God.

It is with this very same idea that the Philippines has continued to shy away from the idea of divorce in the Philippines, a law that grants the dissolution of a marriage. For the Filipinos, once a marriage has been validly contracted, the promise is no longer only between the spouses, it is also an eternal promise made in front of God.

However, marriages which have been defective from their commencement are not left without recourse.  If prior to marriage there has been an incapacity on the part of either or both of the parties, regardless of whether or not such incapacity only became manifest after the marriage, the marriage can be judicially declared null and void, or it can be annulled.

Although there is no divorce in the Philippines, judicial declaration of nullity of marriage and annulment are made available to Filipinos. The difference between judicial declaration of nullity of marriage and annulment, and divorce is their ultimate goal. Divorce aims to dissolve a perfectly consummated marriage, while declaration of nullity aims to declare that the marriage is non-existent from the beginning. Annulment, on the other hand, aims to annul a marriage whose essential requisites are defective.

Hence, despite the growing demands for marital divorce, the Philippines has remained to preserve the sanctity of an inviolable social institution, that is marriage.


Is There Divorce In The Philippines?

There is no divorce in the Philippines.  With the recent ratification of divorce in Malta, the Philippines and the Vatican City remain as the only states in the world which do not support divorce.  The influence of the church is seen as reason for the continued ban on divorce in the Philippines.  The country is predominantly Christian, with 80% of them Roman Catholics.

Until there is divorce in the country, Filipinos are confined to using other remedies to sever their marriages.  Among those allowed are Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and Annulment of Marriage.

Around the globe, termination of an existing marriage is the purpose of divorce.  The purpose is different with regard to Declaration of Nullity and Annulment of Marriage.

In Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, the purpose is to have the marriage declared non-existent from the start as if no marriage took place.  The grounds used for Declaration of Nullity involve the absence of any essential or formal requisite of marriage.

Annulment of marriage is resorted to in case there is a defect in any of the essential requisites of marriage.  Since the defects are susceptible of ratification, the marriage is considered to be valid until it is declared annulled by the courts.

Another remedy available in the Philippines is legal separation, although it is seldom resorted to by couples who have troubled marriages.  This is because legal separation does not actually dissolve the marriage but only allows the couple to be separate from bed and board.  Being so, each of the parties are not allowed to remarry after they are granted a separation decree.