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.