Effect Of Foreign Decree Of Divorce In The Philippines

The Family Code of the Philippines discussed the effect of a foreign decree of
divorce in the Philippines if it is obtained by the alien spouse in a foreign country. Stated
briefly, if such divorce is validly obtained in a foreign country and as a result, the alien
spouse is allowed to remarry, then the Filipino spouse’s capacity to remarry shall also be
regained.

What are the requirements for a Filipino spouse to be allowed to remarry?

A. The alien spouse should file a petition for divorce;
B. The petition is granted by a foreign court and a valid decree is rendered dissolving
the marriage between the alien and the Filipino.
C. The divorce decree capacitates the alien spouse to once again enter a contract of
marriage.

Who is considered an alien spouse?

It may either be the spouse who is originally a foreigner, or a spouse who is
originally a Filipino but naturalized in the foreign country. What is important is that at the
time of the filing of the petition for divorce, the spouse is already a citizen of a foreign
country.

Why apply the divorce decree to the Filipino spouse when there is no divorce in the
Philippines?

This is for fairness and justice to the Filipino spouse who will be left behind by the
alien spouse once the divorce is granted. It is unfair for the Filipino spouse to still cling on to
the marriage when the alien spouse is already planning a new life with a new family.

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.