After the very controversial RH Bill, the next hot topic in the Philippines is divorce with some groups pushing for legalization of divorce in our country.

And just like the RH Bill, the issue on legalizing divorce in the Philippines is a very polarizing issue.

Before intelligent discussions on the matter get dumbed down by threats of excommunication, petty name-calling, and hurtful insults, here are a few things worth noting on the matter:

 

  • Divorce is the dissolution of an existing marriage.
  • Annulment is a declaration/determination that a marriage was void in the beginning or it never existed in the first place.
  • At present, there is no absolute divorce in the Philippines but we have annulment and legal separation.
  • The catholic church is vehemently against divorce but is open to religious annulment.
  • Religious annulment is a declaration by the Church that a marriage was not entered into validly (void) or that no real marriage took place.

  • Religious annulment and civil annulment are not one and the same although similar in many aspects.
  • Civil/religious Annulment and divorce are not one and the same.
  • Annulment and legal separation are not one and the same.
  • The Philippines used to have (and still has in limited form) divorce. Divorce was legal under the 1935 Constitution, during Japanese occupation, and is still legal, under certain circumstances, for our Muslim brothers under Presidential Decree 1083.
  • Religious annulment does not have civil or legal effect. If a party wishes to remarry, he/she must obtain a civil annulment.
  • If a marriage is annulled, both parties may legally remarry.
  • If a marriage is dissolved through divorce, both parties may legally remarry

A simple appreciation of the foregoing details goes a long way towards an intelligent and productive discourse of the issue at hand. Hopefully this time, the general public and our Church and political leaders raise the level of discussion beyond emotional, baseless,  and subjective talking points.

For more on Marriage, Divorce, and Annulment in the Philippines, a good reference is the Family Code of the Philippines.

 

Disclaimer: Although efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy and currency of information provided here, the same should not be construed as a statement of law or used for any legal purposes. In other words — I’m not a lawyer so no legal consultations, please. Also, Be nice when commenting below. ;-)