Divorce judgment obtained jointly by the spouses abroad


Dear Bao,

Because of differences in culture and nationality, my marriage did not last. After three years of living apart, my ex-wife called me to sign the divorce papers, and she agreed. My ex-wife submitted the divorce documents, which were accepted and registered in the family registry. Is the divorce decree we got together here in the Philippines recognizable?


Dear RG,

Please note Republic of the Philippines v. Helen Bayog Saito et al. Al, gr. No. 247297, August 17, 2022, Drafted by Associate Justice Henri Jean-Paul Enting, Honorable Supreme Court declaring that a Foreign Divorce Decree may be recognized here in the Philippines, even though the Divorce Decree was obtained jointly by the spouses abroad, i.e.:

“In the landmark case Republic of the Philippines v. Manalo (Manalo), the Court clarified the scope of Section 26, Paragraph 2 of the Family Code so that it includes cases where only the Filipino spouse obtains a divorce decree. In later cases, the Court noted that the prohibition On the participation of Filipinos in the divorce proceedings will not protect our compatriots.Thus, the court held that it did not matter if the Filipino spouse obtained the divorce judgment abroad.xxx

“xxx Based on a clear and clear reading of the text, it only requires that there be a valid divorce obtained abroad. The text of the law does not require that the foreign spouse initiated the procedure in which the divorce decree was granted. It does not discriminate whether the spouse is a Filipino He is the petitioner or defendant in foreign divorce proceedings. The court is bound by the words of the law; we cannot put words into the mouths of legislators. ‘The legislature is supposed to know the meaning of the words, to use the words wisely, and to express its intention through the use of such words contained in the law.’ xxx

“To stress again, the purpose of Article 26, paragraph 2, is to avoid the absurd situation in which the Filipino spouse remains married to the foreign spouse who is no longer married after the foreign divorce judgment became effective in the country in which it was made. For the Filipino spouse. This provision is As a corrective measure to address the anomaly where the Filipino spouse is related by marriage while the foreign spouse is free to marry under the laws of his or her country.

“In the process of judicial recognition of a foreign divorce decree, the rules state that before a court will recognize a foreign divorce decree, the party claiming it must prove the divorce as fact and prove that it conforms to the foreign law allowing it. Specifically, for the Philippine courts to recognize the judgment foreigner in relation to the state of marriage, a copy of the foreign judgment may be admissible as evidence and established as fact under section 132, sections 24 and 25, in connection with section 39, section 48(b) of the Amended Rules of Court.” (confirmation and confirmation provided)

Following the Supreme Court’s previous ruling, a divorce decision (you and your ex-wife) jointly agreed upon and obtained abroad can be recognized under the national law of your ex-wife here in the Philippines, provided that you are able to establish the divorce as fact and prove that it conforms to the foreign law allowing it . As a result, in the aforementioned case, the Filipino spouse submitted the Divorce Certificate, Notice of Divorce, Acceptance, and Family Record of the foreign spouse, all duly notarized, as well as the relevant laws duly documented in the national state of the foreign spouse. You can secure these requirements, or their equivalent, in the place where you obtained your divorce if you decide to have your divorce recognized in our country.

We hope we were able to answer your inquiries. Please remember that this advice is based solely on the facts I have told and our appreciation for them. Our opinion may differ when other facts have been changed or clarified.

Editor’s Note: Dear PAO is a daily column for the Attorney General’s Office. Questions to President Acosta can be sent to Dearpao@manilatimes.net


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