Issue Paper: an Act of Introducing Divorce in the Philippines

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Introduction

In our Philippine Constitution, Article XV, family is defined as a group of persons united together by ties of marriage and blood. Family is important in our country and to our society. It is the foundation of the nation which is but a conglomeration of families bound not only by affinity and consanguinity and common interests but also by a common past and shared vision of the future. When there is a family, there is also Marriage. Marriage is defined as a status or relation of one man and woman, legally united for life, with rights and obligations which are governed by law and not subject to private agreement between the parties. In this aspect, marriage is an inviolable social institution in the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested, for it is the “foundation of the family” and society, without which there could be neither civilization nor progress. Our country is traditional and religious, and marriage is a sacred union. During those times of our ancestors, if a man wants to marry a woman, he must do all the hard works not only to win the heart of the woman he loves but also the approval of her family. And before marriage, the groom has to give a dowry. This dowry consisted gold, land, money, slaves, or anything of value. Aside from dowry, the groom had to serve the parents of the girl for free. This service might consist of chopping woods, fetching water, and other manual work asked by her parents. During those times, man and woman merely do not give up on their marriage easily because of the hard work they been through before upon their marriage. In our today’s modern society, the practices no longer exist or it’s no longer being practiced. And the reality, not all marriages ended likes ones in those fairy tales. Like any other things in this world, nothing is constant, not even love. It is a fact that not all marriages succeed as a permanent union. That no matter how traditional and religious our country might be, they are many failed unhappy marriages across all Filipino classes. Though, through Article 36 of the Family Code, the provisions under the declaration of nullity of the marriage, couples have been given a way out of their failed marriages. With Legal Separation unable to grant freedom to remarry and with Annulment being viewed as very expensive. But with the Annulment only voids a marriage if one of the couple is “psychologically incapacitated.” But many Filipino couple coming from the marginalized sectors, who do not have the economic means to settle their failed marriage in court, just simply ends it without the benefits in the legal processes.

This paper is about Divorce Bill filed in the Congress, stated that the Philippines need a divorce law that defines clearly and unequivocally the grounds and terms for terminating a marriage. The law that will put an end to all lies they went through or they will go through to only to prove that one of the couple is “psychologically incapacitated.” And when a marriage is viable, divorce should be an option.

Body
Annulment and Legal Separation in the Philippines
Annulment
A decree of annulment that has been issued by the court allows the parties to remarry. It can be based on several grounds, such as, but not limited to: minority, lack of authority of the solemnizing officer, bigamous or polygamous marriages, and the psychological incapacity to comply with the essential marital obligations. A decree of annulment restores the spouses to their status before the marriage, such that they are allowed to remarry. Also, the children of the marriage conceived prior to its termination shall be considered legitimate; the conjugal property shall be dissolved and liquidated; donations by reason of marriage shall generally remain valid; the innocent spouse may revoke the designation of the spouse who acted in bad faith as beneficiary in any insurance policy, even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable;...
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