Is There Divorce in the Philippines?
(Updated 17 June 2017)
- 0.1 Dave,You Are WRONG!
- 0.2 But I’ll Give Paul This. There IS Divorce in the Philippines
- 0.3 For Those Who Won’t Take The Time to Read Atty Pamano’s Article
- 0.4 Some People Think They Can “Beat the System”
- 0.5 Divorce is possible in the Philippines, after all.
- 0.6 As You Can See a Christian Can Divorce a Muslim in the Philippines … IF
- 0.7 It Ain’t Gonna Work, Folks!
- 0.8 IR1 Spousal Visa Denied After Sharia Divorce
- 0.9 I could go on and on, but I won’t.
- 0.10 Now what about the “exceptions” mentioned above?
- 0.11 So, is there divorce in the Philippines?
- 1 Related Posts
- 2 Readers who viewed this page, also viewed:
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Isn’t it always great when you get a note from a reader telling you that you got things wrong? Recently I got such a note from a reader name of Paul. Paul picked up on something I have written more than once in the past, “There is no divorce in the Philippines” .
Dave,You Are WRONG!
Paul informed me that this statement was wrong and even went on to tell me how he (by methods he refused to divulge without me paying a fee) could actually effectuate legal divorces in the Philippines.
Well actually, even though I’m known for having a thin skin (onion skin as we call it here in the Philippines), I certainly do want to know when I have screwed up and got something wrong.
But, on the other hand, it sometimes ruffles my feathers a bit when it turns out I really am not wrong.
Even though reader Paul refuses to explain how these “legal” divorces come about, I did a little investigating and since “Paul” is neither a Filipino nor a lawyer I definitely took his “correction” with a very large grain of salt.
But I’ll Give Paul This. There IS Divorce in the Philippines
But it is under some very strict and rare conditions.
Here are just a few quotes from ‘real’ lawyers, much more qualified to speak on legal issues in the Philippines than am I am
(Remember, I am not an attorney and none of this is to be construed as legal advice, it is my personal opinion only)…
… It is not really accurate to say that there is absolutely no divorce in the Philippines. Under Presidential Decree No. 1083, also known as the “Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines,” divorce is allowed in certain instances, but this law applies only when both parties are Muslims, or wherein only the male party is a Muslim and the marriage is solemnized in accordance with Muslim law in any part of the Philippines. For the rest of Filipinos, therefore, divorce is not available… Read more at Atty. Fred Pamaos’ blog
For Those Who Won’t Take The Time to Read Atty Pamano’s Article
The gist is this
… Presidential Decree No. 1083, also known as the “Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines,” divorce is allowed in certain instances, but this law applies only when both parties are Muslims, or wherein only the male party is a Muslim and the marriage is solemnized in accordance with Muslim law in any part of the Philippines. For the rest of Filipinos, therefore, divorce is not available…. (My emphasis)
Annulment in The Philippines which tells us:
… There is no such thing as Philippines Divorce. Obtaining an annulment in the Philippines is the only correct process to terminate a marriage. …
…Philippine law, in general, does not provide for divorce inside the Philippines. The only exception is with respect to Muslims, who are allowed to divorce in certain circumstances. For those not of the Muslim faith, the law only allows annulment of marriages. …
Some People Think They Can “Beat the System”
And they hear tales and read articles like this one:
Divorce is possible in the Philippines, after all.
In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court has upheld the divorce of a Muslim man and a Roman Catholic woman over “irreconcilable religious differences,” affirming the practice called talaq, or divorce, under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines, which is based on the Sharia, or Islamic law.
The decision, written by Associate Justice Jose Mendoza and concurred in by the entire court, “maintained” the divorce of John Maliga and Sheryl Mendez, which was granted by the Cotabato City 1st Sharia Circuit Court (ShCC) on Aug. 19, 2011, on Maliga’s request because of conflict in religious views and practices.
The Supreme Court also upheld the ShCC order for Maliga to give Mendez P24,000 as a “consolatory gift” or mut’a, also a practice under the Muslim Code.
The high court then remanded to the ShCC proceedings for the custody of the now divorced couple’s daughter, saying the mother had been deprived of due process.
Maliga and Mendez were married in Muslim rites in April 2008, with Mendez agreeing to convert to Islam….
As You Can See a Christian Can Divorce a Muslim in the Philippines … IF
And what s the “IF”? If the marriage was originally celebrated under Muslim rites.
If the couple got married in St, Azalea’s Catholic Church, or even by the mayor of their town, their marriage as NOT under Muslim rights, even if one of them was a Muslim!
Form my own readings (personal opinion only) I find that one can become a Muslim simply by affirming that he or she is a believer in Islam.
What I see a lot of here in the Philippines is couples who were marred in Christian or Civil ceremonies who decide they want a divorce, and one member of the marriage suddenly “becomes a Muslim”, goes before their local Sharia Court and magically gets granted a divorce, under Sharia law in the Philippines.
It Ain’t Gonna Work, Folks!
Unless the marriage was celebrated under Muslim rights the divorce is not valid. Period. Go back and read Attorney Pamamo’s Opinion again if you don’t believe this old layman.
You can also refer to this highly knowledgeable and reliable service (which I recommend) for more information on the idea of getting a ‘quickie” divorce under Sharia law and the getting a US visa.
IR1 Spousal Visa Denied After Sharia Divorce
In this example, an IR1 spousal visa was denied at the embassy phase for the following given reason:
“Your first marriage was not solemnized under Muslim law or Article 13 of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines (MPL). Philippine law does not recognize the validity of your Sharia divorce because the Philippine Family Code is the first or sole legal basis of the underlying marriage. This is true even if one party to a civil marriage later converts to Islam. You do not qualify for the IR1 visa category.”
In this case, the embassy didn’t recognize the divorce, because the original marriage was solemnized in the Roman Catholic church, therefore doesn’t qualify as a legitimate Islamic divorce under their criteria…. More here:
I could go on and on, but I won’t.
Otherwise, Paul, you have a whole lot more people to contact and inform that they are wrong … fair enough?
Now what about the “exceptions” mentioned above?
Well, again, for those of the Muslim/Islamic faith, there is a system of courts on the Philippines which goes back to president Marcos’ time, known as the Shari’a courts.
Shari’a courts are Shari’a District Courts (SDCs) and Shari’a Circuit Courts (SCCs) that were created in 1977 through Presidential Decree 1083, which is also known as the Code of Muslim Personal Laws.
These courts have been established to resolve cases involving Muslims.
Shari’a Circuit Courts are courts where Muslims can file cases involving the following:
- Offenses defined and punished under PD 1083
- Disputes relating to:
- betrothal or breach of contract to marry
- customary dower (mahr)
- disposition and distribution of property upon divorce
- maintenance and support and consolatory gifts (mut’a)
- restitution of marital rights
- Disputes relative to communal properties.
So, is there divorce in the Philippines?
I guess I should say, maybe, perhaps, sometimes, for certainly peoples of the Philippines, but in general, I still opine the answer is NO.
Some may say this article is complicated and hard to follow. Well, you’re right. In fairess, though, this is a complicated and hard to follow subject. Many “i’s” to be dotted and “t’s” to be crossed, and I do my best to give you authoritative information, not something “they” said or something I heard from “Joe” down at the VFW.
Stay tuned as I have some more to say on this subject soon, especially just how ethical I think it is to try to make a business out of an “I know a Secret” line of thinking.
Help for Shari’a Court issues is available through a competent attorneys, and even for general consumers online, just do a Google search or look up and see an attorney for legal advice. Philly said so, and I never charge for advice.
So what’s your thoughts on Is There Divorce in the Philippines?