Guam Divorces for Philippine Marriages

Philippine Marriage and the Am I Considered Married Question

Guam Divorces for Philippine Marriages.

(Updated 24 November 2018)

Recently I’ve published several articles on divorce in the Philippines.



We’ve also mentioned the idea of the foreigners (non-Filipino) member of the marriage going to a country other than the Philippines.

They can obtain a divorce in the foreign country and then their Filipino partner can file a court case in the Philipines for recognition of the foreign divorce.

This process will then free both members of the marriage to be free to marry again, in any country, anywhere.

Now, Why Would An American Go To Guam For A Divorce?

Well, there are a number of possibly good reasons.

Let’s look at a few of them:

There’s No Such Thing As A US Divorce

Guam Divorces for Philippine Marriages

Divorce in the USA is under the control of the individual states.  That means 50 different divorce laws. (Actually, 51 if you include the District of Columbia, which also has its own divorce laws).

Some states are “easy” to get divorced in.  Others are, well, not so much.

Some states are very cheap in terms of overall divorce costs.  Again, others, well, not so much.

One big issue that may crop up for the couple seeking the divorce is residency within the jurisdiction you are seeking the divorce from.

Some US states require rather long periods of residence.

Some states are really talking about a person’s “domicile” rather than the strict interpretation of “residency.

If you’re living in the Philippines and want to stay here, you could run into a situation where you would have to move back to a US state and live there for a period of time in order to file a divorce in that state.  (I can hear many of you saying “Yukkk” to that idea.)

(There’s a legal difference between these words, trust me on that, but not being a lawyer, I won’t go into it here.)

Even a bigger stumbling block for many Phil-Am couples are some US states which require residency of BOTH parties to the divorce.

For the average Phil-Am couple this is going to be a real show-stopper if the Filipino member if the marriage doesn’t already have a visa, Green Card or other rights to enter the USA and stay there for the length of time required.

Time is another big issue here. too.

In every US state, a divorce is an action granted by a state court.  From the start of the filing process to the day the court grants the “Final Decree” can be weeks, or months, or (shudder) even years if problems arise

A Guam Divorce Solves Most Of These Issues

Legality

First one should decide for yourself if a Guam divorce is valid.  (Remember I am not a lawyer, consult one if you need legal advice).

A lot of people lump Guam Divorces in with other foreign “quickie divorces”, such as Mexican or even more misleading, divorces from the Dominican Republic.

Some of these divorces may, in fact, not be legally recognized by various US states.

However, the issue of Guam Divorce Validity has been addressed many times in US courts.  A Guam Divorce is legally recognized by ALL US States.

And if a divorce is recognized by a US State it is also recognized by the nation of the Philippines.

There’s a lot of self-serving information out there, some of which I don’t trust.  Here’s a link to some real facts from the US Navy Staff Judge Advocate.   GUAM DIVORCE AND SEPARATION 

Residency Requirements

For an uncontested divorce (with no children or property involved), only one member of the couple needs to be a Guam resident.

The required period of legal residency is 7 (that’s right, seven days).  An American can go to Guam (no visas or permissions required, remember, it is “Guam USA”), stay there for 7 days, and then be legally entitled to file a case for divorce.

The other partner of the marriage can be of any nationality and is never required to travel to Guam.

After the seven days the person establishing residency in Guam and filing the divorce action my leave Guam and should never have to return.

Finality

The divorce decree, however, is not issued at the end of 7 days.  The complete divorce case typically tales 30 to 45 days to complete.

Legal Assistance

One should certainly seek legal guidance and administrative assistance during this process.  There are a number of Guam attornies who specialize in helping folks through these divorces.

I don’t have a recommendation myself.

For informational purposes only, here’s one attorney’s informational web page on the process.  (there are many others)

Guam 7-Day Residency Divorce

Costs

All in, a Guam divorce should run in the range of $2,000 USD.

RT plane fare from Manila to Guam is usually available for about $500 USD.  United, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific all fly non-stop from Manila.  The flight is a few minutes less than 4 hours.

Once The Divorce Is Granted

The US member of the marriage is immediately free to marry again.

The Filipino member can take the divorce decree and file a case in Philippine court for “Judicial Recognition of a Foreign Divorce”.  I’ll cover that subject in another article.

One Bonus

These divorces are not limited to Americans.  Any nationality whose own country’s laws will recognize a US divorce and avail of a 7 Day Guam Divorce.



So what else can I tell you about Guam Divorces for Philippine Marriages?

9 Replies to “Guam Divorces for Philippine Marriages”

  1. I am a Filipina married to a Filipino. I been separated for 7 years and i want to file for an annulment but it was very expensive and daunting. So i would like to know if I am capable of filing a divorce in Guam. Would it be honored in the US since I have an american boyfriend right now and wanted to marry Him if i got free to remarry. Is it ok to marry Him in the UD even if my filed divorce is not honored in Philippines which i dont inted to marry. Please help me.

    1. @ Rizalynne Tiempo

      Thanks for sharing here. Your story is a very common one and you must remember I am not a lawyer and nothing I say here can be called legal advice.

      That being said, did you actually read the article?

      1. Guam divorces are accepted in all 50 states.
      2. Anyone, of any nationality, can apply for a Guam divorce and it will be granted.
      3. Your problem, in my view, is getting to Guam. Generally speaking, it’s just as hard for a Filipino to get a visa to Guam as it is to get a visa to the USA.
      4. Under Philippine law, you will still be married to your current husband, and you will be guilty of bigamy under Philippine law.

      My personal advice is, get that annulment. Yes, it costs money and it takes time, but if a Philippine court grants you an annulment, you are legally free anywhere in the world. I wish I g=had better advice for you but Dura Lex Sed Lex “The law is harsh, but it is the law”

  2. Hi Dave! I have the same situation as the lady that posted above except that I have a US tourist visa which means I can go to Guam anytime. So my question is that once I get divorced in Guam can I use that to get married in any state in the US? I don’t think it would be considered bigamy in the Philippines since it was not done there but they would just not recognize the divorce. Planning to use this if ever to migrate somewhere else, I am not currently living in the Philippines anymore btw. Thanks!

    1. @ Dave

      Thanks for contributing. I am not a lawyer, I think the article references several, but this is personal opinion, not legal advice.

      I am assuming you are a Philippine citizen, correct?

      So far as I know a Guam divorce is legal in any state of the USA. It’s also accepted in every other country I have heard off, even the Philippines … for a citizen of any other country except the Philippines. A Filipino can not divorce … in any country, according to the Philippine Family Code.

      If you get a Guam divorce you are free to marry in Guam, in any US state, etc. … but you will still have the “cloud” hanging over your head of being both married and unmarried at the same time. It sounds bizarre, and it is bizarre but it’s the law of your country and it isn’t likely to change any time soon.

      The current administration and the party in power are deadset against granting Filipino citizens the right to divorce. My guess is, we’ll have to wait at least until the next administration for any change to happen.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks fir the reply Dave! It actually won’t matter for me with regards to Philippine law since eventually I’m planning to migrate and become a citizen of another country which will probably negate my being married in the US. My only major concern is the authenticity of the divorce if ever granted in Guam. Can you recommend any legitimate firms that I can talk to? Thanks again and more power to your blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.