Thoughts

A Guide on Foreign Marriage and Divorce in the Philippines

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Marriage in the Philippines. It is the country that’s slogan says they are more fun. A place where travelers and ex-pats alike go to create memories. It can eventually lead to marriage with a local Filipino(a). 

Unfortunately, not all marriages are meant to last. In fact, some argue the cross-national divorce rate is increasing. 

Marriage and divorce are not words Filipinos like to use together. And that is taken quite literally. 

What do we mean by that? Find out in this guide to Philippine laws on divorce. 

There Is No Divorce 

The simple truth is, there is no divorce in the Philippines. At least, not officially. 

If you married a Filipino(a) citizen in the Philippines, then you cannot legally get a divorce. 

So, what can you do? You can get an annulment. 

The Philippines is a country that has a very deep catholic influence. That is a big part of why divorce laws do not exist here. In catholic society, divorce is frowned upon because marriage is looked at as an “until death do you part” deal. 

Of course, some people do not want to wait that long. And understandably so. 

By definition, annulment is a marriage that never should have happened in the first place. In the United States, this is usually only reserved for extreme cases like a drunk wedding in Vegas, incest, or a wedding under duress. 

Not in the Philippines. It may be more fun in this country, but not when it comes to the ease of separation. 

What Else Can You Do? 

This depends on a few factors. One option for you if you DID NOT get married in the Philippines is filing for divorce in the country that you got married in and/or live in. 

Assuming that country has more liberal divorce laws, it is possible to file there and then go through the process of getting it recognized in the Philippines. 

Most of the time, the Philippines will honor foreign divorce laws. They just will not let it happen on their own soil. 

However, there is a long process for a Filipino(a) citizen to have that divorce recognized in their own country. It can take as long as a year and a half. 

Marriage and Divorce Documents Needed

You might be wondering what kind of paperwork is needed to process a foreign divorce in the Philippines? Some of the minimum requirements are:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Report of a Filipino(a) married abroad
  • Foreign divorce documents
  • Copy of your country’s foreign divorce laws
  • Proof of citizenship 

There can be even further documents needed as the process goes along. You can view here for more extended details, but those should be what you have ready immediately. 

Get the Most Out of Your Relationship 

Marriage and divorce are both big decisions. They can change your financial situation and your mentality for the better or worse for the rest of your life. 

Read more about Relationships under the Mind and Body section to get more advice on divorce, modern dating, and keeping long-term relationships alive. 

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