New bill allows foreign divorce decree without going to court

The House of Representatives, voting 202-3 without abstention, has approved on third and final reading House Bill 7185, seeking to recognize the foreign degree of termination of marriage and allowing its subsequent registration with the Philippine Civil Registry.

The bill seeks to amend Executive Order (EO) No. 209, otherwise known as the "Family Code of the Philippines."

The proposed amendment to Article 13 of EO 209 states that “The Filipino spouse need not seek recognition or enforcement of the foreign decree of termination of marriage. The registration of the duly authenticated foreign decree of termination in the Philippine Civil Registry shall be sufficient proof of capacity to remarry”.

It further states that “Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is celebrated and a decree of termination of marriage is thereafter obtained abroad by either spouse and subsequently registered in the Philippine Civil Registry as provided in Article 13 hereof, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under the Philippine Law”.

The amendment likewise states that Article 412 of the Civil Code shall not apply in recognizing the termination of marriages referred therein. Any agreement on the liquidation, partition and distribution of properties of the spouses, the custody and support of common children, the delivery of their presumptive legitimes included in the degree of termination of marriage shall be recognized. In the absence thereof, the provisions of the Family Code shall be in force, the bill further provides.

Salient provisions of the bill can be availed by a Filipino who is married to a foreigner whose marriage has been terminated abroad by either spouse, including a Filipino whose marriage has been terminated abroad prior to the effectivity of the proposed law; who has been divorced from a spouse who had subsequently acquired foreign citizenship; or who has subsequently acquired foreign citizenship and who has divorced from the Filipino spouse abroad.

SOURCE: House oks foreign divorce and allows registration with PHL Civil Registry. Press and Public Affairs Bureau of the House of Representatives. 24 March 2018 01:34:41 PM.

Authors of the bill are Deputy Speakers Pia Cayetano and Gwendolyn Garcia, Reps. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba, Sol Aragones, Ma. Lourdes Aggabao, Edcel Lagman, Emmi De Jesus, Aniceto Bertiz III, Evelina Escudero, Elisa Kho, Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay, Ma. Vida Bravo, Francisco Datol Jr., Cecilia Leonila Chavez, Amihilda Sangcopan, Salvador Belaro Jr., Ann Hofer, Victoria Isabel Noel, Alexandria Gonzales, Johnny Ty Pimentel, Francisco Jose Matugas II, Oscar Garin Jr., Benadette Herrera-Dy, Cristina Roa-Puno, Anthony Bravo, Harlin Neil Abayon III, Estrellita Suansing, John Marvin Nieto, Tricia Nicole Velasco-Catera and Joaquin Chipeco Jr. / MVI Palomar