Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    by C.K. It has been a very difficult January for me this year.  While enjoying a break in far away Philippines, the sad news that my aunt has gone into coma made me rush the 3 days left in my stay in Manila.  I was praying hard that she will be there when I come back [...]

    Read full post »


Visitors to Pinoytimes




Page added on December 29, 2009

Email this to a friendEmail This Post Email This Post                      Printable versionPrint This Post Print This Post

THE LEGAL EFFECTS OF A FOREIGN DIVORCE IN PHILIPPINES – The Philippine Lawyer

Marvin and Amy were married in Las Pinas, Metro Manila in 1995. With a successful build and sell business, Marvin not only got used to the day to day luxuries enjoyed by a successful businessman but also the nightly delights offered by Manila’s entertainments districts.  In the meantime, Amy who is accountant in a major bank in the Philippines contented herself with being a plain housewife and a devoted mother of their daughter Chinkie.

Because of the sudden rash of violence in the Philippines, Amy decided to convince Marvin to migrate to Canada.  Amy’s persistence wore down Michael’s vehement objection to the idea of leaving his lucrative business and the nightlife he was accustomed to and they filed their application with the Canadian Embassy in Manila. In two years their application was approved and the family left for Canada. Being an accountant, Amy was able to easily get a job in her field where she earned more than enough to live a comfortable life. Marvin on the other hand, having been used to being a successful engineer/ businessman could not bring himself to accept the he is now a mere employee and practically starting from the bottom of the ladder so to speak.  Needless to say Marvin was miserable. After three years, Amy informed Marvin that they should file their application for Canadian citizenship to which Marvin refused saying that he still intends to return to the Philippines and continue the business he left with his only brother Alex.  Marvin being unwavering in his stand, Amy and her daughter filed their application for citizenship without Marvin hich was eventually granted.

One night, Marvin received a call from Manila informing him that his brother Alex was shot in the parking lot of a massage parlour along Timog Avenue Quezon City.  Although he survived the attack, Alex will need months in order to fully recover from his injuries. With several ongoing projects, Marvin was told to come back to the Philippines  and manage the business.  The prospect was good news to Marvin who immediately agreed to “help” his brother.  Although Amy did not want Marvin to go, she had no choice as Marvin promised to be back in a few months when Alex has fully recovered.  Months has passed to 2 years and Marvin has not returned to Canada  and whenever Amy calls him, Marvin always has a ready excuse on why he cannot go home yet.  Amy later discovers that Marvin was living in with Stella, a young GRO he met in a Karaoke bar in Malate Manila and that Marvin already has a baby boy with her.  Confronting Marvin over the phone, Marvin already admitted his guilt and at the same time told Amy that he will never return to Canada.  Because of Marvin’s infidelity, Amy filed for a divorce which was granted in less than a year as Marvin never answered the divorce claim. Upon learning of the divorce decree, Stella demanded that Marvin marry her.

Amy eventually went home to visit her parents in Bacolod where she met Marlon Manisid, a scuba diving instructor from Boracay.  After a whirlwind courtship, they eventually fell in love and planned to get married in Amy’s hometown.

CAN AMY LEGALLY MARRY MARLON IN THE PHILIPPINES ?

CAN MARVIN LEGALLY MARRY STELLA IN THE

PHILIPPINES ?

Yes, Amy can legally marry Marlon in the Philippines.  There is a fine line of distinction here. First, it must be remembered that Amy was already a Canadian Citizen when she divorced Marvin and being a non Filipino at the time of her divorce; Philippine laws no longer apply to her.  This being the case, her divorce will be recognized in the Philippines. Had Amy divorced Marvin before she became a Canadian Citizen, her divorce will not be recognized in the Philippines.  Please take note that in such a case, she cannot get married the Philippines.

Surprisingly, Marvin, a Filipino Citizen, can also legally marry Stella. As clearly provided in Art. 26 of the Family Code of the Philippines and we quote:

ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.

Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

The reason for this is that even if Marvin is still a Filipino, his wife was already a foreigner at the time of their divorce.  Their situation makes them fall under the purview the above cited law which gives Marvin, a Filipino, a chance to remarry legally. The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry. (Philippines vs. Orbecido III, G.R. No. 154380, 5 October 2005). The Philippine Supreme Court has held that these cases include parties who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them becomes naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree.

(Legal Disclaimer: This article is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be neither formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.)

-Ferdie Aguirre

(About the writer: G. Ferdinand (Ferdie) Aguirre has more than 20 years of combined experience as a legal professional in the Philippines and in Canada.  After graduating from the Ateneo de Manila College of Law in 1987 and passing the Bar given that year, he has held the following positions in the Philippine Corporate world: Asst. Senior Vice President of the Philippine National Bank, Senior Manager of the Law Division of the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company and as Chief Legal Counsel of Unibancard.  His private practice included having successfully handled several major cases and being included in the Philippine case books.  Ferdie Aguirre was also a professor of Political Science and Business Law before migrating to Ontario Canada in 2005 where worked as a Paralegal. He is presently a Court Agent & a Commissioner for Oaths in Alberta and is now working on his admission to the Alberta Bar.  Ferdie Aguirre may be reached at (403) 6131168 /403 4747168 or at pilipinolegalservices@yahoo.ca

Note: Send in your comment or queries to Pinoy Times for a chance to be chosen for this column.



3 Comments on "THE LEGAL EFFECTS OF A FOREIGN DIVORCE IN PHILIPPINES – The Philippine Lawyer"

  1. debbie gonzales on Tue, 6th Apr 2010 8:03 pm 

    hello there, i just ant to ask advice about my problem about my sponsorship to my husband.

    i worked in canada as caregiver now im on processing of my permanent resident papers. im sponsoring my husband and my son backhome (philippines), right now their status is waiting for their medical appointment. im done ith my medical here in canada. few months ago i discover that is having affair with other girl backhome, using my money for her, his not paying my sons tuition fee, he sell some of my things without permission for me. i plan to divorced him, i know he will not sign the document if ever i will send him divorced paper, im sure he will not let my son to come here without him. what should i do. please give me advice on what should i do about this. all i want is to get my don from the philippines and pull out his name in my sponsorship. please hope u will send me message or give me advice.. thanks

    more power.

    debbie gonzales
    12892422142
    oakville ontario canada

  2. Maricel on Mon, 15th Nov 2010 10:26 pm 

    I want to ask more about being married to a foreigner and after being divorce, what can and cannot do?
    If my foreigner husband , we were married here in Phil and if he divorce me do i need to undergo an annulment here in Philippines?
    What documents do i need to submit to clear my marriage record and to be declared single again?
    Please help me to know more about laws regarding this matter.
    Thanks in advance.
    God bless.

  3. Menji on Fri, 18th Mar 2011 12:48 pm 

    Question please…

    I am recently divorced here in Canada but we are both still Filipino citizens when we filed for divorce.

    I have already applied for Canadian Citizenship but yet to be granted.
    Can I get married here in Canada, given that my divorce judgment has been granted and in effect already?

    Thank you so much in advance.