Could Divorce Finally be Legalized in the Philippines?


Divorce attorneys in Pasadena have seen big changes in divorce laws across the globe this year. As divorce explodes in China and India and finally became legal in Malta, all eyes are now on the Philippines. The Philippines and the Vatican are now the only countries on the planet where divorce is still banned. But a highly-contested bill could finally legalize divorce in the island nation... and everybody has an opinion about it.

The Philippine House committee on revision of laws kicked off its deliberations on the controversial divorce bill which would legalize divorce. Proponents of the bill believe the current marriage laws are oppressive and divorce legalization will help Filipinos in failed marriages. On the anti-divorce side stands a great number of the Filipino population, who are devotedly Catholic and whose church is extremely powerful. Critics of the bill say the measure would wreak havoc in the lives of families in the country while members of the church have gone as far to say that divorce is "anti-Filipino." President Benigno Aquino, however. says the legalization of divorce is "not a priority and I don't see it becoming a priority even in the near future." The president says the country has bigger things to worry about than getting involved in a national debate on divorce.

Currently, Philippine law does not recognize divorce - only allow legal separation and annulment. Couples who have had their marriages successfully annulled are free to remarry. The new divorce bill would allow couples who have been legally separated for two years to petition for divorce. Irreconcilable differences, failure to comply with marital obligations and psychological incapacity are listed in the bill as grounds for divorce. Even though polls show that the majority of Filipinos support the bill, insiders say it could take years for divorce to become legal.