Recognition of Foreign Divorce in the Philippines
A divorce can be recognized in the Philippines in cases of marriages between a Filipino and a foreigner, after the foreign spouse has obtained a divorce from his own country.
The 2nd paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code of the Philippines provides that “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 two elements for the application of the above provision are:
1: There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino and a foreigner.
2: A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse allowing him or her to remarry.
The divorce obtained by the foreign or naturalized spouse is NOT automatically recognized in the Philippines.
The Filipino party needs to file a case in court for the recognition of the foreign divorce.
Only until after the foreign divorce is recognized in the Philippines can the Filipino spouse enter into another marriage.
The recognition of the foreign divorce is mandatory if the Filipino party is to remarry.