Reintroduction of Divorce into Philippine Law

Reintroduction of Divorce into Philippine LawReintroduction of Divorce into Philippine Law


Jihan A. Jacob



The Philippines and Vatican City are the only states left in the world without divorce. While the Philippines recognize relative divorce, or legal separation as termed under its Family Code, it has not sanctioned absolute divorce in the country except for Muslims and foreigners. During pre- colonial times and the Japanese occupation of the country, absolute divorce was legal and widely practiced. The thesis argues for the reintroduction of absolute divorce into Philippine law on a legal, pragmatic, and rights-based approach. It argues that divorce protects and strengthens the family; it is legal, constitutional, and in compliance with the international human rights obligations of the Philippines; it answers the issues on and inadequacies of the existing legal framework on nullity, annulment, and legal separation; it is one of the solutions to decrease, if not end, spousal violence; and its absence is discriminatory on the grounds of social class, religion, and nationality.

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