Is Simplified Annulment On Its Way in the Philippines?


Is a simplified annulment process on its way in the Philippines, one of only a few countries that does not allow divorce? A bill was filed at the House of Representatives  in the Philippines this past  Monday that seeks  to simplify the current  draconian annulment process  by including spousal violence, infidelity and abandonment as grounds for annulling marriages. This according to a recent article in the GMA NEWS online edition.Missing You.....While I certainly am not in favor of divorce laws such as in the States which make it too  easy to divorce,  it is doubtful the mostly Catholic nation of the Philippines will ever make  divorce legal. However,  there are thousands of abused Filipinas trapped in marriages where the husband regularly cheats on them or beats them, or both. (And yes, there are some Filipino men that  also have cheating spouses.)  They have no legal way out of the situation save the current annulment process which is so expensive and restrictive that a poor person's chances of obtaining such an annulment are next to impossible.

The Philippines Expat Advisor - Is Simplified Annulment On Its Way in the Philippines?

My own sister-in-law that currently works in Kuwait as a domestic helper (making the "huge sum" of $200 US Dollars a month) is married to a drug dealing, abusive, irresponsible Filipino man that constantly beat her, and though he has not been in contact with my sister-in-law, Marjorie, for  over 12 years, she does not have the means to obtain an annulment.  She has had several pen pals from the United States that were very interested in meeting her, but even though she is legally separated from her husband, the fact she cannot get a divorce (or annulment) makes it difficult, of course, to pursue any other relationships.

Rep. Neri Colmenares, who had filed the legislative bill to amend the "Family Code"  said if passed into law, the measure will make annulment proceedings "less costly" and "more accessible" to the poor since there is no more need to hire "expensive" psychiatrists, psychologists and lawyers to prove their claims.  Currently, one has to hire costly psychiatrists  to annul their unfortunate marriage and prove they have a  "psychologically incapacitated spouse."  Is simplified annulment on its way in the Philippines? Looks like it possibly could be.

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

19 thoughts on “Is Simplified Annulment On Its Way in the Philippines?

  1. That’s a good point, John Jackson, I would hate to see the law, if it is passed, be abused and used just as an excuse to dissolve a marriage without any good reason.

  2. Certainly a step in the right direction. And certainly a bill with some substance, instead of the ‘fluff’ most often generated by the lower house. There are so many Filipinos, around the world, trapped by the unfair and archaic current process that this initiative is a breath of fresh air.

  3. I sure don’t see it happing in my lifetime. Maybe the next century. Make it just as hard to get married as it is to divorce. I read a report that was about 4 years old. It showed that 86% of the men cheat on their wife. That is inside and outside of the church. 50% of the children in college were having sex on college grounds. Need to start working on the problem long before marriage. Just my point of view.


    1. Wow, Gary, that is sure a high percentage of cheaters! That’s terrible. I’m with you, however, I really don’t see that simplified annulment law passing, I think the Catholic Church will do everything thing they can to block it.

  4. Fantastic idea. Lets all hope this will come to fruition in the very near future. It would mean empowerment for a lot of people trapped in unhappy marriages, in particuarl women.

    1. I hope it will pass soon, LM, but I have to agree with Gary’s comment below. I don’t think it’s something that really is going to happen soon even though it is much needed, particularly for those trapped in abusive relationships. I hope I’m wrong, though.

  5. Well, that would be a blessing for some of these women who are trapped in a marriage with an abusive and unfaithful husband. Even the Bible allows divorce when there is adultery in a marriage. The old saying, “Three is a crowd” especially holds true in a marriage.

    1. If the Catholic church were to read their Holy Bible and understand Jewish history they would know that even St. Paul was divorced. At one time Paul (Saul) was married with children. Too bad the church doesn’t teach the truth and the whole truth. Sometimes life is hard…very hard.


  6. the only thing the church cares about in the Phils is to try and keep a “holy” presence all the while preaching about one thing and doing something else. whatever happened to separation of church and state?

  7. It is the place for Bigamy, but not by choice of most. You can thank the Catholic Church and the extremely high percentage of politicians, lawyers, judges etc….they are the ones responsible for the suffering of Philippine woman and for the corruption. Bribery is also a national past time in the Phils.

    Fast annulments are 100% possible. You simply need to hand the lawyers and judges cash under the table. ALL of them will accept bribes in exchange for fast service.

    1. Gary, unfortunately what you say is true. Hopefully, a simplified annulment law will be passed, but since it looks like it would not benefit the corrupt lawyers and officials you note, perhaps it will never pass. Thanks for your insight.

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