Contracts / Annulment / Recognition of Foreign Divorce / VAWC / Prenuptial Agreement
Contracts / Annulment / Recognition of Foreign Divorce / VAWC / Prenuptial Agreement
Generally, divorce is not allowed in the Philippines, but a marriage between a Filipino and a foreigner is an exception.
The Philippines will recognize the divorce of a Filipino obtained abroad by a foreign spouse.
In cases where at least one of the couple was a non-Filipino at the time of divorce, the divorce may be recognized here, regardless of whether the divorce was obtained by the Filipino or by the non-Filipino.
In line with paragraph two of Article 26 of the Family Code of the Philippines:
“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 the capacity to remarry under Philippine law.
It is not simply a matter of presenting a copy of your foreign divorce decree to a Philippine government office.
In order to recognize a foreign divorce, both the foreign divorce and the foreign divorce law must be proven in court. In the Philippines, you will need to file a Petition for Recognition of Foreign Divorce with the appropriate Regional Trial Court. It will be necessary for you to retain a lawyer to prepare and handle the case.
In your conversation with an attorney, you should disclose all relevant details, including your ex-spouse, your citizenship, your marriage and your divorce.
When speaking with your lawyer, be honest. He needs to know the exact dates and places where the incidents took place. He will also require copies of your marriage and divorce documents in order to assess them independently. It is important to understand that you should not edit the facts or be afraid of disclosing everything to the attorney. He must know these details to do a good job, and a lawyer is bound to maintain confidentiality.
You should not be embarrassed by any information you need to convey to your lawyer. Feel free to ask him any questions you may have. Meanwhile, you can start assembling some of the documents that your lawyer will need to review and which you will eventually have to present to the Court.
I am a Norwegian citizen who was married to a Filipina in 2000. We divorced in 2015. My Philippine Marriage Certificate was registered in Norway and we had a Norwegian divorce.
For different reasons, I wanted my Norwegian divorce to undergo foreign divorce recognition in the Philippines, even if my ex-wife was not willing to be a part of that. In that process, I was in contact with 6 different lawyers. What they all said was negative, and some had different ideas how to get the divorce registered. They also asked a lot of money, PhP400.000.
When I met my girlfriend, who is now my wife, I needed to get the divorce registered to get Norway visa for my new girlfriend. We went to the net. I found lawyer Mary Ann T. Juco. She at once knew what we wanted and the process to get my divorced registered. We made an agreement. Price plus external costs and representative costs.
She led my study through the process and made updates and clear invoices for running costs. From the time I had all my papers to finish, it took approximately one year. I had some had experience for even longer process time.
I must say it was a pleasure to work with lawyer Mary Ann. She made a timeline and told me all the details and time for the process. She had the right contacts and knew always how to go to the next level.
When it comes to trust, it is the most important in a relation when you live as me, in Norway, as the process had to be done in the Philippines. Through the process and until the end, I had 100% trust with her, as to the process and the cost of money.
After my experience, I can hereby recommend this law firm, and am sure other clients will have same positive experience as me.
From my experience, marami kaming nakilala na lawyer para magpatulong sa case ko. But unfortunately, wala din silang nagawa or should I say walang ginawa after nila makuha yung payment. Kahit friend of a friend pa, halos suko na ako sa dami ng panahon na nasayang dahil sa palagi na lang ako naloloko.
But I still decided and gave it one last shot. Nagsearch ako sa internet ng mga lawyers na may experience sa pag handle ng case ng katulad sa akin which is foreign divorce recognition at isa lumitaw ang The Law Firm of Jorge M. Juco at doon ko nakilala si Atty. Mary Ann Juco. She was very responsive sa mga tanong ko, laging naguupdate and unlike sa mga naunang lawyer na nakilala ko na may mga under the table na ginagawa, akala ko okay lang din kay attorney yun. But she insisted to do it in a clean and legal way kaya yan ang isa sa hinangaan ko sa kanya. Then from that moment, alam ko na si attorney na talaga ang mga sagot sa dasal namin ng partner ko, na ngayon happily married na kami.
Hindi madali ang process ng recognition of foreign divorce. It was stressful and an emotional process. Pero laging positive si atty. sa magiging outcome ng case namin. Pinakita at pinaramdam nya na hindi ako dapat mag alala na I can trust and count on her. Kaya sobrang thankful ako kay Atty. Mary Ann.
kaya sa mga naghahanap ng honest at mapapagkatiwaalan na lawyer, I strongly recommend Atty. Mary Ann Juco.
I was so glad I've found the Law Firm of Jorge M. Juco online. I couldn't be thankful enough to Atty. Mary Ann Juco for having her as my legal counsel for my Foreign Divorce Recognition. She was very nice and kind lawyer I've ever known. She's accommodating and very professional. She took time to explain to me the law and the process well. She kept me updated and always there to help me every step of the way. Her knowledge and skills in handling my case is very exceptional. I was very happy and satisfied that I have chosen their service. I am always grateful that God lead me to them. I would certainly recommend Mary Ann T. Juco to everyone.
I would like to thank the Law Firm of Jorge M. Juco for the exemplary way my judicial foreign divorce recognition case was handled and brought to finality. There were a few hurdles in the judicial process but they handled them so well.
From the three lawyers or attorneys that I choose from, including a lawyer friend from Pasig City, I was happy to select this law firm based on how they responded to my initial queries and quotation of legal costs. They promptly and satisfactorily responded, which was important to me, as I was almost uninformed on the matter. I particularly appreciate the way and the tact by which they enlightened the RTC judge, who at the beginning was clearly opposed to granting my petition. The judge himself pointed out that Atty. Mary Ann Juco did well in court.
I obtained the Certificate of Finality within a reasonable period. Also, my status and records at the PSA (Philippine Statistics Agency) have been updated to my satisfaction.
Wishing this law firm all the best in the future.
I hereby personally thank you for putting all your hard work and effort to accomplish our civil case Recognition of Divorce from Germany here in the Philippines. Our Case was closed and divorce decision was granted by the court. I’m glad that it’s finished and we had our victory and It’s a job well done. I never regret hiring you as our lawyer you gave all your best to win our case. I’m looking forward to referring you to some of my friends who have the same legal case as I had. Again I’m deeply honored to work with you and your team. Now I can celebrate my freedom as a single woman/divorcée and find the right man who will love me truly and remarry again someday.
Is a valid divorce decree obtained abroad is not automatically recognized in the Philippines?
A foreign divorce decree must be proven, just like any fact, in the Philippine jurisdiction. The proper petition must be filed in court. Philippines Courts do not automatically recognize foreign judgment. It must be proven first. Otherwise, it will presume that said judgment is in accordance with Philippine Law, since divorce is not allowed here.
Which brings to the question of how can the foreign divorce be recognized in the Philippines?
The recognition of a divorce decree obviously requires the existence of a valid divorce decree secured abroad. The divorce decree may be issued pursuant to a “no-fault” (uncontested) or contested proceeding.
A Japanese foreign divorce decree may be issued through judicial or administrative proceedings (e.g., approved by mayor), so long as the divorce decree was secured in accordance with the laws and procedures in that jurisdiction. For instance, one case involved a divorce by agreement which becomes effective by notification, orally or in a document signed by both parties and two or more witnesses of full age, in accordance with the provisions of Family Registration Law of Japan.
The foreign divorce decree may be obtained by a foreigner or a Filipino, so long as the other spouse is a foreigner and the divorce decree capacitates the alien spouse to remarry.
A proper civil action or a Petition for Judicial Recognition of a Foreign Judgment must be filed first at the Regional Trial Court of the Philippines.
The Petition shall prove that divorce is allowed in the country where it was obtained, and the foreign spouse is a national or citizen of that country.
Again, Philippine courts do not take judicial notice of foreign laws and foreign judgments. Therefore, these facts — the divorce decree and the national law of the foreign spouse — must be pleaded and proved like any other fact before trial courts.
The admissibility of official records that are kept in a foreign country requires that it must be accompanied by a certificate from a secretary of an embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul, consular agent or any officer of the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in that foreign country (Rule 132, Section 24 of the Rules of Court).
This is done through the Authentication Certification (or “red-ribbon”) issued by Philippine consuls in the jurisdiction where divorce decree was secured. In certain countries, the authentication may be secured more conveniently through the Apostille.
Thus, in the said Petition, the following documents must be attached:
· Philippine marriage certificate/record if the marriage was in the country or;
· Official marriage certificate/record from the foreign country if the marriage was solemnized abroad;
· Report of Marriage of a Filipino married abroad (if one was filed with the DFA);
· Official copies of the foreign divorce documents;
· Certified true copy of the foreign country's divorce law; and
· Proofs of citizenship.
NOTE: This is only a general list. Depending on the particular foreign country involved, and depending on the particular case, there may be other documents necessary. This is because different countries have different divorce processes and different kinds of marriage and divorce documents.
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