Marriage; Divorce not allowed in the Philippines; Exception based on principles of comity; Divorce must be proven as a fact.
The Supreme Court had alreadyruled that under the principles of comity, our jurisdiction recognizes a valid divorce obtained by a spouse of foreign nationality. This doctrine wasestablished as early as 1985 in Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. wherein the SC sa
id: “It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15
of the Civil Code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces, the same being considered contrary to our conceptof public policy and morality. However, aliens may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are validaccording to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released private respondent from the marriage from the standards of American
law, under which divorce dissolves the marriage.”
Nonetheless, the fact of divorce must still first be proven as the Supreme Court has enunciated in Garcia v. Recio, to wit: “
Before a foreign judgmentis given presumptive evidentiary value, the document must first be presented and admitted in evidence. A divorce obtained abroad is proven by thedivorce decree itself. Indeed the best evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written act or record of an act of anofficial
body or tribunal of a foreign country.”
Marriage; Presumption of conjugality of property;
is merely descriptive of the status of the owner.
Pursuant to Article 160 of the Civil Code ofthe Philippines, all property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the