Republic of the Philippines HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Quezon City ELEVENTH CONGRESS First Regular Session HOUSE BILL NO.

6993

By Representative Manuel C. Ortega

AN ACT LEGALIZING DIVORCE, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE TITLE II AND ARTICLES 55 TO 67 THEREUNDER OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 209, AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 227, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: SECTION. 1. Title II of Executive Order No. 209, as amended by Executive Order No. 227, otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines, is hereby amended to read as follows: "TITLE II [LEGAL SEPARATION] DIVORCE." SEC. 2. Articles 55 to 67 of the same Code are hereby amended to read as follows: "Art. 55. A petition for [legal separation] DIVORCE may be filed on any of the following grounds: (1) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner; (2) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;

(4) Where both parties have given ground for [legal separation] DIVORCE. (9) Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner. The petition for [legal separation] DIVORCE shall be denied on any of the following grounds: (1) Where the [aggrieved party] PETITIONER has condoned the offense or act complained of. . (4) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years.(3) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner. the term "child" shall include a child by nature or adoption. or connivance in such corruption or inducement. For purposes of this Article. 56. (7) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage. (6) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent. IN ADDITION. (2) Where the [aggrieved party] PETITIONER has consented to the commission of the offense or act complained of. (5) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent. SAID PETITION MUST SPECIFICALLY ALLEGE THE GROUNDS WHICH DESTROY THE LEGITIMATE ENDS OF THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP AND PREVENT ANY REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS OF RECONCILIATION. whether in the Philippines or abroad. A PETITION FOR DIVORCE MAY BE FILED UPON A SHOWING THAT THERE IS AN IRREMEDIABLE BREAKDOWN OF THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP DUE TO IRRECONCILABLE MARITAL DIFFERENCES. to engage in prostitution. even if pardoned. or (10) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year. (8) Sexual infidelity or perversion. or a child of the petitioner. (3) Where there is connivance between the parties in the commission of the offense or act constituting the ground for [legal separation] DIVORCE." "Art. a common child.

No decree of [legal separation] DIVORCE shall be based upon a stipulation of facts or a confession of judgment." "Art. 61. After the filing of the petition for [legal separation] DIVORCE. OR (8) WHERE THE PETITIONER HAS NOT RESIDED WITHIN THE PHILIPPINES FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR PRIOR TO THE FILING OF THE PETITION. No [legal separation] DIVORCE may be decreed unless the court has taken steps toward the reconciliation of the spouses and is fully satisfied. In any case." "Art. 57. IN THE CASE OF GROUNDS OR CAUSES FOR DIVORCE WHICH OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVITY OF THIS ACT. An action for [legal separation] DIVORCE shall in no case be tried before six months have elapsed since the filing of the petition. the court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and to take care that the evidence is not fabricated or suppressed.(5) Where there is collusion between the parties to obtain the decree of [legal separation] DIVORCE. 60. (7) WHERE THE IRRECONCILABLE MARITAL DIFFERENCES ARE NOT SUFFICIENT TO JUSTIFY DIVORCE." "Art. despite such efforts. [or] (6) Where the action is barred by prescription[." "Art.]. PETITIONS FOR LEGAL SEPARATION FILED BEFORE THE EFFECTIVITY OF THIS ACT MAY BE AMENDED TO ACTIONS FOR DIVORCE: PROVIDED THAT SAID AMENDMENTS ARE MADE WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF ITS EFFECTIVITY. 58." "Art. An action for [legal separation] DIVORCE shall be filed within ONE YEAR FROM THE TIME THE PETITIONER BECOMES COGNIZANT OF THE CAUSE AND WITHIN five years from the time of the occurrence of the cause. . that reconciliation is highly improbable. UNLESS THE CAUSE UPON WHICH THE PETITION IS BASED OCCURRED WITHIN THE TERRITORY OF THE PHILIPPINES. 59. THE ACTION MAY BE FILED WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF ITS EFFECTIVITY: PROVIDED THAT SAID GROUNDS OR CAUSES OCCURRED WITHIN FIVE YEARS FROM THE FILING OF THE ACTION.

During the pendency of the action for [legal separation] DIVORCE. IF THE DECREE OF DIVORCE IS GRANTED PURSUANT TO THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 55. (3) The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse. The decree of [legal separation] DIVORCE shall have the following effects: (1) THE MARRIAGE BONDS SHALL BE DISSOLVED ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THE DECREE BECOMES FINAL. (2) The absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved and liquidated [but the offending spouse].the spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other. which shall be forfeited in accordance with the provisions of Article 43 (2). 62. The DIVORCED spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other AND TO REMARRY THEREAFTER [. IN THE EVENT THAT THERE IS AN ADJUDGED OFFENDING SPOUSE. The administrator appointed by the court shall have the same powers and duties as those of a guardian under the Rules of Court. SAID SPOUSE shall have no right to any share of the net profits earned by the absolute community or the conjugal partnership." "Art. subject to the provisions of Article 213 of this Code." "Art. [and] (4) The [offending spouse] DIVORCED SPOUSES shall be disqualified from inheriting from [the innocent spouse] EACH OTHER by intestate succession. in the absence of a written agreement between the spouses. OR. shall designate either of them or a third person to administer the absolute community or conjugal partnership property. the provisions of Article 49 shall likewise apply to the support of the spouses and the custody and support of the common children. 63. provisions in favor of the offending . but the marriage bonds shall not be severed]. The court. IN THE CASE OF A DECREE OBTAINED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 55. Moreover. THE NET PROFITS OF THE ABSOLUTE COMMUNITY OR CONJUGAL PARTNERSHIP SHALL BE DIVIDED EQUALLY BETWEEN OR IN A MANNER AGREED UPON BY THE PARTIES. TO THE SPOUSE ADJUDGED TO BE MORE CAPABLE IN ENSURING THIER MORAL. MENTAL AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING.

65.]. liens and encumbrances registered in good faith before the recording of the complaint for revocation in the registries of property shall be respected. The reconciliation referred to in the preceding Article shall have the following consequences: .spouse mad in the will of the innocent spouse shall be revoked by operation of law[. The revocation of the donations shall be recorded in the registries of property in the places where the properties are located. "Art. may revoke the donations made by him or her in favor of the [offending] OTHER spouse. If the spouses should reconcile. The revocation of or change in the designation of the insurance beneficiary shall take effect upon written notification thereof to the [insured] INSURER. 66. OTHERWISE." "Art. After the finality of the decree of [legal separation] DIVORCE. The action to revoke the donation under this Article must be brought within five years from the time the decree of [legal separation] DIVORCE has become final. IN ADDITION. even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable. as well as the designation of the latter as beneficiary in any insurance policy. THESE CHILDREN SHALL BE DELIVERED THEIR RESPECTIVE LEGITIME ONE YEAR AFTER THE DECREE OF DIVORCE BECOMES FINAL." "Art. a corresponding joint manifestation under oath duly signed by them shall be filed with the court in the same proceeding for [legal separation] DIVORCE. (5) CHILDREN OF DIVORCED PARENTS SHALL BE ENTITLED TO SUPPORT AS PROVIDED FOR UNDER THIS CODE. CHILDREN OF DIVORCED SPOUSES SHALL LIKEWISE RETAIN ALL RIGHTS OF SUCCESSION WITH RESPECT TO THEIR PARENTS BUT SHALL BRING TO COLLATION THE LEGITIME PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED UNDER THIS PROVISION WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION TO RETURN ANY AMOUNT SUBSEQUENTLY DETERMINED TO BE IN EXCESS OF THE VALUE THEY ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE. Alienations. the innocent spouse OR BOTH SPOUSES IN CASE OF DECREES PURSUANT TO THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 55. 64. THE DECREE SHALL NOT HAVE ANY LEGAL EFFECT WITH RESPECT TO THE SPOUSE WHO DEFAULTS ON SUCH OBLIGATION.

If any part or provision of this Act is declared invalid. shall thereby be terminated at whatever stage. . (2) Those to be returned as separated properties of each spouse. if still pending. in its order. executive order.(1) The [legal separation] DIVORCE proceedings. The court's order containing the foregoing shall be recorded in the proper civil registries. their addresses and the amounts owing to each. Effectivity. Repealing Clause. but the separation of property and any forfeiture of the share of the guilty spouse already affected shall subsist.The provisions of any law. SEC. . 67. 5. The agreement to revive the former property regime referred to in the preceeding Article shall be executed under oath and shall specify: (1) The properties to be contributed anew to the restored regime. The recording of the order in the registries of property shall not prejudice any creditor not listed or not notified. .This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation. and (2) The final decree of [legal separation] DIVORCE shall be set aside." "Art. presidential decree or other issuances inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. with copies of both furnished to the creditors named therein. unless the spouses agree to revive their former property regime. SEC. and (3) The names of all their known creditors. Separability Clause. take measures to protect the interest of creditors and such order shall be recorded in the proper registries of properties. The agreement of revival and the motion for its approval shall be filed with the court in the same proceeding for [legal separation] DIVORCE. the remainder or any provision thereof not affected shall remain in force and effect. . After due hearing." SEC. the court shall. 4. unless the debtor-spouse has sufficient separate properties to satisfy the creditor's claim. 3.

Today not all marriages succeed as a permanent union.Approved. Ortega EXPLANATORY NOTE This bill seeks to amend Executive Order No. An increasing number of married individuals find themselves subjected by their marriage partners to physical violence. Republic of the Philippines HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Quezon City First Regular Session ELEVENTH CONGRESS HOUSE BILL NO. 209.rather than promote blissful. 6993 Introduced by Representative Manuel C.impair. . 227. by allowing absolute divorce (a vinculo matrimonii) and thereby granting legally separated spouses the right to remarry. This bill thus seeks to give spouses whi are shacked by an irretrievably broken marriage the freedom to remarry and possibly succeed in attaining a stable and fulfilling family life. grossly abusive conduct and other acts of or offenses that -. debase or destroy the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship. harmonious conjugal and family life -. otherwise known as the Family Code of the Philippines. as amended by Executive Order No.

O. the Sagada and Igorot of the Cordilleras. the law on divorce was the Siete Partidas which allowed only legal separation.Divorce is not a novel legal right granted by Philippine civil laws: the Family Code of the Philippines sanctions relative divorce (a mensa et thoro). and was never enforced since. Douglas MacArthur re-established the Commonwealth Government by proclamation which in effect repealed E. 141. or separation from bed and board. . Historical records indicate that long before the advent of Spanish colonial rule beginning in the early 16th century. To be sure. Indeed. During the Japanese Occupation. absolute divorce had been widely practiced among our ancestral tribes -. it prohibits lawfully separated spouses from exercising the right to remarry. but it has expaded the grounds for legal separation to ten. During the Spanish regime. was promulgated providing for ten grounds for divorce. a new law on absolute divorce. had provisions on absolute divorce which was subsequently eliminated and substituted with legal separation. legal separation does not dissolve the marriage bond between legally separated spouses. The Spanish Civil Code on the subject were among those suspended by Governor General Weyler in 1889. No. Our civil laws on marriage justify and allow the separation of married individuals but does not confer them the legal right or remedy to extricate themselves from the ordeal of a broken marriage. Act 2710 was repealed by the Civil Code of the Philippines which allows only legal separation. E. Under our present laws. 141 and revived Act 2710. quoting a respected Filipino historical writer. however. In 1917 Act 2710 was passed by the Philippine Legislature repealing the Siete Partidas by allowing divorce on the grounds of adultery on the part of the wife and concubinage on the part of the husband.the Tagbanwas of Palawan. our civil laws have always recognized the need to allow married individuals to sever conjugal ties under certain justifiable conditions. While the Family Code of the Philippines allows relative divorce. legal separation. the Gadang of Nueva Vizcaya. to name a few. The law lasted until 1944 when Gen. Neither is divorce an institution exclusive to contemporary times. is a recognized remedy for victims of failed marriages. The draft of the Code. said parties are considered married individuals for all legal intents and purposes. the Manobo. In 1950.O. Bila-an and Moslems of Visayas and Mindanao islands. The present Family Code of the Philippines also does not allow divorce (except a divorce obtained by the alien spouse of a Filipino citizen abroad). No. "the law has come full circle". Under the provision of Title II of said Code.

In the light of the foregoing. In addition. The present grounds for legal separation which are recognized in our society as justifiable bases for relative divorce should be re-enacted as lawful grounds for absolute divorce. it is recommended that "irreconcilable marital differences" be included in our present civil laws as a justifiable cause for absolute divorce because not all circumstances and situations that vitiate the institution of marriage could be specifically categorized and defined by our lawmakers. Based on the increasing number of failed marriages which confines many of our citizens to a perpetual state of marital limbo.html . Approval of this Bill is earnestly sought.tripod. http://simbahayan. it is proposed that our present laws on marriage be amended to allow absolute divorce or dissolution of marriage.com/divbill. Spouses living in a state of irreparable marital conflict or discord should be given the opportunity to present their marital contrarieties before the courts and have such differences adjudged as substantial grounds to dissolve or sever the legal bond of marriage. it has become morally and socially acceptable for many Filipinos to grant spouses of broken marriages the legal right to remarry.

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