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Some Filipinos want and do get married outside the Philippines.

Theres
nothing really strange with this, except when they say that the reason is for
convenience in getting a divorce abroad. This is strange for two main rea
sons:
1. Divorce is not recognized under Philippine laws. If youre a Filipino, it
doesnt matter where you get a divorce: such divorce is invalid/void in the
Philippines. This is because under the nationality principle (Art. 15, Civil
Code), all Filipinos where they may be in the world are bound by Philip
pine laws on family rights and duties, status, condition, and legal capacity.
Yes, folks, you can run, but you cant hide.Nevertheless, divorce decrees
secured outside the Philippines are recognized in certain instances. This is
provided in Article 26 (Paragraph 2) of the Family Code, which reads in full:
ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance
with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid
there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited
under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly cele
brated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien
spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have
capacity to remarry under Philippine law.
The twin elements for the application of this provision are:
1. There is a valid marriage that has been celebrated between a Filipino cit
izen and a foreigner; and
2. A valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him
or her to remarry.
After complying with the procedure in having the foreign decree of divorce
judicially recognized (through a court action) here in the Philippines, the Fil
ipino spouse may validly remarry.
At first glance, Article 26 seems to apply only to a marriage between a Fil
ipino and a foreigner. This was raised by a respected commentator in fami
ly law, Justice Sempio-Diy, who noted that Art. 26 does not apply:
to a divorce obtained by a former Filipino who had been naturalized in
another country after his naturalization, as it might open the door to rich Fil
ipinos obtaining naturalization abroad for no other reason than to be able
to divorce their Filipino spouse (Handbook on the Family Code of the
Philippines, 1995 Ed., p. 30).
However, this provision was later interpreted by the Supreme Court to in
clude cases involving parties who, at the time of the celebration of the mar
riage were Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them becomes naturalized
as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce decree. The reckoning point is
not the citizenship of the parties at the time of marriage, but their citizen
ship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse ca
pacitating the latter to remarry. (Philippines vs. Orbecido III, G.R. No.
154380, 5 October 2005).
2. Marriage is supposed to be forever. From an idealistic non-legal stand
point, the sole reason for marriage should be love; the kind of love that
transcends time and withstands any impediments that life throws our way.
From a legal perspective, on the other hand, no less than the Philippine
Constitution (Art. XV, Sec. 2) and the Family Code (Art. 1) expressly charac
terize marriage as the foundation of the family and an inviolable social insti
tution. The law states that it is a special contract of a permanent union be
tween a man and a woman (sorry, same sex marriage is not yet recognized
in the Philippines). It is inviolable. It is permanent. In short, you dont think
of divorce when you get married.
History of Article 26, Family Code:
6 July 1987: President Corazon Aquino signed Executive Order No. 209,
otherwise known as the Family Code. The law, which took effect on 3 Au
gust 1988, reads:
All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the
laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as
such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Arti
cles 35, 37, and 38.
17 July 1987: Executive Order No. 227 was signed into law, amending Arti
cle 26 of the Family Code, among others. Article 26 now reads:
ART. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance
with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid
there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited
under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly cele
brated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien
spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have
capacity to remarry under Philippine law.