2018 FAQ Guide on the Recognition of Foreign Divorce

by | Sep 29, 2018 | Family Law, Recognition of Foreign Divorce

Red ribbon attached to a document

This post answers FAQs about the Recognition of Foreign Divorce

If you are in a situation in which you contemplate recognition of foreign divorce, then these frequently asked questions and their answers may be helpful.

This FAQ answers questions we’ve come across from both foreigners and Filipinos during our practice:

  • From foreigners who want to marry Filipinos again and are interested in Recognition of Foreign Divorce for immigration or remarriage purposes
  • From Filipinos who’ve married Filipinos and want to know if Recognition of Foreign Divorce is applicable to them
  • From Filipinos who have married foreigners and are looking to remarry or immigrate.

In addition, the post clarifies questions about ‘red ribboning’, reporting your foreign divorce to the embassy, and what happens to your CENOMAR after the process is finally completed.

A man and a woman facing away from each other with a globe and an airplane behind them,

The divorce cannot be recognized if both spouses were Filipino at the time of the divorce.

FAQ 1:

If two Filipinos obtain a divorce abroad, can their divorce be recognized in the Philippines?

Answer: No. Such a divorce cannot be recognized in the Philippines. Recognition of foreign divorce is only available if at least one of the spouses was a non-Filipino at the time of the divorce.

The two Filipinos are still married in the Philippines. They would need to file for annulment if they would like to change their civil status.

FAQ 2:

If two dual citizens divorce abroad, can they afterwards have their divorce recognized in the Philippines?

Answer: No, they cannot. If a divorce is obtained by two dual citizens — if both of them have Filipino citizenship at the time of the divorce — then that divorce cannot be recognized. Since they both have Filipino citizenship, they remain subject to the prohibition on divorce between two Filipinos.

FAQ 3:

If two Filipinos divorce abroad and then either of them becomes a foreign citizen afterwards, can that divorce be recognized in the Philippines?

Answer: No. The divorce cannot be recognized if they were both Filipino citizens at the time it was obtained.

A man and a woman with a red-ribboned document between them.

Red ribboning your foreign divorce decree doesn’t automatically recognize your divorce in the Philippines.

FAQ 4:

If two Filipinos marry and then one is a foreign citizen at the time of their foreign divorce, can that divorce be recognized in the Philippines?

Answer: Yes, it can. If one of the parties is a foreigner at the time of their divorce, then that foreign divorce can be recognized in the Philippines.

FAQ 5:

If I simply report my foreign divorce to the Philippine embassy, is my divorce automatically recognized in the Philippines?

Answer: No, it requires a court process. Your divorce being reported to the embassy simply informs the embassy that you were divorced abroad. This does not change your civil status in the Philippine civil register which still reflects your marriage. You will still need to file for recognition of foreign divorce in court.

FAQ 6:

If I red-ribbon my foreign divorce by having it authenticated at the Department of Foreign Affairs or Philippine embassy, is my divorce automatically recognized by the Philippines?

Answer: No. Red-ribboning by the Philippine embassy authenticates that the foreign public officer who signed the document had the authority to do so. It does not change your civil status in the Philippines and you still will need to file a case in court for recognition of that foreign divorce.

A man shading in his correct staus on his CENOMAR.

You’ll need to register the court decision with the PSA.

FAQ 7:

I am a Filipino. Can I file for divorce from my foreign spouse?

Answer: Yes. You can file for a divorce in another country from your foreign spouse even if you are Filipino. This divorce can be recognized in the Philippines.

FAQ 8:

Can I file a case for recognition of foreign divorce even if I live outside the Philippines?

Answer: Yes, a case for recognition of foreign divorce can be filed even if you live outside the country. However, you should ideally come to the Philippines at least once during the trial in order to testify in court.

FAQ 9:

Will my civil status on my CENOMAR immediately revert to single after the issuance of the court decision granting recognition of foreign divorce?

Answer: You will still need to register the court decision recognizing your foreign divorce with the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly National Statistics Office) before your marriage record will reflect the divorce. This results in an Advisory on Marriage which notes the divorce and allows you to remarry. This process can itself take months.

A man with the map of the Philippines in the background.

Yes, a Foreigner may file a petition for the recognition of his foreign divorce.

FAQ 10:

If I am a Filipino who divorced abroad and now lives in the Philippines, are my foreign divorce papers enough to prove that I am single for immigration purposes (fiancée visa)?

Answer: It depends on the country you are immigrating to and their policy at that time. Foreign immigration laws are different per country and implementation policies change. It is best to consult with the country consulate first to determine what is needed and then to consult a lawyer here if Philippine recognition of foreign divorce is necessary.

FAQ 11:

If I am a Filipino who divorced and now lives abroad, are my divorce papers enough to prove that I am single for immigration purposes (fiancée visa)?

Answer: Again, it depends on the countries involved. There are some instances where you will still need Philippine recognition of foreign divorce in order to immigrate overseas.

FAQ 12:

Can a foreigner file the recognition of foreign divorce case in the Philippines?

Answer: Yes, the Supreme Court has affirmed a foreigner’s right to file such a case in the Philippines.

FAQ 13:

Does a foreigner need to register his foreign divorce from his previous Filipino spouse and have it recognized here for him to remarry in the Philippines?

Answer: It depends. A foreigner would need to do this if he wants to get married inside the country and a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) is required of him despite being a foreigner. Issues concerning subsequent immigration abroad sometimes also require obtaining recognition of foreign divorce.

FAQ 14:

What happens to Philippine property and custody after the recognition of foreign Divorce?

Answer: It depends. The Supreme Court has made pronouncements that while the fact of the foreign divorce can be recognized and the parties allowed to remarry in accordance with that divorce, Philippine courts still retain discretion with regard to provisions on custody, support and Philippine property.

106 Comments

  1. Ej

    I’ve been separated with my ex wifefor 5 years now shes filipino but holding a canadian passport and citizen of canada, she filed a divorced last 2015 i got the divorced recently because i want to file for recognizing a divorce here in the Philippines, Im looking for a good lawyer to help me out on this matter. Thanks

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  2. Barbara Ann Dayagro

    I was married in Philippines and was divorced in the UK,now I’m planning to marry again here in the Uk ,any lawyer can advice me what to do please.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Will send you an email.

      Reply
  3. Mj

    How much is the cost of filling divorce recognition in Philippines? And how long it takes?thank you very much ,

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Will send you an email.

      Reply
      • Jam

        Hello , Can you pls send me also info how much and what should I do to file recognition of divorce.
        I was married in Philippines to a foreigner but got divorced abroad. Now, I wanna remarry again here abroad and planning to change my last name to my new husband. Please help

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent you an email.

        It is possible to remarry in the Philippines, but you will need to undergo the court case for Recognition of foreign divorce.

    • Marianne

      How much is the cost of filling divorce recognition in Philippines? And how long it takes?thank you very much

      Reply
      • Lawyers in the Philippines

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    • A

      I also would like to know cost of filing recognition of divorce.And does it involve hiring a lawyer?

      Reply
      • Atty. Francesco Britancio

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  4. Ani

    Hi,

    I have been separated with my Filipino ex-husband for nearly 10yrs. I am now based in Europe and have a family of my own. Me and my partner can’t get married because I am technically married in PH law. I have heard about Judicial Recognition of Divorce from friends who has done it in Canada, I have no idea how this works here.

    I don’t have any plans of going back to PH as my family (including parents and siblings) are all here in Europe.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      I will send you an email.

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  5. Anonymous

    i am divorced from my japanese husband.i do now live here in the philippines and i want to remarry…i want to file for a recognition.. what is the process and how much will it cost?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      I will send you an email.

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  6. Cristina

    How much will it cost to have my divorced recognized in the philippines?
    and do i really have to be there in person to show my face in court?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      I will send you an email.

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  7. Huan tong hing

    Hi..I am Malaysian but currently I already divorced with my ex Filipina wife in my country..How much is the cost of filling divorce recognition in Philippines? And how long it takes?what should I need to file?can I remarry again in Philippines?thank u so much..

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  8. Lexa

    What are the requirements in filling for a recognition of divorce? And how much it cost?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  9. Tan Chee Wi

    Hi my girlfriend is a Filipino working in singapore who’s still married to her Phillipines husband. Can she obtain a divorce in singapore and than remarry in singapore to Singapore citizen? Can the government put her to prison if she returns to the Philippines?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Under Philippine law, the divorce she obtains in Singapore would be invalid.

      She must first annul her previous marriage in the Philippines to remarry.

      Reply
  10. Mae

    I have been reading about the process on filling for a recognition of divorce ,but its hard to find experienced lawyer to handle this case,can you help me? And how much it cost?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  11. Mona

    Im already divorce in Canada,and im planning to remarry again in the Phils.,
    is it possible to remarry again even in civil wedding while my declaration of recognition of foreign divorce is on process?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      You will be unable to obtain a marriage license in the Philippines because of the CENOMAR requirement.

      In order to remarry here, you will first need to finish the recognition of foreign divorce case and have the court decision granting recognition registered at the PSA.

      Reply
  12. cristina

    What are the requirements for recognition of divorce? How much will it cost? How long will it take?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  13. Katrina

    Hi there! What are the requirements for recognition of divorce? Is it possible to apply while in the US? How long does it take and how much? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  14. Janet

    Hi I am a Filipina working abroad and getting a new citizenship soon. I am still married in the Philippines and want to divorce. If my new country will not like to grant a divorce of my marriage, can I still obtain a divorce in another country? Would that divorce from a third country be recognized in the Philippines? Or must the divorce be from the country of my new citizenship?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Janet:

      It is quite likely that your new country will allow you to divorce. The specifics of the divorce naturally depend on the country’s laws.

      It is best to divorce in the country of your new citizenship as there are less documents to gather.

      If you divorce after you obtain new citizenship, you can then have it recognized in the Philippines.

      This will change your Philippine civil status back to single and avoid property issues down the road.

      Reply
  15. Karen Lee Henry

    Hi. I married in france and just got divorced in france. I reported my marriage to philippine embassy here and nos its reflected in psa records. What should i do now? Do i need a recognition of foreign divorce? How long is the process and how. Much?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  16. Katherine

    My husband already sent me a divorce paper from Netherlands. And the Netherlands Embassy sent me a copy as well. I want to file it so I can move on and remarry. What are the procedures? How much and how long it will take? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  17. Jennet

    Hi! I already have my divorce papers from South Korea. What are the procedure in filing the recognition of foreign divorce and how much does it cost?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  18. Regina

    Hi. How much does it cost to file a divorce recognition in Philippines? And how long does it take? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  19. Net

    Hi i am filipina, i am divorced in singapore by my ex foreign spouse. My us citizen fiancé applied for k1 fiance visa, The uscis approved it and now waiting for NVC and embassy interview. Do i need a recognition of foreign divorce? thank u so much

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  20. Rose

    How much does it cost to file a divorce recognition in Philippines? And how long does it take? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  21. Cassi

    Hi i am a uk citizen and i got married in phil.. i filled my divorced here in uk. I am planning to get married in philippines again with my fiancee. Do i need to get recognize my divorce in philippines so i can marry again in philippines, how long does it takes to get recognise my divorce and how much.? Thank u

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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    • Roy

      Hi. I’m a Canadian citizen and my ex-wife Is also one. We were married in the Philippines. I was granted a divorce last year and I want to file for recognition of divorce in the Philippines. How much will it cost me and how long is the process.

      Reply
      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent an email.

  22. Rene

    How much does it cost to file a divorce recognition in Philippines? And how long does it take? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  23. Blithe

    Hi i am a filipina who got marrief in the Philippines to a british. I divorced him in the uk and remarried here. I wanted to go home and re apply to come here on a spouse visa. Do i need to have my divorce recognised before i can apply for a spouse visa?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  24. Sir al

    How much does it cost and how long?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  25. Anna

    I am Canadian Citizen and got married in the Philippines last 2 years ago. We dont have child. May I know how long does it take to recognize divorce/annulment because I want to marry again in the Philippines.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  26. Josie

    Hi! What are my other options to have my Divorce be recognized in Philippines if upon obtaining my Divorce I was still a Filipino Citizen? I can’t re-file for a divorce anymore since it has been granted already. I just recently got my Citizenship and would like that divorce to be recognized there too. Thanks a lot😊

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  27. Florante

    I am now in USA, can I file a recognition of foreign divorce decree here? How much will it cost and how long? I also got married here, can my wife register (in Philippine consulate) that she is married even the recognition of foreign divorce decree is not yet finalize? thank you

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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      • Jo Ann

        Hello. How much does it cost to file a recognitin of foreign divorce and how long does it take?
        Hope to hear from you.

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent you an email.

  28. Angel

    Hi, my sister was a dual citizen (Filipino) when they got divorce with his ex husband (filipino) in UK. My sister bought property in Phils prior to their marriage in the Phils (Single name in title). Now that they were divorce, my sister plan to sell her property in the phils and got buyer, but upon processing, the lender of the buyer requesting cert of marriage with annotation of nullity of marriage in PSA. My sister and ex husband already had consent order with the court in UK stating that the property here in the phils she will have all the rights for the property, if my sister will fully pay the property and she did. Is there any way or options we can do to fast track processing the annotation of COM in PSA? They were married in Phils 2003 and divorced in UK yr 2007. Hoping for your assistance and advice. Thank you

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  29. Jacqueline

    Hi I am a Canadian citizen and married a filipino and married in the Philippines. Now I am divorced and I need a Cenomar for my property that I am buying. How can I obtain a certificate of recognition?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      I will send you an email

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  30. Tina

    I need to divorce my German husband we were married in the Philippines. We live in Germany now will a recognition of foreign divorce work?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  31. Angel

    Do we need to file petition to recognized divorce in the court here in the phils if I am selling my property here in the phils? Me and my ex husband already migrated in UK and planning to sell the property here and was able to got the consent of my ex husband thru court abroad that the property here in the phils he will transfer his rights to me and will not claim any rights to the property? Both of us already migrated in Uk and planning to sell my property (title under my single name)? Is a signed consent document enough to proceed and process the selling of property? Thanks

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  32. erin garcia

    Hi!What are the procedure in filing the recognition of foreign divorce and how much does it cost?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  33. M T

    Please send me details as to how, how much and how long the whole process will take.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  34. Chris

    Hi. I am an Australian citizen. I married a filipino in the Philippines. We recently were granted a divorce in Australia. Can I be the one to file for recognition of our divorce in the Philippines? If so what is required for this? What is the approximate cost? Also If I have met another Filipino and remarry in Australia does that have any legal implications if we travel back to the Philippines in respect to the previous marriage?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  35. Seanrry

    How long to it will be done the recognition of foreign divorce ?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  36. Sue P.

    Hello, i recently have been divorced from my austrian husband. the marriage and divorce have been taken place here in austria. i would now need help in filing for recognition of foreign divorce at the court in the philippines. can you please help me with information on required documents/translation/authentication. can the court process in the philippines take place without my appearance? thank you!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  37. Rubelyn

    How much is the cost of filling divorce recognition in the Philippines ?and how long it takes?Thank you very much

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  38. Jaycool

    I am Filipino citizen married to Foreign nationality.I am the one who filed for divorce. Can I file for recognition of foreign divorce in the Philippines even if I am the one initiated the divorce? How much would it cost? Where can I contact a lawyer to do it?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  39. Mathew.D

    Hi, Im Dutch National, married in the Philippines, divorced in The Netherlands. Now wanting to marry my fiancee in the Philippines. I have already my Cenomar from the Dutch embassy stating I am divorced from my previous wife and allowing me to remarry here in the Philippines. Is this Valid?

    Thanks.

    FAQ 13:
    Does a foreigner need to register his foreign divorce from his previous Filipino spouse and have it recognized here for him to remarry in the Philippines?
    Answer: It depends. A foreigner would need to do this if he wants to get married inside the country and a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) is required of him despite being a foreigner. Issues concerning subsequent immigration abroad sometimes also require obtaining recognition of foreign divorce.
    FAQ 14:

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  40. Anonymous

    How much will it cost me to have my divorce recognized here? How long will it take? thank you

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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      Reply
  41. Aldo

    May I know if I can already file for petition of foreign divorce if my ex wife was already married in Australia to an australian citizen and she was also able to obtain a divorced there but she is in the process of getting her citizenship yet in australia

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  42. Yvette

    I was married to an american citizen here in Ph and now divorced but when I retrieved our marriage certificate the marriage from his first marriage in the Ph was the one being given to me. I am confused which one to file a case of bigamy or recognition of foreign divorce. Please advise the procedure, documents and cost of both. Thank you and God bless you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  43. Europe Girl

    Hello! I am a Filipino citizen and now in Europe and planning to get divorce with my Filipino ex husband as we have been separated for more than 10yrs now and he has a new family already. Can I get married here once my divorce granted or my ex husband can file a case against me? Please I need suggestion/legal advice. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      As you are both Filipino citizens, any divorce you get is void.

      You must go through Annulment.

      Reply
  44. Ric

    Hi my friend is Canadian citizen previously married to a filipina but later divorced in his home country. He is now legally divorced but want to remarry a filipina, is his divorced recognised in the Philippines? Can he remarry in the Philippines? What requirements does he need to do that? Thanks for your reply.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

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  45. Joy

    How much and how long? I am divorced with my Japanese ex husband.

    Reply
    • Atty. Francesco Britancio

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      Reply
  46. Maru

    How much does it cost for a foreign divorce be recognized in the philippines?

    Reply
    • Atty. Francesco Britancio

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  47. David

    How much is the cost of filling divorce recognition in the Philippines ?and how long it takes? Also If I have met another Filipino and remarry in Australia does that have any legal implications if we travel back to the Philippines in respect to the previous marriage? Thanks

    Reply
    • Atty. Francesco Britancio

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  48. Che

    Hi – I am Canadian Citizen – was married in Philippines and we live in Canada until my divorced was finalized 2 yrs ago in Canada.
    I would like to marry my Filipino bf in Philippines hopefully soon so we can build our life together. Am I eligible to apply for Recognition of Foreign Divorce in Philippines and how much does it cost and how long will it take for the whole thing to complete?
    Appreciate the assistance – Thanks

    Reply
    • Atty. Francesco Britancio

      Sent an email.

      Reply

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