2018 FAQ Guide on the Recognition of Foreign Divorce

by | Sep 29, 2018 | Family Law, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

46 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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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.

  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.

      Reply
  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.

      Reply
  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.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  8. Lexa

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

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  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

      Sent you an email.

      Reply

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