Legal Dynamics: Citizenship and Divorce

Discussions are welcome in the Forum. As more subjects here are discussed by the readers, the interaction of one topic with another (or between related laws) results to a legal melting pot, enriching the pool of topics to choose from.

For instance, we have discussed (“Divorce and Annulment in the Philippines“) that a Filipino – wherever he/she may be located in the world – is governed by Philippine laws on marriage. This means that while he/she can secure a divorce outside the Philippines, such divorce is NOT recognized in the Philippines. The same article also contains a discussion on the effect of losing Filipino citizenship vis-a-vis divorce. If a Filipino is naturalized as a foreign citizen and, in the process, loses his/her Filipino citizenship, such former Filipino can validly seek a divorce abroad and the divorce is recognized in the Philippines. In other words, after complying with the procedure in having the foreign decree of divorce judicially recognized (through a court action) here in the Philippines, the Filipino spouse may validly remarry.

Then came the new law (Republic Act No. 9225) that allows former Filipinos to re-acquire or maintain their Filipino citizenship. Here are the issues:

If a Filipino secures a divorce BEFORE losing his/her Philippine citizenship by naturalization as a foreign citizen (the divorce is not valid under Philippine laws), will the subsequent loss of Philippine citizenship have any effect on the validity of the previous divorce? Will it make any difference if the foreign decree of divorce, validly secured by a former Filipino, is not judicially recognized here in the Phils. before that former Filipino re-acquires his/her Philippine citizenship?

On the other hand, what’s the effect of the re-acquisition of Filipino citizenship on the foreign decree of divorce previously and validly secured?

I already suggested that the law students who had been asking me for thesis topics can pick up this one…and maybe provide us with the abstract of the study =) In the meantime, let’s hear what’s on your mind.

75 thoughts on “Legal Dynamics: Citizenship and Divorce

  1. dhaisy

    Good Day
    Im glad i found this website..
    I was married of an American national here in the Philippines last September 2003, 3 days after our wedding he flew back to USA. April 2006 he visited me here in the Philippines for 20 days. Then July 2007 he filed a divorce in the USA and i recieved the final decree of my divorce last December 2007. I live here in th Philippines…. I never been to U.S.A.
    I want to use my single name back but in the final decree of my divorce it doesnt show that he put my single name back and its not yet authenticated from the Philippine embassy in the U.S.A. What should i do? I BADLY NEEDED MY SINGLENESS. What are the requirements do i need to prepare to void or null my marriage record at the NSO and to get my singleness back.. I need my singleness..

    I hope you can help my problem..Please help me..

    Thanks More Power..

  2. Phoenix

    Hi all. I’ve been browsing around, and I want to understand this correctly, so I’m thanking you in advance for any clarity you can give me on this. If you have a woman in the Philippines who has long been separated from her husband, and she wanted to marry an American citizen, all she would have to do is come over here, get a divorce here, then a justice of the peace wedding, and then they’re an American citizen? Does the “K” visa apply anywhere here, or does this bypass all of that? If the “K” visa does apply, that’s a lengthy process. How do they manage to stay in country long enough for it?

    Thanks for any clarity on this *smile*

  3. Phoenix

    Oh, and my apologies if my question was repetitious…I’m trying to understand this, but still seem a little confused on the direct application.

    Again, thanks!

  4. paparazzi

    I am separated for over 8 years now. I’m working at the US. and have a new family back then in the Philippines. I have declared my legal wife in all my documents. Now, I’m planning to apply divorced here in the US for i want my 2nd family to be my dependent and apply them for h4 visa petition. By the way, I am not yet an American citizen nor holding green card. Is this possible? If we grant the Divorced, can i marry my domestic partner in other country? Can I apply them as my dependent and partner in my document already? Please advise

  5. alexa

    hi, im a filipina and i’ve been married to my husband chinese for 2 yrs.we were married at a city hall here in japan. after we got married me and my husband’s relationship changed.we don’t talk to each other that often,even though we live in the same house.i tried understanding that change,that maybe thats his personality,but i got tired of it.even whrn talked about the problem he just replies so what or i complain a lot.most of the time we piss each other and maybe thats mhy we end up not talking to each other.right now im livin with my mom,my husband is left at our apartment.i decided to divorce him,and he agreed but told me to file it myself.i read articles concerning the family code.i want re-marry someday,but how can i do that?please help me..

  6. babyally

    dear atty,
    I’m just wondering how could a Filipino woman can get married here in Philippines twice? one with a Filipino guy and one with japanese guy??? how is it possible? and what will be the case of that woman will be? is it dual citizenship case or what??? coz i don’t have any idea, she have 2 passport 1 japanese and 1 filipino passport both name was from the both guys that she married…please i need to know more.. Thanks so much and more power..

  7. tyne

    Dear Atty,

    My husband and I were married for more than 10 years now here in the Philippines. He has been working in Canada for several years already and I just found out that my husband has acquired a Canadian citizenship and is living with a wife and child (using his surname) in Canada. He won’t talk to me about the situation and I’m wondering if he divorced me in order to marry in Canada. Where can I go to find out if there really was a divorce (for me) and a marriage between him and the girl? What legal actions are available for me since he already is a Canadian citizen? Thank you very much.

  8. Pingback: Divorce – a call for arguments

  9. che1234

    Hi attorneys..
    I just need a help with my situation. I am previously a Filipina but I was naturalized as an American Citizen year 2007. My ex-husband(an American) and I were married in the Philippines 9 years back. Due to personal differences I decided to file a divorce And yah we are already divorce one year now. So basically I am an American citizen already when I filed my divorce. Now I am planning to file an annulment in the Philippines since I am already divorce here in US. Will I have the capacity to remarry again? Because I have a boyfriend who is a Filipino I wanna sponsor him on a Fiancee Visa..I wanna marry him here in states. please please please.. give me some advice.Thanks alot.

    God bless.

  10. ivyanna48

    I got married to a Canadian citizen( a filipino) He was married here in the Philippines with a filipina wife and filed their divorce after they become a canadian citizen. I would like to know if the marriage that we have is valid, we got a marriage license, had a civil wedding, and now he is planning to bring me to canada using a spousal visa, i read lots of documentation and cases concerning this matter however still got confused . Please help me understand the situation, as I understand by the late Corazon Aquino, it was recognized that any form of divorced filed after the person become a naturalized citizen in another country, is recognized here in the Philippines..I felt so bad with some comments from legal adviser telling me that my marriage is not valid.. and having it recognized by a court is just like spending a annullment procedures…

  11. amgirl16

    I have a boyfriend and we are planning to get married, the thing is he was married on 2001 and he and his wife filed for annulment last 2007. Until now he haven’t received any papers saying that the annulment is done because apparently the wife needs to show up to the judge. The wife is in NY and a US citizen now. She said she has no time to go home. anyway, the wife is saying that she will just file a divorce in the US. will that nullify the marriage in the Philippines?? please advise. Thank you!

  12. justcurious21

    My Korean boyfriend wants to marry me here in the Philippines but he is married in Korea. Is it possible for us to get married? How?

  13. SingaporeSling

    Hi! I am now US citizen, I didn’t know the time I left Philippines that the father of my children who asked me to sign a blank paper will use my signature to make a marriage certificate. He asked me to sign a blank paper saying that he will consult his lawyer to make a letter that I cannot oblique him for our children’s maintenance. I never love him and he just rape me when I got pregnant I always wanted to escape from him but unfortunately my parents insist to send me back to him because they will not allow me to live with them as an additional expenses to them that I since I bore a child with him, I should make him take care of me and my children. I manage to go and work abroad without realising he had produced a fake marriage certificate and I don’t know how did he manage to forward it to NSO declaring I am married to him. I just found out recently with NSO that this marriage certificate exist after applying for a CENOMAR. The time I went abroad 20 years back then I met a US citizen and we got married, assuming I am still single in my country records they never required anything from me in order to marry my US husband. After 20 years I went home using my US passport. I was told by my own mother that I have a marriage certificate with this Filipino and due to curiosity I applied for a CENOMAR and it did say that I am married to this Filipino and also married to my US husband. What do I need to do? I am now just US passport holder and US citizen alone, I am no longer Filipino citizen or dual passport holder. What is my status? If I decided to get a dual citizenship will this risk me for a bigamy? Do I need to file for an annulment even though I am not aware of this marriage existence? Thanks in advanced.

  14. hanna

    Dear Atty

    3 years na po akong kasal sa isang American,meron po kaming 3 anak.Kinuha nya po isa kong anak at sabi i pepetion ang visa ko at i didivorce ako sa america..Susustentuhan nya po mga anak namin sa states pwera ako..Inamin nya po sa akin 2 days ago na nakipg sex po sya saibang babae..hindi din po nya sinusuportahan mga anak namin dito sa bago po sya nka alis ng pinas 10 months po nya kami inabandona at walang sustento..2 weeks after delivery of my youngest daughter na basa ko po sa cp nya na merong syang ibang babae..ano po pwd ko ikaso at meron po ba akong habol?thank po

  15. Bianca

    What will be the property stands in stuation of Filipino become citizen of other country marries the foreigner In same country and they get divorce…these Filipino has property in Philippines title has not in it’s name yet still on process ….is the foreigner has a right to chase and get the share of these property?


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