I am a German living in the Philippines while my ex-Filipina wife is living in Germany. I obtained a divorce decree in Germany and I want to secure judicial recognition of the divorce decree here in the Philippines. Is this possible? The reason why I want this is in order for her not to get any share out of my properties when she returns here.
While a divorce decree may not be obtained in the Philippines because there is no Philippine law which permits our courts to issue such judgment, it is possible that foreign judgments, such as a decree of divorce validly obtained abroad, to be recognized or acknowledged as binding in the Philippines through a petition for judicial recognition of foreign judgment.
In your situation, you may opt to file the petition for judicial recognition of the said decree of divorce specifically for the purpose of protecting your rights over your personal properties which may be found here in the Philippines, especially if the divorce decree which you obtained from Germany particularly indicates that your former wife will no longer have any right over the properties that you own in Germany or elsewhere.
However, we would like to emphasize that our courts will not grant your petition based on the decree alone. It is essential for you to establish that said decree is authentic and that it is in consonance with your national law. As held by the Supreme Court, “x x x This means that the foreign judgment and its authenticity must be proven as facts under our rules on evidence, together with the alien’s applicable national law to show the effect of the judgment on the alien himself or herself. The recognition may be made in an action instituted specifically for the purpose or in another action where a party invokes the foreign decree as an integral aspect of his claim or defense x x x” (Corpuz vs. Tirol Sto. Tomas, G.R. No. 186571, August 11, 2010).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.