• If husband renounced Filipino citizenship, the divorce he obtained abroad may be recognized here

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    Dear PAO,
    My husband and I got married in 2003. He went to Canada right after our marriage to work as an OFW. Recently, I found out that he already filed a divorce case in Canada and he is now married there. I just want to know if I can likewise remarry. Thanks.
    Liza

    Dear Liza,
    It is public knowledge in the Philippines that a law is yet to be enacted allowing divorce between Filipino couples. However, divorce may be recognized in the country, if the marriage is between a Filipino and a foreigner and the latter was the one who obtained divorce in his/her country allowing him/her to remarry. This is explicitly provided by the Family Code of the Philippines as follows:
    “Art. 26. xxx

    Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated 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.”

    In your letter, you failed to mention whether or not at the time your husband obtained a divorce decree in Canada, he was already a Canadian citizen. If he was, the divorce may be recognized in the Philippines. Once recognized, you are qualified to remarry.

    Otherwise, even if a divorce is obtained by your husband in Canada that allowed him to remarry, which he already did, as far as our laws are concerned you are still married to him. Therefore, you may not remarry as this will make you liable for bigamy which is punishable by imprisonment under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. Be that as it may, you may file a Petition for Declaration of Nullity/Annulment of your marriage to your husband if a ground exists so that once granted, you may be eligible again to remarry.

    Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

    We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

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