Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman filed a bill that seeks to legalize divorce in the country.
House Bill 78 or the proposed Absolute Divorce Act was filed in the 19th Congress because the Senate failed to act on a similar bill in the 18th Congress.
Under the bill, the grounds for absolute divorce are physical violence or grossly abusive conduct, moral pressure to compel a spouse to change religious or political affiliation, attempt to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement; final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or chronic gambling, homosexuality, bigamy, attempt against the life of the spouse and abandonment.
Under the bill, there must be a six-month cooling-off period after the filing of a petition for absolute divorce before a court can start trial of the petition "[e]xcept for grounds under summary judicial proceedings."
During the six-month cooling-off period, the court "shall exercise all efforts to reunite and reconcile the parties."
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The bill's requirement of a cooling-off period does not cover cases involving violence against women and their children "or attempt against the life of the other spouse or a common child or a child of the petitioner."
The 19th Congress will open in July.