House approves divorce, dissolution of marriage bill on 2nd reading
The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to approve on second reading a bill which seeks to institute absolute divorce and dissolution of marriage in the country.
The lower Chamber had only started its period of debate and interpellation on House Bill 7303 last Monday.
The proposed measure seeks to “provide opportunity to spouses in irremediably failed marriages” to secure an absolute divorce decree under limited grounds, to “protect children from pain and stress resulting from their parents’ marital problems,” and to “grant divorced spouses to marry again.”
The bill also provides inexpensive court proceedings in securing absolute divorce.
Grounds for an absolute divorce include: those grounds stated under legal separation and annulment under the Family Code of the Philippines, separation in fact for at least five years, legal separation by judicial decree, for at least two years, psychological incapacity, gender reassignment surgery, irreconcilable differences, and joint petition of spouses.
Under the bill, overseas Filipino workers are also given priority on court hearings.
It also provides for a mandatory six-month cooling-off period for petitioner spouses, and also recognizes the reconciliation of the spouses through a joint manifesto under oath submitted to the court.
Following the bill’s approval on second reading, it would then be calendared for third reading to be followed by a voting before the plenary.
If approved, the bill would then be submitted to Senate. /je
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