Absolute divorce settles ‘inadequacies’ in legal separation, annulment – Lagman
Existing provisions for legal separation and annulment of marriage under the Family Code were no longer enough to aid distressed citizens, who are in toxic marital relations, and this make absolute divorce the “legal, logical and reasonable” measure, Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said on Thursday.
Lagman, one of the principal authors of the proposed law on divorce, argued that legal separation and annulment are “inadequate to completely liberate them from irremediably broken and dead marriages.”
While the spouses’ separation is legalized through legal separation, Lagman said they are prohibited from contracting a second marriage.
“The consequence is the spawning of illegal second or more co-habitations where the parties are liable for adultery or concubinage,” Lagman noted in a statement.
Meanwhile, Lagman explained that annulment of marriage refers only to the “voiding of marital unions due to causes existing at the time of the marriage.”
This means that annulment does not cover grounds which happened after the ceremony of the marriage, Lagman noted.
These grounds, he said, include insanity, impotency, and affliction with a sexually transmissible disease of either spouse, as well as grounds for legal separation due to marital infidelity, abandonment, addiction to drugs and alcohol, violence or grossly abusive conduct, imprisonment of more than six years, homosexuality, bigamy, and attempt against the life of a spouse.
“The ‘after the marriage’ grounds are more numerous causes for the break-up of marriages beyond repair, which the State must positively address,” Lagman stressed.
Lagman pointed out that divorce likewise resolves the inadequacies of legal separation and annulment, because it allows grounds which occur during the marriage, allows the divorced couples to remarry, and secures the custody and support for the children as well as alimony for the innocent spouse.
Last Monday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved on third and final reading House Bill 7303, which seeks to legalize absolute divorce and dissolution of marriage in the country. This is despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s opposition to the proposed measure.
The lower Chamber had also approved on final reading House Bill 7185, recognizing foreign divorce in the Philippines.
The controversial bills would then be transmitted to the Senate for its own deliberation and approval of the proposed measures. /kga