SC: ‘Divorce obtained by a Filipino against a foreign spouse is valid’
The Supreme Court has recognized the validity of a divorce decree obtained by a Filipino against her foreign spouse.
“A foreign spouse is also considered valid in the Philippines, even if it is the Filipino spouse who files for divorce abroad,” the high court, voting 10-3-1, said Tuesday.
The Japanese court on December 6, 2011 granted the petition for divorce filed by Marelyn Tanedo Manalo against her husband, Minoru Yoshino.
Manalo took her case to the Dagupan court so the judgment in the foreign court can be recognized in the Philippines. The lower court, however, denied her petition, prompting her to elevate the matter to the Court of Appeals (CA).
In 2014, the CA reversed the lower court’s decision.
Citing Article 26 of the Family Code, the Appeals court said it was amended “to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse.”
Citing the SC ruling in the case of Van Dorn vs. Romillo Jr., the appeals court added that “she should not be discriminated against in her own country if the ends of justice are to be served.”
The Office of the Solicitor General then took the case to the Supreme Court, which affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision.
The three dissenting votes were from Associate Justices Mariano Del Castillo, Estela Perlas-Bernabe and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa. Meanwhile, Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza inhibited from the case. /ee