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Van Dorn vs. Romulo Facts: Alice Reyes, a Filipina, married Richard Upton, an American, in Hongkong in 1972.

They established residence in the Philippines and had two children. In 1982, the wife sued for divorce in Nevada, U.S.A., on the ground of incompatibility. She later married Theodore Van Dorn in Nevada in 1983. Upton sued her before RTC, Branch LXV in Pasay City asking that she be ordered to render an accounting of her business, which Upton alleged to be conjugal property. He also prayed that he be declared with a right to manage the conjugal property. The defendant wife moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the cause of action was barred by a previous judgment in the divorce proceedings wherein he had acknowledged that the couple had no community property.

Issue: Whether or not absolute divorce decree granted by U.S. court, between Filipina wife and American husband held binding upon the latter.

Ruling: The pivotal fact in this case is the Nevada Divorce of the parties. There can be no question as to the validity of that Nevada divorce in any states of the U.S. The decree is binding on Upton as an American citizen. Hence, respondent cannot sue petitioner, as her husband, in any state of the United States. It is true that owing to the nationality principle under article 15 of the civil code, only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorce abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada released Upton from the marriage from the standards of American law. Thus, pursuant to his national law, he is no longer the husband of the petitioner. He would have no standing to sue in the case as petitioner husband entitled to exercise control over conjugal assets. He is also estopped by his own representation before the Nevada court from asserting his right over the alleged conjugal property. He should not continue to be one of her heirs with possible rights to conjugal property.