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AN ACT INSTITUTING DIVORCE IN THE PHILIPPINES,

PROVIDING FOR THE MECHANISM, QUALIFICATION, AND


EFFECTS FOR THE PURPOSE THEREOF
CHAPTER 1
Title, Policy and Definition of Terms
Section 1. Title. This Act shall be known as the Philippine
Divorce Act of 2016. It shall cover the grounds or
prerequisites, qualification, declaration and effects of the
dissolution of marital relations.
Section 2. Declaration of Policy. It is the policy of the State to
uphold and value the dignity of every human person as
reflected in the constitution. Corollarily, it shall be the
interest of the state to provide liberty, freedom,
protection and legal remedies to individuals from
oppressive and unhealthy bondage of marital relations if
and when there is a complete disintegration of
matrimonial life. The state also recognizes the Filipino
family as the foundation of the nation and accordingly, it
shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its
total development.
Section 3. Definition of Terms. For the purpose of this Act, the
following terms shall be defined as follows:
a. Divorce is the absolute dissolution of marital relation
and as such, the bond of matrimony is severed.
b. Legal Separation is a suspension of common marital
life and can be effected only by a decree of the court.
c. Marriage is a procedure by which a man and a woman
become husband and wife and the state of being
united to a person of the opposite sex in a

consensual and contractual relationship recognized


by law.
d. Adultery voluntary sexual intercourse between a
married man and someone other than his wife or
between a married woman and someone other than
his husband.
e. Fault - used to describe a type of divorce in which
either the husband or the wife can be blamed for the
breakdown of the marriage.
f. No Fault used to describe a type of divorce in which
neither the husband nor the wife is blamed for the
breakdown of the marriage.
g. Irreparable - the state where the marital relations is
beyond repair and no reasonable prospect of
reconciliation.
h. Innocent Spouse the spouse that is free from guilt of
any wrongful act that contributes to the breakdown
of marriage and is the aggrieved party on the divorce
action.
i. Guilty Spouse The spouse whose wrongful act or acts
causes the irreparable and disintegration of marital
life and is the guilty party on the divorce action.
k. Separation of Spouses a voluntary separation and
living apart of spouses in fact without any judgment
of the court.
m. Support refers to what is necessary for the recipient
to live and to maintain himself in accordance with
the recipients condition and circumstance.

n. Child refers to a person under the age of eighteen


(18) years.
o. Divorce action an action by which a decree of divorce
or other relief in connection therewith is applied for.
p. Abandonment refers to the act by which a spouse
abandons, forsakes and leaves the family home and
renouncing its responsibilities and evading its duties.

CHAPTER 2
Divorce, Grounds and Effects
Section 4. Divorce Action. When there is irreparable
breakdown of marriage and complete disintegration of
matrimonial life, a divorce action may be filed either on
the basis of fault or no-fault. A fault-based action shall
only be filed by the aggrieved party while a no-fault
based divorce may be filed by any or both parties.
Section 5. Grounds for Fault-Based Divorce. A petition for
fault-based divorce may be filed on any of the following
grounds:
a. Repeated attempt on the life of the petitioner by the
other spouse and or the life of the common child or the
child of the petitioner living in the family home;
b. Respondent spouse is found guilty of adultery;
c. Final judgment sentencing the respondent to
imprisonment of more than 12 years;
d. Abandonment of the respondent spouse for three
consecutive years without justifiable cause;
e. Incurable Mental Illness of the respondent spouse;
f. The petitioner has been legally separated from
respondent spouse for at least two years.

g. When any two or more of the grounds for legal


separation as provided in the Family code are evident
and attendant.
Grounds for Legal Separation as provided in Article 55
of the Family Code.
1. Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive
conduct directed against the petitioner, a common
child, or a child of the petitioner;
2. Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the
petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;
3. Attempt of respondent 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;
4. Final judgment sentencing the respondent to
imprisonment of more than six years, even if
pardoned;
5. Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the
respondent;
6. Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;
7. Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent
bigamous marriage, whether in the Philippines or
abroad;
8. Sexual infidelity or perversion;
9. Attempt by the respondent against the life of the
petitioner;
10. Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without
justifiable cause for more than one year.
Section 6. Grounds for No-Fault Divorce. A petition for nofault divorce may be filed on any of the following
grounds:
a. When the spouses had lived separately for five (5)
consecutive years and no attempt or occurrence of

reconciliation transpired. The mutual separation is


brought by irreconcilable differences;
b. When the spouses had live separately for at least 6
years of the previous 7 years, when there is occurrence
that the couple have lived together for short period/s of
time to attempt to reconcile. The mutual separation is
brought by irreconcilable differences;
c. Absence of the other spouse for 7 consecutive years
with the well-founded belief that the absent spouse was
already dead.
Section 7. Prohibition. The petition for divorce shall be denied
in any of the following conditions:
a. Even if the ground for divorce has been proven if the
divorce would be detrimental to the welfare of the
common minor children of the spouses;
b. When there is connivance between the parties in the
commission of the act constituting the ground for
divorce;
c. Presence of a common minor child below 5 years of age
except in cases where the action is based on the
grounds provided in Section 5 paragraphs a, b and c.
No divorce decree may be based upon a stipulation of
facts or a confession of judgment. The court shall take
steps to prevent collusion between the parties and ensure
that the evidence is not fabricated or suppressed.
Section 8. Filing and Prescription. A divorce action may be
filed anytime and shall prescribe in the following manner:
a. In the grounds mentioned in Section 5 paragraphs a, b,
and c, an action shall be filed within five years from the
time of the occurrence of the cause;
b. In the grounds mentioned in Section 5 paragraphs d, e
and f, and in Section 6 a, b and c shall not prescribe

provided that each respective


continue to manifest or exist.

conditions/grounds

Section 9. Waiting Period. A divorce action shall in no case be


tried before six months shall have elapsed since the filing
of the petition except in the grounds mentioned in
Section 5 paragraphs a, e and f, where trial may
commence immediately.
Section 10. Reconciliation. No divorce may be decreed unless
the Court has taken steps towards the reconciliation of
the spouses and is fully satisfied, despite such effort, that
reconciliation is highly improbable. If and when
reconciliation between the spouses is evident, the divorce
action shall be terminated by a motion from the
petitioner.
Section 11. Litigation Period. Upon filing the divorce action,
the spouses shall be entitled to live separately (if not yet
living apart).
The court, in the absence of a written agreement
between the spouses, shall designate either of them or a
third person to administer the absolute community or
conjugal
partnership
property.
The
administrator
appointed by the court shall have the same powers and
duties as those of a guardian under the Rules of Court.
During the pendency of the action and in the absence of
adequate provisions in a written agreement between the
spouses, the court shall provide for the support of the
spouses and the custody and support of their common
children. The court shall give paramount consideration to
the parent with whom they wish to remain. It shall also
provide for appropriate visitation rights of the other
parent.

Section 12. Divorce Decree. The court in granting a divorce


decree based on the action of Fault-Based divorce shall
rule on who is at fault for the divorce. The court may rule
based on the action filed under No-Fault divorce that one
spouse is guilty, that both spouses are guilty, or that
neither spouse is guilty. The identification and ruling of
the court of the guilty spouse shall be the sole basis of
the divorce decree ramifications on cost, support and
property relations.
Section 13. Effects of Fault-Based Divorce Decree. The
following are the effects of the decree of divorce when
one spouse is found guilty as the cause of the breakdown
of marriage.
a. Absolute dissolution of marital relations and both
parties are capacitated to remarry;
b. The absolute community of property or the conjugal
partnership, as the case may be, shall be dissolved and
liquidated and the share of the guilty spouse on the net
profits of the community of property or the conjugal
partnership property shall be forfeited in favor of the
common children or if there be none, the children of the
guilty spouse by a previous marriage or in default of
children, the innocent spouse.
The presumptive legitime of the common children,
computed as of the date of the granting of the divorce
decree shall be delivered to them.
The partition and distribution of the properties of the
spouses and the delivery of the childrens presumptive
legitime shall be recorded in the appropriate civil
registry and registries of property, otherwise, the same
shall not affect third persons.
All creditors of the spouses as well as of the absolute
community or the conjugal partnership shall be notified
of the proceedings of the liquidation.

c. The innocent spouse who is not gainfully employed


shall be entitled to support from the guilty spouse until
the former finds employment, provided that the support
shall last for not more than one year from the granting
of the divorce decree and that the right to support shall
be subject to the provision of support in accordance
with the Family Code. In the event that the innocent
spouse contracts a subsequent marriage within the
limits provided in this Act, such support shall be
terminated.
d. The innocent spouse may be awarded with actual,
moral and exemplary damages and shall be decided by
the court in accordance with the provisions of the Civil
Code on damages.
e. The children conceived prior to its dissolution shall be
considered legitimate and support in case of dispute
shall be decided by the court in a proper proceeding.
The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to
the innocent spouse while the rights of both parents to
be joint guardians shall continue.
f. Common children shall be entitled to support in
accordance with the provisions of the Family Code.
g. Donations by reason of marriage shall remain valid,
except that if the donee is the guilty spouse, donations
made to said done are revoked by operation of law.
h. The designation of the guilty spouse as beneficiary in
any insurance policy shall be revoked, even if such
designation be stipulated as irrevocable;
i. The parties shall be disqualified from inheriting from
each other by intestate succession. However, provisions
in favor of the innocent spouse made in the will of the
guilty spouse shall be valid.
Section 14. Effects of No-Fault Divorce Decree. The following
are the effects of the decree of divorce provided that
court found neither of the spouses was guilty or that both

spouses were guilty resulting to the breakdown of


marriage.
a. Absolute dissolution of marital relations and both
parties are capacitated to remarry;
b. The absolute community of property or the conjugal
partnership, as the case may be, shall be dissolved and
liquidated and, the assets and the net profits of the
community of property or the conjugal partnership
property shall be equally divided between spouses.
The presumptive legitime of the common children,
computed as of the date of the granting of the divorce
decree shall be delivered to them.
The partition and distribution of the properties of the
spouses and the delivery of the childrens presumptive
legitime shall be recorded in the appropriate civil
registry and registries of property, otherwise, the same
shall not affect third persons.
All creditors of the spouses as well as of the absolute
community or the conjugal partnership shall be notified
of the proceedings of the liquidation.
c. The children conceived prior to its dissolution shall be
considered legitimate and custody in case of dispute
shall be decided by the court in accordance with the
best interest of the children.
d. Common children shall be entitled to support in
accordance with the provisions of the Family Code.
e. Donations by reason of marriage shall remain valid.
f. The respective spouses may revoke designation of the
other spouse as beneficiary in any insurance policy,
even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable;
g. The parties shall be disqualified from inheriting from
each other by intestate succession. However, provisions
in favor of one spouse made in the will of the other
spouse shall be valid.

h. When the divorce decree was granted on the grounds


based on Section 6 paragraph c, the reappearance of
the absent spouse may revoke the divorce upon
consent of the petitioner, however, in the case when
the petitioner contracted a subsequent marriage, the
divorce decree shall not be revoked and remains valid.
Section 15. Transitory Period. For reason of public policy and
adherence to social norms, a transitory period of six (6)
months after the court granted the divorce shall be
established and shall prohibit the divorcee to contract
subsequent marriage before the termination of such
period except in marriage in articulo mortis. Marriage
contracted within this period shall be deemed null and
void.

CHAPTER 3
Final Provisions
Section 15. Suppletory Application of the Family Code.
Applicable provisions of the Family Code of 1998 shall be
suppletory to this Act.
Section 16. Separability Clause. If any part of this Act is
declared unconstitutional or invalid, the other provisions
not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and
effect.
Section 17. Repealing Clause. All laws, presidential decrees,
executive orders, administrative orders, rules and
regulations inconsistent with or contrary to the
provisions of this Act are deemed amended, modified or
repealed accordingly.

Section 18. Effectivity. This Act shall effect after fifteen (15)
days following its complete publication in the Official
Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general
circulation.