Your next steps if you are divorced outside PH

With the Philippines now recognizing the validity of foreign divorces obtained outside the country, what are your next steps?

In this post, we’ll discuss the procedures you need to go through in order to get the State to recognize your foreign divorce.

Do I really need the Philippines to recognize your divorce?

Yes. Without the State’s recognition, your official records in the Philippines won’t reflect your current marital status. This will also hinder you to get married in the future.

One simple way of knowing whether the Philippines recognizes your divorce is by requesting for an Advisory of Marriage or, better yet, a Certificate of No  Marriage (CENOMAR), which you can obtain from the Philippine Statistics Office.

After getting your CENOMAR, still seek the state’s recognition of your foreign divorce. It will help you avoid legal problems such as marital rights and inheritance in the future.

What do I need to do to have my foreign divorce recognized?

Having your foreign divorce recognized by the state isn’t a simple matter of presenting documents. You’ll need to take it up to the Regional Trial Court and win your case. It might seem tiresome and stressful, but it is worth it.

Before you take your case up to the Regional Trial Court, here are things you need to do:

  • Prepare the following documents:
    • Philippine marriage certificate or record;
    • Official marriage certificate or record;
    • Report of Marriage of a Filipino married abroad;
    • Official copies of the foreign divorce documents;
    • Certified copy of the divorce law where you had your foreign divorce;
    • and Proof of citizenship (yours and your spouse’s).

The court might ask for supporting documents as different countries have different divorce procedures and paperwork. Send copies of these to your lawyer for review.

Another set of these documents will have to be certified by various government offices (such as the Civil Registrar and the Philippine Statistics Authority) before you present it to the court.

Foreign documents also need to be certified and authenticated by the respective foreign offices. A certified English translation is needed for documents in a foreign language.

  • With your certified documents, you’ll need to file a Petition for Recognition of Foreign Divorce, which will be drafted and signed by your lawyer and sworn to by you. Together, these documents will be presented to the Regional Trial Court in your respective city or province. Your case will then be raffled to an RTC branch, where a background check will be conducted to make sure you or your lawyer are not related to any court personnel. Other pre-hearing requirements includes the publication of your Petition, preparation of judicial affidavits for witnesses.
  • Evidence to support the divorce will also be presented to the court, after which your lawyer will submit the Formal Offer of Evidence and Memorandum. Once everything is filed and presented (and if there is no opposition), you only need to wait for the Court’s verdict. Since RTCs are especially busy, awaiting the decision might take a year or more. If your case is successful, head to the civil registrar with the Court’s Decision to annotate your marriage record.

Petitioning for your foreign divorce to be recognized by the state can be a lengthy process. If you’d like more details about the procedure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today at or (+632) 478 5826.

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