Breaking Up Is Not Hard To Do

What are your options if you want to dissolve a marriage? Do you even have any options.? Non-Muslim’s OFW in the UAE, take heed. Knowing where your relationship stands in the law is an imperative.


The Family Code of the Philippines provides limited grounds for filing a petition for annulment. The most common ground to render a marriage void is Article 36—psychological incapacity. Thus, if either party cannot comply with the essential marital obligations (to live together, observe mutual love, respect, fidelity, and render mutual help and support), the marriage can be declared void ab initio.

  • Annulment is recognized in the Philippines and anywhere in the world. When you remarry, it will be valid anywhere.
  • The effect of annulment is as if your marriage never existed. Declaring it void ab initio means the marriage is null and void from the very beginning.
  • Annulment is suggested if you have properties in the Philippines or planning to go back to the Philippines and marry a Filipino.  
  • Annulment can only be filed in the Philippines even if you were married abroad.
  • The annulment process takes a longer time to conclude.
  • The parties cannot mutually consent to an annulment. If the court is convinced that collusion exists, it shall dismiss the petition.
  • Annulment costs more as you will need to pay for the psychological evaluation and other incidentals (air fare going to the Philippines, among others.)


The annulment process starts with the filing of the petition with the Family Court of the province or city where  either spouse has been residing for the last 6 months prior to the date of filing, or in the case of a non-resident,where he or she may be found in the Philippines. The court will notify the other party to give his or her side. If the public prosecutor determines that there is no collusion between the parties, the case will be set for pre-trial so parties can agree on the facts surrounding the case. During this process, the parties will submit evidence for the evaluation of the court. If the court finds the petition meritorious, it will issue the decree of annulment after certain formalities with the Civil Registry and Register of Deeds (if there are properties involved) have been complied by the parties.


Breaking Up Is Not Hard To Do



Filipinos are governed by Philippine laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status, condition and legal capacity, even though living abroad. A divorce decree secured by a Filipino from a foreign court will not be recognized in the Philippines but will have legal and binding effect in jurisdictions where divorce is recognized.

  • Divorce is filed before the courts having jurisdiction over your residence. Thus, if you are a Dubai resident, the case will be filed before the Dubai courts. You need not go to the Philippines.
  • You and your partner can agree to request the court for a divorce. This will in fact make the process a lot easier. This is applicable even if your partner is outside UAE.
  • The decree of divorce can be issued by the court in about 3 months.
  • Divorce is suggested if you are marrying outside the Philippines, marrying a foreign national, have no properties in the Philippines, retiring abroad or acquiring another citizenship.
  • Divorce is not recognized in the Philippines; you will still be considered married to your previous partner as far as the Philippines is concerned.
  • Divorce is not advisable if you plan to live with your new partner in the Philippines.


The process of divorce in Dubai starts with the registration with the court’s Moral & Family Guidance section. A marriage counselor will mediate between the husband and wife for a possible reconciliation. If saving the marriage is unlikely, the case will be endorsed to the courts.  If the other party is outside the UAE, the court will order that a notice be sent to him or her by courier.If the judge is convinced that sufficient reasons exist to grant the divorce, a divorce decree will be issued.


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