Married life is just like a walk in the park especially if you found a partner who is ready to brave all the bad weather with you and for you—that's what most wedding vows say anyway: 'for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part'. However, in a world where love seems to be a gamble of trust and luck, there are people troubled by spouses who revealed their true colours a little too late.
In most countries, unhappy couples can immediately resort to the good old divorce, but in the Philippines, this is nothing but wishful thinking—it is, after all, the only state besides the Vatican where this process remains out of reach.
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Divorce is not technically impossible for everyone in the Philippines, for Muslims who make up at least 6 per cent of the country's population, this procedure is allowed. That is because Muslim-Filipinos adhere to a separate legal system called Code of Muslim Personal Law. This presidential decree allows divorce as “the formal dissolution of the marriage bond … to be granted only after the exhaustion of all possible means of reconciliation between the spouses.”
So how about the Catholics who make up majority of the country? If they're patient and financially secure, they can go through the long and hauling process of annulment.
In this procedure, the couple should prove that they have at least one of the following:
- Impotence (the lack of ability to reproduce)
- Undisclosed sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Lack of parental consent
- Fraud or force
- Mental incapacity