There are four additional grounds that the divorce bill will include in the list of reasons why a person may seek to dissolve his or her marriage. Bear in mind that the grounds listed for legal separation and annulment remain in effect and are carried into the divorce bill.
Below are the grounds under Article 55 of the Family Code, and Annulment under Article 55 of the same code:
- Physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner.
- Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation.
- Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than 6 years, even if pardoned.
- Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism or chronic gambling of the respondent.
- Homosexuality of the respondent.
- Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in the Philippines or abroad.
- Marital infidelity or perversion or having a child with another person other than one’s spouse during the marriage, except when the spouses have agreed to have a child through in vitro or a similar procedure, or when the wife bears a child as a result of being a rape victim.
- Attempt against the life of the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner.
- Abandonment without justifiable cause for more than a year.
- Those legally separated by judicial decree for more than two years can also avail of divorce.
- One of the spouses was older than 18 but younger than 21 at the time of marriage without the consent of a parent, guardian, or substitute parental authority unless, after the age of 21, the pair freely cohabitated and lived together.
- Either party was of unsound mind, unless such party, after coming to reason, freely cohabitated with the other.
- The consent of one party was obtained through fraud unless, despite after knowing the fraud, continued to cohabit as husband and wife.
- That the consent of one party was obtained by force, intimidation, or undue influence unless, despite the cessation of such, the pair continued to cohabit.
- That either party was incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and the incapacity continues or appears to be incurable.
- That either party is afflicted with a sexually transmissible infection that is serious or appears to be incurable.
The bill introduces four additional bases for divorce:
- Separation for at least five years at the time the petition is filed, with reconciliation highly improbable, except if the separation is due to the overseas employment of one or both spouses in different countries, or due to the employment of one of the spouses in another province or region distant from the conjugal home.
- Psychological incapacity of the other spouse as defined in Article 36 of the Family Code, whether or not the incapacity was present at the time of marriage or later.
- When one of the spouses undergoes gender reassignment surgery or transition from one sex to another.
- Irreconcilable marital differences and conflicts resulting in the total breakdown of the marriage beyond repair despite the efforts of both spouses.
What do you think of the listed grounds for divorce? Do you think these aptly cover all possible situations that an unhappily married couple may face?
We’d love to hear from you!