Does Religion Play a Role in Divorce Law: Thailand vs. Philippines

by admin on May 16, 2023

The Philippines proposes a new law that will allow divorce for Catholic couples, under certain circumstances. As a strictly Catholic country, the current legal system in the Philippines does not allow divorce.

The new proposed law states that proof of valid “grounds,” or legal reasons, for divorce are necessary. There has to be evidence showing that the marriage is irreparable.

Although Buddhism has always been the main religion in Thailand, Thai law is secular, and Buddhism does not play a role in Thailand divorce law. However, in Thailand’s four Muslim Provinces, in the Southern region, do have Sharia, or Islamic courts where  may take religion as a factor in divorce cases.

On grounds for divorce, Section 1516 of the Thailand Civil and Commercial Code states that condition for divorce includes that if one spouse is found guilty of misconduct, criminal or not, that causes serious physical injuries to the other spouse, or the former spouse fails to provide proper support and the appropriate maintenance to his/her marriage partner.

Divorce law in Thailand permits couples to register their divorce at any district office providing that either husband or wife lives in the country and the proper grounds for divorce are given. This is only for circumstances where there is no disagreement between both spouses. Otherwise, the divorce would have to go through the Thailand Family Court.

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