Lack of Divorce Law and Catholic Opposition Leading to Dwindling Marriages in Philippines

by admin on October 10, 2018

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Over the past decade, more and more young Filipinos have soured to the idea of getting married.

In fact, since 2008, the total number of weddings taking place in the Philippines has dropped by more than 50,000.

Many reasons for the drop in marriages have been thrown out there, but the two most commonly cited are the fact that divorce is still illegal in the country and that the Catholic Church still heavily frowns on marriage breakups.

The Philippines is the last major jurisdiction without a law that grants the ability to get divorced, the only other country being the Vatican City.

But the government, in an attempt to promote marriages nationwide, is moving closer and closer towards passing a bill that would finally grant divorces under a variety of circumstances including abandonment, adultery, domestic abuse, and irreconcilable differences.

Absent of a divorce law, many Filipinos are afraid of committing for a life of marriage with no escape should thing go south, according to Father Melvin Castro, former head of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life in the Philippines.

And recent polls have shown that 53% of Filipinos are in favor of legalizing divorce in the country.

In general, the concept of “no-fault” divorce is not accepted among many Asian jurisdictions. However, jurisdictions such as Thailand allow for court filings based on Thailand’s ground for divorce, along with a form of “no-fault” divorce based on specific conditions.

Despite that fact, the Catholic Church which still holds a tremendous amount of sway in the Philippines has rejected the idea of allowing divorces under any circumstances.

Read the full story here.

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