Filtered By: Lifestyle

One out of five Pinoy marriages is annulled

Marriage is not always “happy ever after” in the Philippines.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority indicated that one out of five married couples in the country are in splitsville, GMA News' 24 Oras reported Thursday.

In 2012 alone, 10,528 cases were filed for the nullity and annulment of marriages, equaling to 28 cases of nullity every day.

This is in light of the nearly half a million weddings which happen every year, or 1,330 marriage ceremonies every day.

Marriage counselor and clinical psychologist Dr. Violeta Bautista says many couples may have made the commitment without knowing what they were getting into.

"Meron bang eskwelahan na nagtuturo kung pa'no maging asawa? Couples just get into it na hindi man lang pinag-iisipan 'what is marriage all about'," said Bautista.

According to Article 68 of the Family Code, a couple must live together, "observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support."

Under the law, marriage is a contract that can't be broken. Annulment can only be filed if the marriage happened in the presence of fraud, mental illness, or absence of parental consent

Marriages can also be annulled if one party is forced by the other into the marriage, or if it cannot be consummated. If either party was found to have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) at the time of marriage, the partnership could also be dissolved.

Emotional distance and infidelity, surprisingly enough, are not grounds for an annulment.

For those with legal reasons for the split, bureaucracy is just half of the battle, since fees can run above P200,000, the lowest fee for getting the process done.

Senior State Prosecutor Atty. Noel Segovia explained that these measures are in place to protect the contract in which the state is party to.

"(Splitting up is) not as easy as signing a piece of paper and saying we have irreconcilable differences, we can no longer be together," said Atty. Sheila Bazar, a family law lawyer.

A predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines has not legalized divorce despite attempts from some lawmakers.

At the height of the 2013 senatorial elections, only a handful of candidates indicated they were in favor of divorce, with only one female candidate supporting the law. Most of these candidates did not win the race. —Rie Takumi/KG, GMA News