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Padilla files bill recognizing civil effect of church decreed annulment

Senator Robin Padilla has filed a bill legalizing the civil effects of annulments filed before the church or other religious sects.

In filing Senate Bill 2047, Padilla explained that the only legal way to dissolve a marriage is through civil or court annulment which is processed with designated family courts.

“Church annulment…is processed by the sect through matrimonial tribunal based on the Canon Law. Its grounds, which are similar to civil or court annulments, include psychological incapacity, fraud, force or intimidation, insanity, mental illness, lack of consent, among others,” Padilla said.

“Despite such similarities, church or religious annulment is still not recognized by law, which renders problematic and discriminatory especially for those who are trapped in unhealthy, abusive, and miserable relationships,” he added.

The bill likewise seeks to provide the determination of the legal status of children whose parents have acquired Church annulment decrees, liquidation, partition,and distribution of the properties of the spouses, recording in the appropriate civil registries to subsequent marriage.

The proposed measure compels the spouses to record the church annulment decree in appropriate civil registries within 30 days from the issuance of the same decree, subject to the conditions that may be imposed by the church or the religious sect.

Section 3 of Senate Bill 2047 provides that the status of children of marriages subject to the church annulment or dissolution decree shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines.

In cases where the grounds for the church annulment or dissolution decree is not similar to any of the grounds provided in the Family Code, their common children born or conceived before the issuance of the church annulment shall be considered legitimate.

Section 6 of the proposed measure also allows former spouses to marry again after complying with the civil registry requirements and Article 52 of the Family Code, otherwise, the subsequent marriage shall be null and void.—AOL, GMA Integrated News