Sen. Robin Padilla said he wants to free those trapped in “unhealthy, abusive and miserable relationships” by legalizing the civil effects of annulments filed before the church or religious sect.
In his proposed Senate Bill 2047 (Church Decreed Annulment Act), Padilla noted that since the Family Code of the Philippines provides that marriage may be solemnized by a priest, rabbi or minister of a church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, the same church or religious sect can have the power to rule on its nullity, “which ideally must take the same effect in the eyes of the State.”
“Whenever a marriage, duly and legally solemnized by a priest, minister, rabbi or presiding elder of any church or religious sect or any person authorized to solemnize marriages in the Philippines, is subsequently annulled or dissolved in a final judgment or decree in accordance with the canons or precepts of the church or religious sect in which the marriage was solemnized or in which either married partner is a member at the time of the request for the annulment or dissolution, the said annulment or dissolution shall have the same effect as a decree of annulment or dissolution issued by a competent court,” he said in his bill.
The status of children of marriages subject to the church annulment or dissolution decree shall be determined in accordance with the Family Code of the Philippines.
If the ground for church annulment or dissolution is not similar to any of the grounds in the Family Code, their common children born or conceived before the issuance of the church annulment decree shall be considered legitimate.
The bill also provides the spouses shall agree upon the partition and distribution of the properties and custody and support of the common children.
If no agreement is met, the Family Code’s provisions shall be in force.
The church annulment decree shall be recorded in appropriate civil registries along with the agreement of the spouses within 30 days from the issuance of the church annulment decree.
After this, either of the former spouses may marry again.