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Law and divorce around the world

Law and divorce around the world

Overview
This article is a general overview of divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

laws around the world. Every nation in the world except the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and the Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 allow some form of divorce.

In Muslim societies
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

, legislation concerning divorce varies from country to country. Different Muslim scholars can have slightly differing interpretations of divorce in Islam, (e.g. concerning triple talaq).

No-fault divorce
No-fault divorce
No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage requires neither a showing of wrong-doing of either party nor any evidentiary proceedings at all...

 is allowed in Muslim societies, although normally only with the consent of the husband.
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Encyclopedia
This article is a general overview of divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

laws around the world. Every nation in the world except the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and the Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 allow some form of divorce.

Muslim societies


In Muslim societies
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

, legislation concerning divorce varies from country to country. Different Muslim scholars can have slightly differing interpretations of divorce in Islam, (e.g. concerning triple talaq).

No-fault divorce
No-fault divorce
No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage requires neither a showing of wrong-doing of either party nor any evidentiary proceedings at all...

 is allowed in Muslim societies, although normally only with the consent of the husband. A wife seeking divorce is normally required to give one of several specific justifications (see below).

If the man seeks divorce or was divorced, he has to cover the expenses of his ex-wife feeding his child and expenses of the child until the child is two years old (that is if the child is under two years old). The child is still the child of the couple despite the divorce.

If it is the wife who seeks divorce, she must go to a court. She must provide evidence of ill treatment, inability to sustain her financially, sexual impotence on the part of the husband, her dislike of his looks, etc. The husband may be given time to fix the problem, but if he fails, the appointed judge will grant divorce should the couple still wish to be divorced.

Argentina


In Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, the legalisation of divorce was the result of a struggle between different governments and conservative groups, mostly connected to the Catholic Church. The first attempt to introduce the law was in 1888, but conservative and religious groups kept blocking the bill, which never became a law.

Only in 1954, President Juan Domingo Perón, who was opposed to the Church, had the law passed for the first time in the country. But Perón was forced out of the presidency one year later by a military revolt, and the government that succeeded him, abolished the law.

Finally, in 1987, President Raúl Alfonsín
Raúl Alfonsín
Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín was an Argentine lawyer, politician and statesman, who served as the President of Argentina from December 10, 1983, to July 8, 1989. Alfonsín was the first democratically-elected president of Argentina following the military government known as the National Reorganization...

 tried to pass the law again, under the strong opposition of a part of the Church, and the tolerance of another part, that nonetheless stated that the new right was not for Catholics, but for the rest of the Argentine society. The most intransigent sectors of the Church asked for the law not to be promulgated, after Congress passed it. They even considered excommunicating the Congress members who had voted favourably. Although this idea was eventually left aside, one bishop did excommunicate Congress members under his jurisdiction.

Brazil


Presumably due to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, divorce became legal in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 only in 1977. Since January 2007, Brazilian couples can request a divorce at a notary's office when there is a consensus and have no underage or special-needs children. The divorcees need only to present their national IDs, marriage certificate and pay a fee to initiate the process, which is completed in two or three weeks.

Previously, a one-year period of separation was required by law before a divorce could take place. However, after the 66th amendment to the country's constitution in 2010, such separation is no longer necessary. Therefore, currently, as long as there is agreement between the divorcees and there are no underage children or incapable persons involved, a divorce may be performed by a notary.

Canada


Canada did not have a federal divorce law until 1968. Before that time, the process for getting a divorce varied from province to province. In Newfoundland and Quebec, it was necessary to get a private Act of Parliament in order to end a marriage. Most other provinces incorporated the English Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857
Matrimonial Causes Act 1857
The Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 was an Act of Parliament passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act reformed the law on divorce, moving litigation from the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts to the civil courts, establishing a model of marriage based on contract rather than...

 which allowed a husband to get a divorce on the grounds of his wife's adultery and a wife to get one only if she established that her husband committed any of a list of particular sexual behaviours but not simply adultery. Some provinces had legislation allowing either spouse to get a divorce on the basis of adultery.

The federal Divorce Act of 1968 standardized the law of divorce across Canada and introduced the no-fault concept of permanent marriage breakdown as a ground for divorce as well as fault based grounds including adultery, cruelty and desertion.

In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, while civil and political rights are in the jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

 of the provinces, the Constitution of Canada
Constitution of Canada
The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada; the country's constitution is an amalgamation of codified acts and uncodified traditions and conventions. It outlines Canada's system of government, as well as the civil rights of all Canadian citizens and those in Canada...

 specifically made marriage and divorce the realm of the federal government
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

. Essentially this means that Canada's divorce law is uniform throughout Canada, even in Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, which differs from the other provinces in its use of the civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 as codified in the Civil Code of Quebec
Civil Code of Quebec
The Civil Code of Quebec is the civil code in force in the province of Quebec, Canada. The Civil Code of Quebec came into effect on January 1, 1994, except for certain parts of the book on Family Law which were adopted by the National Assembly in the 1980s...

 as opposed to the common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 that is in force in the other provinces and generally interpreted in similar ways throughout the Anglo-Canadian provinces.

The Canada Divorce Act recognizes divorce only on the ground of breakdown of the marriage. Breakdown can only be established if one of three grounds hold: adultery
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

, cruelty, and being separated for one year. Most divorces proceed on the basis of the spouses being separated for one year, even if there has been cruelty or adultery. This is because proving cruelty or adultery is expensive and time consuming.
The one-year period of separation starts from the time at least one spouse intends to live separate and apart from the other and acts on it. A couple does not need a court order to be separated, since there is no such thing as a "legal separation
Legal separation
Legal separation is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a de facto separation while remaining legally married. A legal separation is granted in the form of a court order, which can be in the form of a legally binding consent decree...

" in Canada.
A couple can even be considered to be "separated" even if they are living in the same dwelling. Either spouse can apply for a divorce in the province in which either the husband or wife has lived for at least one year.

On September 13, 2004, the Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 Court of Appeal declared a portion of the Divorce Act also unconstitutional for excluding same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

s, which at the time of the decision were recognized in three provinces and one territory
Same-sex marriage in Canada
On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition...

. It ordered same-sex marriages read into that act, permitting the plaintiffs, a lesbian
Lesbian
Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who are characterized by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality, or as an...

 couple, to divorce.

Alberta Divorce Law


In Alberta, The Family Law Act gives clear guidelines to family members, lawyers and judges about the rights and responsibilities of family members. It does not cover divorce, and matters involving family property, and child protection matters. The Family Law Act replaces the Domestic Relations Act, the Maintenance Order Act, the Parentage and Maintenance Act, and parts of the Provincial Court Act and the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

The Family Law Act can be viewed and printed from the Alberta Queen's Printer website.http://www.qp.gov.ab.ca

One goes to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta
The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta is the superior court of the Canadian province of Alberta....

 to obtain a declaration of parentage for all purposes if someone has property to be divided or protected court and or for a declaration of irreconcilability.

Separation or Divorce


There is no such thing a legal separation in Canada. Sometimes, when people say they are legally separated, they mean is that they have entered into a legally binding agreement, sometimes called a Separation Agreement, a Divorce Agreement, a Custody, Access and Property Agreement, or a Minutes of Settlement. These types of agreements are usually prepared by lawyers, signed in front of witnesses, and legal advice is given to both parties signing the agreement. However, these types of agreements will, in most cases, be upheld by the courts.http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca/ProvincialCourt/FamilyJusticeServices/FamilyLawInformationCentres/CommonQuestions/tabid/139/Default.aspx

France


The French Civil code
Civil code
A civil code is a systematic collection of laws designed to comprehensively deal with the core areas of private law. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure...

 (modified on January 1, 2005), permits divorce for 4 different reasons; mutual consent (which comprises over 60% of all divorces); acceptance; separation of 2 years; and due to the 'fault' of one partner (accounting for most of the other 40%).

India


In Hindu religion marriage is sacrament and not a contract, hence divorce was not recognized before the codification of the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955. With the codification of this law, men and women both are equally eligible to seek divorce. Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains are governed by the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Christians are governed by The Divorce Act 1869, Parsis by the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936, Muslims by the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939 and Inter-religious marriages are governed by The Special Marriage Act 1954.

Conditions are laid down to perform a marriage between a man and woman by these laws. Based on these a marriage is validated, if not it is termed as void marriage or voidable marriage at the option of either of the spouse. Here upon filing a petition by any one spouse before the Court of law a decree of nullity is passed declaring the marriage as null and void.

A valid marriage can be dissolved by a decree of dissolution of marriage or divorce and Hindu Marriage Act, The Divorce Act and Special Marriage Act allow such a decree only on specific grounds as provided in these acts: cruelty
Cruelty
Cruelty can be described as indifference to suffering, and even positive pleasure in inflicting it. If this is supported by a legal or social framework, then receives the name of perversion. Sadism can also be related to this form of action or concept....

, adultery
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

, desertion
Desertion
In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a "duty" or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning...

, apostasy
Apostasy
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

 from Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, impotency, venereal disease, leprosy
Leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

, joining a religious order, not heard of being alive for a period of seven years, or mutual consent where no reason has to be given. Since each case is different, court interpretations of the statutory law gets evolved and have either narrowed or widened their scope.

Family Courts are established to file, hear and dispose of such cases.

Women empowerment and the age old family system of husband being the head and such other several factors has given a sharp rise in marital discords, Indian Courts are flooded with such divorce petitions making the divorce process more traumatising and time consuming.

Ireland


The largely Catholic population of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 has tended to be averse to divorce. The position has changed in recent times with a sizeable increase in the number of divorces granted by the Irish Courts. Divorce was prohibited by the 1937 Constitution
Constitution of Ireland
The Constitution of Ireland is the fundamental law of the Irish state. The constitution falls broadly within the liberal democratic tradition. It establishes an independent state based on a system of representative democracy and guarantees certain fundamental rights, along with a popularly elected...

. While in 1986 the electorate rejected the possibility of allowing divorce in a referendum, the prohibition was ultimately repealed by a 1995 referendum
Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland
The Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland repealed the constitutional prohibition of divorce. It was effected by the Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1995, which was approved by referendum on 24 November 1995 and signed into law on 17 June 1996.-Changes to the...

 which repealed the prohibition on divorce, despite Church opposition. Laws to give effect to the new position came into effect in 1997, making divorce possible for parties who are separated for four out of the preceding five years. Divorce will not be granted in the Republic of Ireland for any other criteria. It is more difficult to obtain a divorce in Ireland than in other jurisdictions.

A couple must be separated for four of the preceding five years before they can obtain a divorce. It is sometimes possible to be considered separated while living under the same roof.

Divorces obtained outside Ireland are only recognised by the State if either:
  • at least one of the spouses was domiciled within the jurisdiction which issued the decree of divorce at the time of issue, or
  • the state is required to recognise the divorce pursuant to the relevant European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     regulations — currently Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility.

Italy


Divorce is legal in Italy since a referendum approved on May 13, 1974. Before that, it was generally believed that Italy's obligations under the Lateran Treaty, entered into in 1929, prohibited Italy from authorizing divorce, and, consequently, there was no provision for divorce in Italian law, and the difficulty of ridding oneself of an unwanted spouse in the absence of any legal way to do so was a frequent topic of drama and humor, reaching its apotheosis in the 1961 film Divorce, Italian Style
Divorce, Italian Style
Divorce, Italian Style is a 1961 Italian comedy film directed by Pietro Germi. The screenplay was written by Ennio De Concini, Pietro Germi, Alfredo Giannetti, and Agenore Incrocci; based on the novel Un delitto d'onore by Giovanni Arpino...

.

Japan


In Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, there are four types of divorce: Divorce by Mutual Consent, Divorce by Family Court Mediation, Divorce by Family court
Family court
A family court is a court convened to decide matters and make orders in relation to family law, such as custody of children. In common-law jurisdictions "family courts" are statutory creations primarily dealing with equitable matters devolved from a court of inherent jurisdiction, such as a...

 Judgement, and Divorce by District Court Judgment.

Divorce by mutual consent is a simple process of submitting a declaration to the relevant government office that says both spouses agree to divorce. This form is often called the "Green Form" due to the wide green band across the top. If both parties fail to reach agreement on conditions of a Divorce By Mutual Consent, such as child custody which must be specified on the divorce form, then they must use one of the other three types of divorce. Foreign divorces may also be registered in Japan by bringing the appropriate court documents to the local city hall along with a copy of the Family Registration of the Japanese ex-spouse. If an international divorce includes joint custody of the children, it is important to the foreign parent to register it themselves, because joint custody is not legal in Japan. The parent to register the divorce may thus be granted sole custody of the child according to Japanese law.

Divorce by Mutual Consent in Japan differs from divorce in many other countries, causing it to not be recognized by all countries. It does not require the oversight by courts intended in many countries to ensure an equitable dissolution to both parties. Further, it is not always possible to verify the identity of the non Japanese spouse in the case of an international divorce. This is due to two facts. First, both spouses do not have to be present when submitting the divorce form to the government office. Second, a Japanese citizen must authorize the divorce form using a personal stamp (hanko), and Japan has a legal mechanism for registration of personal stamps. On the other hand, a non-Japanese citizen can authorize the divorce form with a signature. But there is no such legal registry for signatures, making forgery of the signature of a non-Japanese spouse difficult to prevent at best, and impossible to prevent without foresight. The only defense against such forgery is, before the forgery occurs, to submit another form to prevent a divorce form from being legally accepted by the government office at all. This form must be renewed every six months.

Malta


Despite civil marriage
Civil marriage
Civil marriage is marriage performed by a government official and not a religious organization.-History:Every country maintaining a population registry of its residents keeps track of marital status, and most countries believe that it is their responsibility to register married couples. Most...

 being introduced in 1975, no provision was made for divorce except for the recognition of divorces granted by foreign courts. Legislation introducing divorce came into effect in October 2011 following the result of a referendum on the subject
Maltese divorce referendum, 2011
The divorce referendum was held in Malta on 28 May 2011 to consult the electorate on the introduction of divorce, and resulted in a majority of the voters approving legalisation of divorce. At that time, Malta was one of only three countries in the world, along with the Philippines and the Vatican...

 earlier in the year. It provides for no-fault divorce
No-fault divorce
No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage requires neither a showing of wrong-doing of either party nor any evidentiary proceedings at all...

, with the marriage being dissolved through a Court judgement following the request of one of the parties, provided the couple has lived apart for at least four years out of the previous five and adequate alimony
Alimony
Alimony is a U.S. term denoting a legal obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex-spouse upon divorce...

 is being paid or is guaranteed. The same law made a number of important changes regarding alimony, notably through extending it to children born of marriage who are still in full-time education or are disabled and through protecting alimony even after the Court pronounces a divorce.

Philippines


Philippine law, in general, does not provide for divorce inside the Philippines. The only exception is with respect to Muslims, who are allowed to divorce in certain circumstances. For those not of the Muslim faith, the law only allows annulment
Annulment
Annulment is a legal procedure for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place...

 of marriages. Article 26 of the Family Code of the Philippines does provide that
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.


This would seem to apply only if the spouse obtaining the foreign divorce is an alien. However, the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

 declared in the case of RP vs. Orbecidio
[..] we are unanimous in our holding that Paragraph 2 of Article 26 of the Family Code (E.O. No. 209, as amended by E.O. No. 227), should be interpreted to allow a Filipino citizen, who has been divorced by a spouse who had acquired foreign citizenship and remarried, also to remarry.


Complications can arise, however. For example, if a legally married Filipino citizen obtains a divorce outside of the Philippines, that divorce would not be recognized inside the Philippines. If that person (now unmarried outside of the Philippines) then remarries outside of the Philippines, he or she could arguably be considered in the Philippines as having committed the crime of bigamy
Bigamy
In cultures that practice marital monogamy, bigamy is the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another. Bigamy is a crime in most western countries, and when it occurs in this context often neither the first nor second spouse is aware of the other...

 under Philippine Laws. The above complications will not arise if the legally married Filipino citizen obtains foreign citizenship first, then secures a foreign divorce decree.

Also, Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides that
Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.


This can lead to complications regarding distribution of conjugal property, inheritance rights, etc.
, etc.

In Article 26, paragraph 2 a number of questions can be raised with respect to the operation of this provision, to wit:
  1. Is there a need for a judicial decree in Philippine courts to declare the Filipino spouse qualified to remarry? The Family Code has no explicit provision to that effect, unlike in cases of void marriages and of a remarriage in case of absence of one of the spouses amounting to presumptive death (Art. 40 and 41, Family Code) where a court decree is required.
  2. Is Art. 26, par. 2 applicable to foreign divorces obtained before the effectivity of the Family Code in view of Art. 256?
  3. What if the Filipino spouse does not intend to remarry, what is the status of any children they may have after the divorce decree? Does the Filipino spouse have a right to demand support from his/her former alien spouse? What is his/her status with respect to his/her former foreign spouse? Can he/she claim share of property or income acquired by the former foreign spouse.


The process of the divorce annulment is an expensive one; it cost about 100,000–200,000 pesos or 2000–4,000 US dollars, which is about a year's wages for a typical Filipino. The process usually takes 1–2 years.

One of the steps in the process is a psychological assessment for use or reason of annulment. This costs an additional 10,000–15,000 pesos or 200–300 US dollars.

Another step in the process is an interview with a court appointed social worker to eliminate possible "collusion" among the parties involved especially if there are children. Children under the age of 7 are awarded to the mother. There are no standards in child support or support to spouse to maintain her previous standard in society.

The general assumption for this reason for annulment is that the government is influenced by the Catholic religion and continues to be advised by their leadership rather than a democratic process. However, this conclusion is not necessarily true, and even under the administration of non-Catholic leaders, divorce continues to be a non-issue among majority of Filipinos.

It can be said, instead, that Filipinos (Catholic or not) have an aversion to divorce as they view the family to be sacrosanct and that divorce, in their perception, is absolutely destructive of this. General Filipino perception of divorce is based on the "no-fault" divorce prevalent in some US states which, in their view, is absurd since a divorce (or a separation of partners, at the least) should only be considered if there is a breach in the marriage and not the "whimsical" drive of no-fault divorces.

There is also a lack of general clamor for divorce to be made legal and all attempts to ratify it into law have failed. Intellectuals and some social and civic groups have tried to appeal to the masses to change its perception of divorce but this has failed from time to time.

Filipino law, as stated above, does make some concession to Muslims, though.

Sweden


To divorce in Sweden the couple can file for divorce together or one party can file alone. If they have children under 16 living at home or one party does not wish to get divorced there is a required contemplation period of 6 to 12 months. During this period they stay married and the request must be confirmed after the waiting period for the divorce to go through.

England and Wales


A divorce in England and Wales is only possible for marriages of more than one year and when the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Whilst it is possible to defend a divorce, the vast majority proceed on an undefended basis. A decree of divorce is initially granted 'nisi', i.e. (unless cause is later shown), before it is made 'absolute'.
Relevant laws are:
  • Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which sets out the basis for divorce (part i) and how the courts deal with financial issues, known as ancillary relief
    Ancillary relief
    In English law, an application for financial relief following the presentation of a petition for divorce, nullity or judicial separation is described as ancillary relief...

     (part ii)
    • Cruelty has been made irrelevant. See Gollins v Gollins [1964] A.C. 644
  • Family Law Act 1996
  • Children Act 1989
    Children Act 1989
    The Children Act 1989 is a British Act of Parliament that altered the law in regard to children. In particular, it introduced the notion of parental responsibility. Later laws amended certain parts of the Children Act...

  • Family Proceedings Courts (Matrimonial Proceedings etc.) Rules 1991
    Family Procedure Rules
    The Family Procedure Rules , often abbreviated FPR, govern the procedures used in family courts in England and Wales...

  • Marriage Act 1949
    Marriage Act 1949
    The Marriage Act 1949 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom regulating marriages in England and Wales. The act abolished marriages for those under 16 years of age in England and Wales....

  • Marriage Act 1994
    Marriage Act 1994
    The Marriage Act 1994 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Introduced as a private member's bill by Gyles Brandreth, it amended the Marriage Act 1949 to allow marriages to be solemnized in certain "approved premises". Prior to the act, marriage ceremonies could only be conducted in...

  • Gender Recognition Act 2004
    Gender Recognition Act 2004
    The Gender Recognition Act 2004 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that allows transsexual people to change their legal gender. It came into effect on 4 April 2005.-Operation of the law:...



Here is a rough outline of the undefended divorce procedure from start to finish:
  1. Filing of Divorce Petition & if necessary Statement of Arrangements for the Children
  2. Documents issued by Court and posted to the Respondent
  3. Respondent returns Acknowledgement of Service to the Court (if he/she does not you will need to consider Bailiff Service, Deemed Service or other options)
  4. Petitioner completes Affidaviti in Support of Petition and Request for directions
  5. A Judge will then consider all the divorce papers and if he/she is satisfied issue a Certificate of Entitlement to a Decree and Section 41 Certificate (confirming he/she is content with arrangements for any children)
  6. Decree Nisi is granted
  7. Six weeks later the application can be made by the Petitioner for the Decree Absolute.


From beginning to end, if everything goes smoothly and Court permitting, it takes around 6 months.

If there are any outstanding financial issues between the parties, most solicitors would advise resolving these by way of a 'Clean Break' Court order prior to obtaining the Decree Absolute.

There is only one 'ground' for divorce under English law. That is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

There are however five 'facts' that may constitute this ground. They are:
  1. Adultery
    • often now considered the 'nice' divorce.
    • respondents admitting to adultery will not be penalised financially or otherwise.
  2. Unreasonable behaviour (most common ground for divorce today http://www.lawpack.co.uk/separation-and-divorce/articles/article925.asp)
    • the petition must contain a series of allegations proving that the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her.
    • the allegations may be of a serious nature (e.g. abuse or excessive drinking) but may also be mild such as having no common interests or pursuing a separate social life http://www.lawpack.co.uk/separation-and-divorce/articles/article925.asp; the courts won't insist on severe allegations as they adopt a realistic attitude: if one party feels so strongly that a behaviour is "unreasonable" as to issue a divorce petition, it is clear that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and it would be futile to try to prevent the divorce. http://www.terry.co.uk/divorce1.html
  3. Two years separation (if both parties consent)
    • both parties must consent
    • the parties must have lived separate lives for at least two years prior to the presentation of the petition
    • this can occur if the parties live in the same household, but the petitioner would need to make clear in the petition such matters as they ate separately, etc.
  4. Two years desertion
  5. Five years separation (if only one party consents)

Scotland


About one third of marriages in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 end in divorce, on average after about thirteen years.
Actions for divorce in Scotland may be brought in either the Sheriff Court
Sheriff Court
Sheriff courts provide the local court service in Scotland, with each court serving a sheriff court district within a sheriffdom.Sheriff courts deal with a myriad of legal procedures which include:*Solemn and Summary Criminal cases...

 or the Court of Session
Court of Session
The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland, and constitutes part of the College of Justice. It sits in Parliament House in Edinburgh and is both a court of first instance and a court of appeal....

. In practice, it is only actions in which unusually large sums of money are in dispute, or with an international element, that are raised in the Court of Session
Court of Session
The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland, and constitutes part of the College of Justice. It sits in Parliament House in Edinburgh and is both a court of first instance and a court of appeal....

. If, as is usual, there are no contentious issues, it is not necessary to employ a lawyer. Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976.

The Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976 provides for separation as a "fact" of irretrievable breakdown after one year with consent or two years without consent after the amendments by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006. Family law issues are devolved, so are now the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

 and Scottish Executive
Scottish Executive
The Scottish Government is the executive arm of the devolved government of Scotland. It was established in 1999 as the Scottish Executive, from the extant Scottish Office, and the term Scottish Executive remains its legal name under the Scotland Act 1998...

.

Financial consequences of divorce are dealt with by the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985. This provides for a division of matrimonial property on divorce. Matrimonial property is generally all the property acquired by the spouses during the marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 but before their separation, as well as housing and furnishings acquired for use as a home before the marriage, but excludes property gifted or inherited. Either party to the marriage can apply to the court for an order under the 1985 Act. The court can make orders for the payment of a capital
Financial capital
Financial capital can refer to money used by entrepreneurs and businesses to buy what they need to make their products or provide their services or to that sector of the economy based on its operation, i.e. retail, corporate, investment banking, etc....

 sum, the transfer of property, the payment of periodical sums, and other incidental orders. In making an order, the court is, under the Act, guided by the following principles:
  1. The net value of the matrimonial property should be shared fairly, and the starting point is that it should be shared equally; but
  2. fair account should be taken of economic advantage derived by either party from contributions by the other, and of economic disadvantage suffered by either party in the interests of the other party or of the family; and
  3. The economic burden of caring for a child of the marriage under 16 years should be shared fairly between the parties (but child support is not normally awarded by the court, as this is in most cases a matter for the Child Support Agency
    Child Support Agency
    The Child Support Agency is a delivery arm of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission in Great Britain and the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland...

    ).


The general approach of the Scottish courts is to settle financial issues by the award of a capital sum if at all possible, allowing for a ‘clean break’ settlement, but in some cases periodical allowances may be paid, usually for a limited period. Fault is not normally taken into account.

Decisions as to parental responsibilities, such as residence and contact orders, are dealt with under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. The guiding principle is the best interests of the child, although the starting assumption is in practice that it is in a child’s best interests to maintain contact with the non-custodial parent.

United States



Divorce in the United States is a matter of state rather than federal law. In recent years, however, more federal legislation has been enacted affecting the rights and responsibilities of divorcing spouses. The laws of the state(s) of residence at the time of divorce govern; all states recognize divorces granted by any other state. All states impose a minimum time of residence. Typically, a county court’s family division judges petitions for dissolution of marriages.

Before the latter decades of the 20th century, a spouse seeking divorce had to show cause and even then might not be able to obtain a divorce. The legalization of no-fault divorce
No-fault divorce
No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage requires neither a showing of wrong-doing of either party nor any evidentiary proceedings at all...

 in the United States began in 1969 in California, and was completed in 2010, with New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 being the last of the fifty states to legalize it. However, most states still require some waiting period before a divorce, typically a 1– to 2–year separation. Fault grounds, when available, are sometimes still sought. This may be done where it reduces the waiting period otherwise required, or possibly in hopes of affecting decisions related to a divorce, such as child custody, child support, or alimony. Since the mid-1990s, a few states have enacted covenant marriage
Covenant marriage
In some parts of the United States, a covenant marriage is a legally distinct kind of marriage, in which the marrying couple agree to obtain pre-marital counseling and accept more limited grounds for divorce...

 laws, which allow couples to voluntarily make a divorce more difficult for themselves to obtain than in the typical no-fault divorce action.

Mediation
Mediation
Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution , a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties. A third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate their own settlement...

 is a growing way of resolving divorce issues. It tends to be less adversarial (particularly important for any children), more private, less expensive, and faster than traditional litigation. Similar in concept, but with more support than mediation, is collaborative divorce, where both sides are represented by attorneys but commit to negotiating a settlement without engaging in litigation. Some believe that mediation may not be appropriate for all relationships, especially those that included physical or emotional abuse, or an imbalance of power and knowledge about the parties' finances.

States vary in their rules for division of assets. Some states are "community property
Community property
Community property is a marital property regime that originated in civil law jurisdictions and is now also found in some common law jurisdictions...

" states, others are "equitable distribution" states, and others have elements of both. Most "community property" states start with the presumption that community assets will be divided equally, whereas "equitable distribution" states presume fairness may dictate more or less than half of the assets will be awarded to one spouse or the other. Commonly, assets acquired before marriage are considered individual, and assets acquired after, marital. Attempt is made to assure the welfare of any minor children generally through their dependency. Alimony
Alimony
Alimony is a U.S. term denoting a legal obligation to provide financial support to one's spouse from the other spouse after marital separation or from the ex-spouse upon divorce...

, also known as 'maintenance' or 'spousal support', is still being granted in many cases, especially in longer term marriages.

A decree of divorce will generally not be granted until all questions regarding child care and custody, division of property and assets, and ongoing financial support are resolved.

Due to the complex divorce procedures required in many places, some people seek divorces from other jurisdictions that have easier and quicker processes. Most of these places are commonly referred to negatively as "divorce mill
Divorce mill
Divorce mill is a term used for a jurisdiction that is typically used for divorces by non-residents and/or used to obtain a divorce quickly and/or allow for contested divorces quickly and with little or no compensation to the other spouse...

s."

Global issues


Where people from different countries get married, and one or both then choose to reside in another country, the procedures for divorce can become significantly more complicated. Although most countries make divorce possible, the form of settlement or agreement following divorce may be very different depending on where the divorce takes place.
In some countries there may be a bias towards the man regarding property settlements, and in others there may be a bias towards the woman concerning property and custody of any children. One or both parties may seek to divorce in a country that has jurisdiction over them. Normally there will be a residence requirement in the country in which the divorce takes place. See also Divorces obtained by US couples in a different country or jurisdiction above for more information, as applicable globally. In the case of disputed custody, almost all lawyers would strongly advise following the jurisdiction applicable to the dispute, i.e. the country or state of the spouse's residence. Even if not disputed, the spouse could later dispute it and potentially invalidate another jurisdiction's ruling.

Some of the more important aspects of divorce law involve the provisions for any children involved in the marriage, and problems may arise due to abduction
Child abduction
Child abduction or Child theft is the unauthorized removal of a minor from the custody of the child's natural or legally appointed guardians....

 of children by one parent, or restriction of contact
Contact (law)
In family law, contact is one of the general terms which denotes the level of contact a parent or other significant person in a child's life can have with that child...

 rights to children. For the Conflict of Laws
Conflict of laws
Conflict of laws is a set of procedural rules that determines which legal system and which jurisdiction's applies to a given dispute...

 issues, see divorce (conflict)
Divorce (conflict)
In modern society, the role of marriage and its termination through divorce have become political issues. As people live increasingly mobile lives, the conflict of laws and its choice of law rules are highly relevant to determine:...

.