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Divorce bill passes final reading in the House

by Kiko Cueto

THE House of Representatives has approved on the third and final reading, the divorce bill on the last day of the 19th Congress’ second regular session.

House Bill No. 9349 or the Absolute Divorce Act was given the go light by 126 lawmakers, with 109 thumbing down the initiative and 20 abstentions.

It was approved on the third reading, after two months when it was referred to the plenary by the House committee on population and family relations.

Under the Absolute Divorce Act, the following are considered grounds for absolute divorce: 

  • Physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner;
  • Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;
  • Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement;
  • Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six (6) years, even if pardoned;
  • Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism or chronic gambling of the respondent
  • Homosexuality of the respondent;
  • Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in the Philippines or abroad;
  • Marital infidelity or perversion or having a child with another person other than one’s spouse during the marriage, except when upon the mutual agreement of the spouses, a child is born to them through in vitro fertilization or a similar procedure or when the wife bears a child after being a victim of rape;
  • Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner, a common child or a child of the petitioner;
  • Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one (1) year;
  • When the spouses are legally separated by judicial decree for more than two (2) years, either spouse can petition the proper Family Court for an absolute divorce based on said judicial decree of legal separation.

The bill has an equivalent version in the Senate but has yet to be passed.

Once a Senate version has been made or approved, then a bicameral between the two houses will be made.

A final version will be given to Malacanang for the President’s signature for enactment into law.



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