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Republic of the Philippines

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
House Bill No. _____
Introduced by:
ROWENA M. BECEIRA

EXPLANATORY NOTE
Subsidiary to this proposal is the obligation of the State to protect and
value the dignity of every human person and guarantee full respect for human
rights. Furthermore, this proposal is in relation to the best interest of the
State to recognize the sanctity of family life as the basic autonomous natural
and social institution. This further asserts the right of every person for the
equal protection of laws.
Marriage in the Philippines is considered as the most intimate human
relationship. Authorities view marriage as a state instituted by God for the
lifelong relationship of a man as a husband and a woman as a wife. Marriage
is likewise said to be a special institution because it possesses both secular
and religious aspects. Philippine government sees major social benefits of
marriage thereby promoting its people to marry, provide legal protections and
whatsoever means to preserve marital relationships. Cultural prescriptions
and religious norms keep many couples together despite the breakdown of
their marital union. Women are traditionally known to be the one responsible
for marriage to work and are expected to sacrifice everything to keep their
family intact and complete. Women are usually the one liable in circumstances
when the family can not maintain its solidarity.
Marriages nowadays express unsuccessful, unhappy and ineffective
unions. This holds true to many Filipino families across the nation. Records
show that in the year 2007, there were 7,753 cases of annulment and legal
separation file in the Office of the Solicitor General, a 71.5% jump from 4,520
cases filed in 2001. And in 2012 alone, 10, 528 cases were filed for the nullity
and annulment of marriages, amounting to 28 cases of nullity every day.
Statistics further shows that more or less 6% of all these cases filed were

dismissed and denied by the courts. These records have not yet included those
couples belonging to the marginalized sectors who can not afford to gain
access to the courts whose marriages end without undergoing judicial
proceedings.
These figures mentioned refer only to the annulment and declaration of
nullity cases on the ground of psychological incapacity and the irregularities
and inherent defects in the validity of marriage. The records do not count on
the legal separation and annulment based on the grounds of abandonment,
frequent physical violence and maltreatment by either of the parties. These
records do not likewise include marital relationship dissolutions based on the
petition for recognition of divorce proceedings granted in foreign judicial
courts. There are also some who seek for divorce approval abroad not
recognized in the Philippine courts. This only means that the number of
aggrieved parties in marital unions has drastically increased in population.
The laws governing marriages In the Philippines are becoming unfair
nowadays and are no longer seemingly parallel to the policy of the State which
protects and respects the human rights of every human person. In the case of
marriage, to declare the marriage contract null and void is a far more difficult
scheme. Infidelity and physical abuse, as mentioned, are not one of those
grounds listed in the Executive Order No. 209 or commonly known as the
Family Code of the Philippines as acceptable reasons for marriages to be
declared invalid under our Philippine Laws. An aggrieved party has to prove
first that the offending spouse constitutes psychological incapacity before he
or she can repudiate the marriage, which, in that case, will cause them to live
and be tied in their already-long-dead relationship.
In line with these present circumstances, couples must be given the
privilege to have wide and comprehensive options in support to their claim of
self-fulfilment, protection of their human rights and the equality before men
and women. Contrary to those mentioned rights of the people, existing laws
are not enough to sustain those rights mentioned in the Constitution.
According to the Womens Legal Bureau, Inc., The present laws relating
to the separation of couples and termination of marriages are inadequate to
respond the myriad causes of failed marriages. Particularly, the remedies of
declaration of nullity and annulment do not cover the problems that occur
during the existence of marriage. Legal separation, on the other hand, while
covering problems during the marriage, does not put an end to the marriage.

Though both the divorce and annulment of marriage allow the spouses to
remarry, the two remedies differ in concept and basis. A declaration of nullity
presupposes that the marriage is void from the beginning and declares the
non-existence of the marriage. Beyond the grounds specified in the law,
declaration of nullity is not possible.
Additionally, the Womens Legal Bureau, Inc. states that In annulment,
the marriage of the parties is declared defective from the beginning, albeit it is
considered valid until annulled. The defect can be used to nullify the marriage
with the specified period but the same may be ignored and the marriage
becomes perfectly valid after the lapse of that period, or the defect may be
cured by some act. The defect relates to the time of the celebration of marriage
and has nothing to do with the circumstances after the marriage is celebrated.
In annulment, the marriage is legally cancelled, and the man and woman are
restored to their single status.
To further quote, Since August 3, 1988, couples have been given a way
out of failed marriages through Article 36 of the Family Code which states
that: A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration,
was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital
obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes
manifest, only after its solemnization. In practice, Article 36 has become the
form of divorce, as marriages are declared void every day as in the guise of
psychological incapacity. The innumerable cases brought to trial courts are an
indication of elasticity of Article 36 to accommodate the needs of the couples
of the desire to terminate marriages. It is proof that Divorce is needed in the
Philippines. Article 36, however, provides a remedy for spouses who can prove
psychological incapacity. The concept cannot certainly accommodate all cases
where divorce is necessary. What we need a divorce law that defines clearly
and unequivocally the terms and grounds to terminate a marriage. That law
will put an end to the creative efforts played in courtrooms across the country
to accommodate a wide range of cases in order to prove psychological
incapacity.
Way back in nineteen hundreds. towards the end of the 19 th century or
before the advent of the American regime, divorce was valid in the Philippines,
which was governed by Las Siete Partidas and by the provisions of Canon Law
and the council of Trent. According to these provisions, relative divorce may be
granted on the following grounds:

(1) The desire of one person to enter a religious order, provided that
the other granted permission to do so;
(2) Adultery committed by either; or
(3) The fact that either had become heritic.
The divorce allowed by these laws is relative divorce or mere legal
separation. The marriage has no way be annulled or the marriage bond be
dissolved.
However, due to the change of sovereignty, as a consequence of the new
philosophy of pragmatism, the idea of legalizing absolute divorce in the
country was introduced. On March 11, 1917, Act No. 2710, otherwise known
as Divorce Law, was passed. Absolute divorce or a vincula matrimonii was
allowed under this act on the ground of criminal conviction for:
(1) Adultery on the part of the wife; or
(2) Concubinage on the part of the husband.
This Act No. 2710 continued in force until Japanese Occupation. On
March 25, 1943, the chairman of Philippine Executive Commission, pursuant
to authority conferred upon him by the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial
Japanese Forces in the Philippines, and with the approval of the latter, issued
Executive No. 141 providing a new divorce law. It expressly repealed Act No.
2710 and permitted absolute divorce on the following grounds:
(1) Adultery on the part of the wife and concubinage on the part of the
husband committed under any of the forms described in the Revised
Penal Code;
(2) Attempt of one spouse against the life of the other;
(3) A second or subsequent marriage contracted by either spouse before
the former marriage has been legally dissolved;
(4) Loathsome contagious diseases contracted by either spouse;
(5) Incurable insanity which has reached such a stage that intellectual
community between the spouses has ceased;
(6) Impotency on the part of either spouse;
(7) Criminal conviction of either spouse of a crime in which the minimum
penalty imposed is not less than six (6) years imprisonment;
(8) Repeated bodily violence by one against the other to such an extent
that the spouses cannot continue living together without endangering
the lives of both or of either of them;

(9) Intentional or unjustified desertion continuously for at least one year


prior to the filing of the action;
(10) Unexplained absence from the last conjugal abode continuously for
three consecutive years prior to the filing of the action;
(11) Slander by deed or gross insult by one spouse against the other to
such an extent as to make further living together impracticable.
It was not until the enactment of the Civil Code of the Philippines that
absolute divorce was abrogated from our laws. With the passage of the Civil
Code of the Philippines, absolute divorce was totally expunged from our
statute books as a general recourse.
Given these set of historical backgrounds of divorce in the Philippines,
the act of legalizing again the law on divorce is still under the discretion of the
Congress itself. The present Constitution does provide any law prohibiting the
legalization of said divorce bill. Therefore, a law pertaining to divorce is
unconstitutional as it can not violate any provisions of the municipal law.
Three of every five (5) Filipinos or at least 60% are in favor of the
legislation of divorce. This shows not just a mere representation of pulse rate
with regard to the re-enactment of divorce law but the fact that it is needed as
law in the Philippines. In fact, divorce is no longer a strange thing for us
Filipinos since the history itself speaks of it as remedy long before the Civil
Code of the Philippines was passed.
One of the great personalities in the person of Tolentino had manifested
that divorce law is a remedy for most of the private problems of Filipinos. To
quote: Formerly, when faith predominated, it was reasonable to believe that
marriage was indissoluble because it was the belief that marriage was a divine
institution. But now that reason has substituted dogmas, for what motives
shall we not make laws for those who need remedy? In this era of spiritual
generation control of morals should in our selves, in our will, in our sense of
propriety, and not in our laws.
This bill, however, still aims to value the sanctity of family life and
marriages in the country. This takes into consideration the fundamentals of
Filipino custom, culture and beliefs. It further advocates the inviolability of
Filipino marriages that is why this bill provides measures and conditions
before the couples can be granted the benefits of divorce. This bill likewise is
respectful and sensitive to differing religious beliefs across the nation. The

filing of this bill is anchored on a strong sense of confidence that it will be


used by Filipino couples responsibility as upheld by some Filipino couples
whose marriages were failed. In this sense, divorce does not destroy the family
or home. It is only for such already broken and useless families that divorce is
intended. This bill also supports and protects those women suffering violence
by husbands.

Republic of the Philippines


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

House Bill No. ________


INTRODUCED BY:
ROWENA M. BECEIRA

AN ACT
INTRODUCING DIVORCE IN THE PHILIPPINES
Section 1: Title of the Bill. This bill shall be known as the Divorce Bill of the

Philippines.
Section 2. Definition of terms.
a. Marriage- the legally or formally recognized union of a man
and a woman establishing rights and obligations between the two them,
between them and their children and between them and their in-laws.
b. Divorce- a legal solution establishing the new relations
between the parties, including their duties and obligations to properties
they own, support responsibilities of either or both of them to their
children.
c. Child- in this context includes those who are below the age
of majority and are legitimate or illegitimate child of, and a child adopted
by, either of the parties to the marriage in pursuance of an adoption
order made under any written law relating to adoption.
d. Child of the marriage- a child/children of the parties to the
marriage in question or a child in one party accepted as a family by the
other party.
e. Age of majority- is the threshold of adulthood as recognized
or declared in law. It is the moment when minors cease to be considered
children and assume legal control over their persons, actions, and
decisions, thus terminating the control and legal responsibilities of their
parents or guardian over them.
f. Custody- the protective guardianship to a minor child.
g. Support- the assistance given by a person to the minor
child; may it be financial or material assistance.
SECTION 3. Applicability.
a. Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, this Act
shall be applicable only to all persons in the Philippines and to all
persons domiciled in Philippines but are resident outside Philippines.

b. For the purposes of this Act, a person who is a citizen of the


Philippines shall be deemed, until contrary is proved, to have domiciled
in the Philippines.
c. This Act shall be valid and imposable to all religions across
the country.
SECTION 4. Extent of power to grant relief. Nothing in this Act shall authorize
the court to make a decree of divorce except where the domicile of the parties
to the marriage at the time when the petition is presented is in Philippines.
SECTION 5. A court in a province has jurisdiction to hear and determine a
divorce proceeding if either spouse has been ordinarily resident in the
province for at least 2 years immediately preceding the commencement of the
proceeding.
SECTION 6. A petition for Divorce may be filed on the following grounds:
a. The petitioner has been separated de facto from his or her spouse
for at least six (6) years at the time of the filing of the petition and
reconciliation in highly improbable;
b. The petitioner has been legally separated from his or her spouse
for at least three (3) years at the time of the filing of the petition
and reconciliation is highly improbable;
c. Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed
against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the
petitioner;
d. Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to
change religious or political affiliation;
e. 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;

f. Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of


more than six years, even if pardoned;
g. Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
h. Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;
i. Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous
marriage, whether in the Philippines or abroad;
j. Sexual infidelity or perversion;
k. When one or both spouses are psychologically incapacitated to
comply with essential marital obligations;
l. Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner; or
m. Where husband and wife have lived separate and apart by
reason of incurable insanity of either of them.
SECTION 7. Damages for adultery or concubinage. On a petition for divorce in
which adultery/concubinage is alleged, or in the answer of a party to the
marriage praying for divorce and alleging adultery, the party shall make the
alleged adulterer or adulteress a co-respondent, unless excused by the court
on special grounds from doing so. Where damages have been claimed against
a co-respondent
a. if, after the close of the evidence for the petitioner, the court is of
the opinion that there is not sufficient evidence against the co-respondent to
justify requiring him or her to reply, the co-respondent shall be discharged
from the proceedings; or
b. if, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court is satisfied that
adultery/concubinage between the respondent and co-respondent has been
proved, the court may award the petitioner such damages as it may think fit,
but so that the award shall not include any exemplary or punitive element .

SECTION 8. Power of the Court on claim of damages prescribed in Section 7


are as follows:
a. The court may award damages against a co-respondent
notwithstanding that the petition against the respondent is dismissed or
adjourned.
b. The court shall have power, when awarding damages, to direct
that such damages or any part thereof, be vested in trustees upon trust to pay
the income or capital thereof for the benefit of the minor children, if any, of the
marriage or, where the petitioner is required to pay maintenance to the
respondent, in or towards the payment of such maintenance, and subject
thereto in trust for the petitioner.
c. Whenever in any petition presented by a husband the alleged
adultery has been established against the co-respondent, the court may order
the co-respondent to pay the whole or any part of the costs of the proceedings;
provided that no such order for costs shall be made if the respondent was at
the time of the adultery living apart from the husband and living the life of a
prostitute.
SECTION 9. Breakdown of marriage as another ground for divorce.
a. Either party to a marriage may petition for a divorce on the
ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
b. The court hearing such petition shall, so far as it reasonably can,
inquire into the facts alleged as causing or leading to the breakdown of the
marriage and, if satisfied that the circumstances make it just and reasonable
to do so, make a decree for its dissolution.
SECTION 10. Provisions designed to encourage reconciliation between the
spouses.
a. Provision may be made by rules of court for requiring that before
the presentation of a petition for divorce the petitioner shall have recourse to
the assistance and advice of such persons or bodies as may be made available
for the purpose of effecting a reconciliation between parties to a marriage who
have become estranged.

b. If at any stage of proceedings for divorce it appears to the court


that there is a reasonable possibility of a reconciliation between the parties to
the marriage, the court may adjourn the proceedings for such period as it
thinks fit to enable attempts to be made to effect such a reconciliation. The
power conferred by the foregoing provision is additional to any other power of
the court to adjourn proceedings.
SECTION 11. Contents of divorce petition. Every petition shall contain:
a. Particulars of the marriage between the parties and the names,
ages, and sex of children, if any, of the marriage;
b. Particulars of the facts giving the court the jurisdiction;
c. Particulars of any marital proceedings between the parties;
d. A statement of principal allegations which will be sought to prove
as evidence of the breakdown of the marriage.
e. The terms of any agreement regarding maintenance of the wife or
dependent part or children, if any, of the marriage, or the division of any
assets acquired through the joint efforts of the parties and the sole effort
of one party or where no such agreement has been reached, the
petitioners proposal;
f. Particulars of the relief sought.
g. Every petition for divorce shall state what steps had been taken
effect a reconciliation.
SECTION 12. The petition for divorce shall be denied on any of the following
grounds:
a. Where the aggrieved party has condoned the offense or act
complained of;
b. Where the aggrieved party has consented to the commission of the
offense act complained of;

c. Where there is connivance between the parties in the commission


of the offense or act constituting the ground for legal separation;
d. Where both parties have given ground for legal separation;
e. Where there is collusion between the parties to obtain decree of
legal separation; or
f. Where the action is barred by prescription.
SECTION 13. The settlement agreement mentioned in must contain, at least
the following items:
a. Care of the children subject to the parental authority of both
spouses, the exercise thereof, and as the case may be, the
scheduled communication and stays of the children with the parent
who does not usually live with them;
b. If deemed necessary, the schedule of visits and communications
between the grandchildren and grandparents, always taking into
account the interests of the former;
c. Attribution of the use of the family home and appurtenances;
d. Contribution to the expenses of the marriage and support, and the
basis on which it is to be updated, and security thereof, the case
may be;
e. Liquidation, where applicable, of the marriage property regime;
f. Allowance to be paid by one of the spouses.
SECTION 14. Agreements mentioned in the preceding article between the
spouses adopted to regulate the consequences of the divorce shall be approved
by the judge, unless they are detrimental to the children or seriously
prejudicial to one of the spouses. If the parties propose a visit and
communications schedule between grandchildren and grandparents, the judge

may approve it after hearing the grandparents, at which the grandparents


must give their consent thereto. Rejection of the agreements must be made by
a reasoned solution, and, in this case, the spouses must submit a new
proposal for the judges consideration, for his approval, where applicable.
SECTION 15. Agreements may be enforced by summary proceedings as of
their judicial approval. The measures adopted by the Judge in the absence of
an agreement, or those agreed between the spouses, may be amended by the
Judge or by a new settlement agreement, in the event of a substantial
alteration of the circumstances. The Judge may set any real or personal
security required for the performance of the agreement.
SECTION 16. In divorce judgment or the enforcement thereof, the Judge, in
the absence of an agreement between the spouses or non-approval thereof,
shall determine, in accordance with the provisions, any measures which are to
replace those already adopted previously in connection with the children, the
family home, marital expenses, liquidation of the marriage property regime
and any respective precautions or security, establishing applicable measures if
none should have been adopted in respect thereof.
SECTION 17. The filing of the petition of divorce is any time.
SECTION 18. In cases when reconciliation between spouses is still possible.
Where at any stage in a divorce proceeding it appears to the court from the
nature of the case, the evidence or the attitude of either or both spouses that
there is a possibility of the reconciliation of the spouses, the court shall:
a. Adjourn the proceeding to afford the spouses an opportunity to
achieve a reconciliation; and
b. with the consent of the spouses or in discretion of the court,
nominate a person with experience or training in marriage counseling or
guidance, or in special circumstances, some other suitable person, to
assist the spouses to achieve a reconciliation.
SECTION 19. Judicial decree on Legal Separation no bar to petition for
divorce. A person shall not be prevented from presenting a petition due to:
a. By reason only that the petitioner has at any time been granted a

judicial separation upon the same or substantially the same facts as


those proved in support of the petition of divorce.
b. On any such petition for divorce, the court may treat the decree on
legal separation as sufficient proof for adultery, desertion or any ground.
c. For purposes of any such petition for divorce, a period of desertion
immediately preceding the institution of proceedings for a judicial decree
of legal separation shall, if the parties have not resumed cohabitation
and the decree has been continuously in force since the granting thereof,
be deemed immediately to precede the presentation of the petition for
divorce.
SECTION 20. No petition of divorce shall be granted without first presenting
sufficient evidence to support allegations.
SECTION 21. During the pendency of the action and in the absence of
adequate provisions in a written agreement between the spouses, the Court
shall provide for the support of the spouses and the custody and support of
their common children. The Court shall give paramount consideration to the
moral and material welfare of said children and their choice of the parent with
whom they wish to remain. It shall also provide for appropriate visitation
rights of the other parent.
SECTION 22. The final judgment in such cases shall provide for the
liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, the
custody and support of the common children, and the delivery of third
presumptive legitimes, unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous
judicial proceedings.
SECTION 23. All creditors of the spouses as well as of the absolute
community or the conjugal partnership shall be notified of the proceedings for
liquidation.
SECTION 24. In the partition, the conjugal dwelling and the lot on which it is
situated, shall be adjudicated in accordance with the provisions of Articles
102 and 129 of the Family Code of the Philippines.

SECTION 25. In said partition, the value of the presumptive legitimes of all
common children, computed as of the date of the final judgment of the trial
court, shall be delivered in cash, property or sound securities, unless the
parties, by mutual agreement judicially approved, had already provided for
such matters.
SECTION 26. The children or their guardian or the trustee of their property
may ask for the enforcement of the judgment.
SECTION 27. The delivery of the presumptive legitimes herein prescribed
shall in no way prejudice the ultimate successional rights of the children
accruing upon the death of either of both of the parents; but the value of the
properties already received under the decree of divorce shall be considered as
advances on their legitime.
SECTION 28. The judgment of annulment or of absolute nullity of the
marriage, the partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and
the delivery of the children's presumptive legitimes shall be recorded in the
appropriate civil registry and registries of property; otherwise, the same shall
not affect third persons.
SECTION 29. Either of the former spouses may marry again after compliance
with the requirements of the immediately preceding Article; otherwise, the
subsequent marriage shall be null and void.
SECTION 30. After the finality of the decree of divorce, the innocent spouse
may revoke the donations made by him or by her in favor of the offending
spouse, as well as the designation of the latter as beneficiary in any insurance
policy, even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable. The revocation of
the donations shall be recorded in the registries of property in the places
where the properties are located. Alienations, liens and encumbrances
registered in good faith before the recording of the complaint for revocation in
the registries of property shall be respected. The revocation of or change in the
designation of the insurance beneficiary shall take effect upon written
notification thereof to the insured.

SECTION 31. The action to revoke the donation under this Article must be
brought within five years from the time the decree of legal separation become
final.
SECTION 32. In case an agreement to revive the former property shall be
executed under oath and shall specify:
(1) The properties to be contributed anew to the restored regime;
(2) Those to be retained as separated properties of each spouse; and
(3) The names of all their known creditors, their addresses and the
amounts owing to each.
SECTION 33. The agreement of revival and the motion for its approval shall
be filed with the court in the same proceeding for legal separation, with copies
of both furnished to the creditors named therein. After due hearing, the court
shall, in its order, take measure to protect the interest of creditors and such
order shall be recorded in the proper registries of properties. The recording of
the ordering in the registries of property shall not prejudice any creditor not
listed or not notified, unless the debtor-spouse has sufficient separate
properties to satisfy the creditor's claim.
SECTION 34. A decree of divorce shall takes effect on the twenty-first day
after the day on which the judgment granting the divorce is rendered.
SECTION 35. Where a divorce takes effect, a judge or officer of the court that
rendered the judgment granting the divorce or, where that judgment has been
appealed, of the court that rendered the judgment on the final appeal, shall,
on request, issue to any person a certificate that a divorce granted under this
Bill dissolved the marriage of the specified persons effective as of a specified
date.
SECTION 36. A divorce, on or after the coming into force of this Bill, pursuant
to a law of other countries shall not be recognized in any part the country
except those obtained by an alien spouse pursuant to their laws.

SECTION 37. Remarriage of divorced persons. Where a decree of divorce has


been made absolute and either
(a) there is no right of appeal against the decree absolute;
(b) the time for appealing against the decree absolute has expired without
an appeal having been brought; or
(c) an appeal against the decree absolute has been dismissed, either
party to the former marriage may marry again.
ARTICLE II. Custody and Support Orders.
SECTION 38. In making an order under this Article, the court shall take into
consideration only the best interests of the child of the marriage as
determined

by

reference

to

the

condition,

means,

needs

and

other

circumstances of the child.


SECTION 39. In making an order under this Article, the court shall not take
into consideration the past conduct of any person unless the conduct is
relevant to the ability of that person to act as a parent of a child.
SECTION 40. Under this Article, the court shall give effect to the principle
that a child of the marriage should have as much contact with each spouse as
is consistent with the best interests of the child and, for that purpose, shall
take into consideration the willingness of the person for whom custody is
sought to facilitate such contract.
SECTION 41. Except where an agreement or order of court otherwise
provides, it shall be the duty of a parent to maintain or contribute to the
maintenance of his or her children, whether they are in his or her custody or
the custody of any other person, either by providing them with such
accommodation, clothing, food and education as may be reasonable having
regard to his or her means and station in life or by paying the cost thereof.
SECTION 42. Order for Custody. A court of competent jurisdiction may, on
application by either or both spouses or by any other person, make an order

respecting the custody of or the access to, or the custody of and access to, any
or all children of the marriage.
SECTION 43. Where an application is made under the preceding article, the
court may, on application by either or both spouses or by any other person,
make an interim order respecting the custody of or the access to, or the
custody of and access to, any or all children of the marriage pending
determination of the application under the preceding article.
SECTION 44. The court may make an order under this article granting
custody of, or access to, any or all children of the marriage to any one or more
persons.
SECTION 45. Unless the court orders otherwise, a spouse who is granted
access to a child of the marriage has the right to make inquiries, and to be
given information, as to the health, education and welfare of the child.
SECTION 46. The court may make an order under this section for a definite or
indefinite period or until the happening of a specified event and may impose
such other terms, conditions or restrictions in connection therewith as it
thinks fit and just.
SECTION 47. Without limiting the generality under the preceding article, the
court may include in an order under this section a term requiring any person
who has custody of a child of the marriage and who intends to change the
place of residence of that child to notify, at least thirty days before the change
or within such other period before the change as the court may specify, any
person who is granted access to that child of the change, the time at which
the change will be made and the new place of residence of the child.
SECTION 48. Before the court makes an order in respect of a custody order,
the court shall satisfy itself that there has been a change in the condition,
means, needs or other circumstances of the child of the marriage occurring
since the making of the custody order or the last order made in respect of that
order, as the case may be, and, in making the variation order, the court shall
take into consideration only the best interests of the child as determined by
reference to that change.

SECTION 49. In making an order for a custody order, the court shall give
effect to the principle that a child of the marriage should have as much
contact with each former spouse as is consistent with the best interests of the
child and, for that purpose, where the order would grant custody of the child
to a person who does not currently have custody, the court shall take into
consideration the willingness of that person to facilitate such contact.
SECTION 50. Except where an order for custody or maintenance of a child
is expressed to be for any shorter period or where any such order has been
rescinded, it shall expire on the attainment by the child of the age of eighteen
years or where the child is under physical or mental disability, on the ceasing
of such disability, whichever is the later.
SECTION 51. Child Support Order. A court of competent jurisdiction may, on
application by either or both spouses make an order requiring a spouse to pay
for the support of any or all children of the marriage.
SECTION 52. Where an application is made under the preceding article, the
court may, on application by either or both spouses, make an interim order
requiring a spouse to pay for the support of any or all children of the
marriage, pending the determination of the application the preceding section.
SECTION 53. Spousal Support Order. A court of competent jurisdiction may,
on application by either or both spouses, make an order requiring a spouse to
secure or pay, or to secure and pay, such lump sum or periodic sums, or such
lump sum and periodic sums, as the court thinks reasonable for the sup-port
of the other spouse.
SECTION 54. Where an application is made under the preceding article, the
court may, on application by either or both spouses, make an interim order
requiring a spouse to secure or pay, or to secure and pay, such lump sum or
periodic sums, or such lump sum and periodic sums, as the court thinks
reasonable for the support of the other spouse, pending the determination of
the application under the preceding section.
SECTION 55. The court may make an order under Section 47 or an interim

order under Section 48 for a definite or in-definite period or until a specified


event occurs, and may impose terms, conditions or restrictions in connection
with the order as it thinks fit and just.
SECTION 56. In making an order, the court shall take into consideration the
condition, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse, including:
(1.)
(2.)
(3.)

The length of time the spouses cohabited;


The functions performed by each spouse during co-habitation; and
Any order, agreement or arrangement relating to support of either
spouse.

SECTION 57. In making an order under Section 47 or an interim order under


Section 48, the court shall not take into consideration any misconduct of a
spouse in relation to the marriage.
SECTION 58. An order made under Section 47 or an interim order under
Section 48 that provides for the support of a spouse should:
(1.)

Recognize any economic advantages or disadvantages to the


spouses arising from the marriage or its breakdown;

(2.) Apportion between the spouses any financial consequences arising


from the care of any child of the marriage over and above any
obligation for the support of any child of the marriage;
(3.) Relieve any economic hardship of the spouses arising from the
breakdown of the marriage; and
(4.) In so far as practicable, promote the economic self-sufficiency of
each spouse within a reasonable period of time.
SECTION 59. Priority to Child Support. Where a court is considering an
application for a child support order and an application for a spousal support
order, the court shall give priority to child support in determining the
applications.

SECTION 60. Where, as a result of giving priority to child support, the court
is unable to make a spousal support order or the court makes a spousal
support order in an amount that is less than it otherwise would have been,
the court shall record its reasons for having done so.
SECTION 61. Where, as a result of giving priority to child support, a spousal
support order was not made, or the amount of a spousal support order is less
than it otherwise would have been, any subsequent reduction or termination
of that child support constitutes a change of circumstances for the purposes
of applying for a spousal support order, or a variation order in respect of the
spousal support order, as the case may be.
SECTION 62. In cases where one of the spouses financial situations is
impaired in a greater way, as a result of the divorce, only the bona fide spouse
shall be entitled to receive maintenance from the other spouse. Maintenance
shall not exceed the standard of living that the couple led during the
marriage, nor can the standard of living that the spouse obliged to make the
payment afford to maintain.
SECTION 63. In order to determine the maintenance awards, the judicial
authority shall take the following into consideration:
(a) The resulting financial situation of the spouses as a
consequence of the annulment of marriage, the divorce or the
judicial separation, and the economic prospects for both
spouses.
(b) The duration of marital life.
(c) The age and health of both spouses
(d) In cases where it applies, the specific economic compensation
governed by the sections of this article.
(e) Any other significant circumstance.
SECTION 64. In cases divorce the spouse who has worked for the household
or for the other spouse without receiving any payment in exchange or who has
received

insufficient

payment,

shall

be

entitled

to

receive

economic

compensation from the other spouse, in the event that this fact has produced
a situation of inequality between the two patrimonies, which implies an unfair
enrichment
SECTION 65. For the purpose of the succeeding sections the payment for
maintenance shall be either;
1. Paid in money and in advance monthly payments; or
2. At any time, by the agreement of the spouses or, lacking this, by judicial
decree, the spouse obliged to pay maintenance may substitute this by
the delivery of assets in ownership or usufruct.
SECTION 66. Powers of the court to restrain taking of child outside the
Philippines are as follows:
1. The court may on the application of the father or mother
of a child
a. where any matrimonial proceeding is pending; or
b. where, under any agreement or order of court, one parent
has custody of the child to the exclusion of the other, issue an injunction
restraining the other parent from taking the child out of Philippines or may
give leave for such child to be taken out of Philippines either unconditionally
or subject to such conditions or such undertaking as the court may think fit.
2. The court may, on the application of any interested person,
issue an injunction restraining any person, other than a person having
custody of a child, from taking the child out of Philippines.
3. Failure to comply with an order made under this section shall be
punishable as a contempt of court.
SECTION 67. General Penalty. Violations of any provisions of this Bill for
which no penalty is specifically provided shall be punished by imprisonment
not exceeding one (1) month or a fine not exceeding two hundred pesos, or
both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court, unless a
higher penalty is provided for in the Revised Penal Code or Special Laws.

SECTION 68. Repealing Clause. All laws or parts of any laws inconsistent with
the provisions of this Bill are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
SECTION 69. Separability Clause. If any provision of this Bill is held invalid,
the other provisions not affected thereby shall continue in operation.
SECTION 70. Effectivity Clause. This bill shall take effect 2 months after its
approval.

Done in the City of Manila, this 19th day of October, in the year of Our Lord,
Twenty Hundred and sixteen.