If You Think Getting a Divorce Here is Tough, Try Living in the Phillipines

Every state in the union now recognizes no-fault divorce and allows for simplified uncontested divorces. But it was a long time coming, with New York State being the last holdout.

But that doesn’t mean that every couple everywhere has a legal right to a no-fault, uncontested divorce. On the contrary, every couple does not have a right to any kind of a divorce.

For example, in the Phillipines, divorce is not permitted. At all. Period. Really.

If a couple satisfies the fairly strict and narrow grounds for it, a marriage may be annulled. But it’s not easy, fast or inexpensive. And it doesn’t necessarily permit remarriage.

Ironically, divorce was allowed in the Phillipines, among the native tribes, before the country was colonized by Spain, and briefly, circa 1917, during a brief Japanese occupation. But no longer.

At least not for the predominating Catholic population there.

Ironically, it is reportedly less expensive to have your spouse eliminated than to obtain an annulment.

Many claim that the virtual impossibility of disentanglement from an unhappy marriage has served as a disincentive to marry in the first place, encouraged abandonment of spouses and children, and actually led to a large so-called illegitimate children population with multiple mothers per father. Probably not the desired consequences of the divorce-rejecting political / religious lobby.


  1. this Yahoo News via AP news article: Divorce ban shows Catholic church power in Philippines and
  2. this Foreign Policy news article: The Last Country in the World Where Divorce Is Illegal