Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Legal Dynamics: Citizenship and Divorce

Published August 22nd, 2006 in Immigration Law and Annulment and Legal Separation.

Discussions are welcome in the Forum. As more subjects here are discussed by the readers, the interaction of one topic with another (or between related laws) results to a legal melting pot, enriching the pool of topics to choose from.

For instance, we have discussed (”Divorce and Annulment in the Philippines“) that a Filipino - wherever he/she may be located in the world - is governed by Philippine laws on marriage. This means that while he/she can secure a divorce outside the Philippines, such divorce is NOT recognized in the Philippines. The same article also contains a discussion on the effect of losing Filipino citizenship vis-a-vis divorce. If a Filipino is naturalized as a foreign citizen and, in the process, loses his/her Filipino citizenship, such former Filipino can validly seek a divorce abroad and the divorce is recognized in the Philippines. In other words, after complying with the procedure in having the foreign decree of divorce judicially recognized (through a court action) here in the Philippines, the Filipino spouse may validly remarry.

Then came the new law (Republic Act No. 9225) that allows former Filipinos to re-acquire or maintain their Filipino citizenship. Here are the issues:

If a Filipino secures a divorce BEFORE losing his/her Philippine citizenship by naturalization as a foreign citizen (the divorce is not valid under Philippine laws), will the subsequent loss of Philippine citizenship have any effect on the validity of the previous divorce? Will it make any difference if the foreign decree of divorce, validly secured by a former Filipino, is not judicially recognized here in the Phils. before that former Filipino re-acquires his/her Philippine citizenship?

On the other hand, what’s the effect of the re-acquisition of Filipino citizenship on the foreign decree of divorce previously and validly secured?

I already suggested that the law students who had been asking me for thesis topics can pick up this one…and maybe provide us with the abstract of the study =) In the meantime, let’s hear what’s on your mind.

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