Do you think divorce should be legalized in the Philippines? Why or why not?
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Do you think divorce should be legalized in the Philippines? Why or why not?
I think divorce in the Philippines is an issue that is long overdue. But the problem is with some sectors of our society who view it as an abomination to their morals and religious beliefs? But hey! is'nt morality the first casualty in a bad marriage. Why? because in many instances either the husband or the wife commits adultery. Now, where is the morality in this? Is'nt adultery a transgression of our religion? Others will argue about the welfare of the children. This is why divorce laws like in the U.S. have an equitable partition of property and responsibilty. To think that these children of bad marriages will not not only suffer the consequences if it goes on, we as society are telling them that it's okay for their parents to have lovers out of their marriage. I believe a well written divorce law can help clear the ambiguity of this social illness.
Your point about a well-written divorce law should be noted. I browsed through the Bill and discovered several possible loopholes which could turn the institution of marriage into something cheap. True, several provisions are seemingly airtight, but others, like the provision which recognizes divorces granted by churches or religious sects, may be abused by couples who don't see divorce as the 'extreme solution'. In other words, there is a danger that divorce may become too common, as we have seen happen in the States.
A divorce law in the Philippines would destroy the fabric of Filipino society---we are a family-based society, grounded in tradition. Having a divorce law would make divorce too easy a solution---couples may resort to it too quickly without trying to fix the problem first.
ANY separation of mother and father from their children, whether legally abetted or not, causes trauma to the children. I have encountered quite a few friends and acquaintances who have fought through the effects of annulments and separations---many of them remain whole, yes, but incredibly and sadly fragile within.
aragorn, i don't think that passing a divorce law would destroy the fabric of Filipino society. seen in a different light, it might, in fact, strenghten it...
consider this - a couple staying together for years on end, fighting and bickering with their children close by... the couple sticks it out til their kids are gone simply because they had no way out.
in a different setting, the parents would have faced the mistake they had made and opted for a rational choice - one that their children would be able to understand - not one they'd have to live through in regret.
staying together in marriage should not be forced upon any couple - it should be a decision made daily as they tarry through their lives. when one does not make that decision to stay, not even a piece of paper can salvage it. the contract simply loses its purpose.
i don't think that the marriage of two people is defined by the paper they sign. isn't it supposed to be a commitment which is bound by christ? when he is not present, when the couple has chosen to let their love fade, the marriage ceases. whether or not the contract is intact, the marriage ceases.
oh, and another thing, i don't think a family where only one parent is around is necessarily less of a family. children will react to different situations differently. perfect families do not equate to perfect children - and the other way around. more than the being a 'tradition', families should espouse love that is given by both parents to their children - whether they are together or not.
Shiva and Aragorn, I think I told you two that by the time my girlfriend graduated from law school, I'd have a minor in law. I'm feeling this right now!
I just helped my girlfriend-in-law-school prepare for a debate on this touchy topic. She had to defend the existing legal arrangement.
Y'all have to understand that our existing marital laws are rooted in our Constitution and Family Code, which identify the Family as the fundamental unit in our society. Any derivative law must work to preserve this all-important social unit at all costs. From a legal standpoint, then, the State would have problems accepting divorce, which breaks the marital and family bond.
Right now, the current arrangement provides for a number of possibilities faced by a couple with marital problems. If the marriage is hampered by defects on one or both of the partners before the marriage, then the couple can dissolve the marriage outright. The State says that the marriage never took place.
If the marriage is plagued by problems which surfaced after the marital vows, then the couple can legally separate. The couple can have a separate address, they can divide their assets. They don't have to live together (legalese: cohabit), rip out their hair, scandalize the children, and draw demarcation lines along the house.
An interesting thing about legal separation is that a couple that wants to get back together can just tear up the separation document and live on as man and wife. Conversely, what's perceived as unfair about legal separation is that individuals who are separated can't remarry.
Anyone who tackles this topic has to ask the question: in times of marital crisis, what is defective? Is it the union or individuals comprising that union? Why destroy the union when human problems are clearly individual ones?
If you think that marriage is a temporary, reversible condition, then a divorce law makes sense. I'd like to think the opposite: that marriage aspires to be a permanent, lasting union between two people.
Our existing laws protect this union against the defects of the individuals which comprise it. Legal separation creates acceptable conditions for healing and reconciliation within the marital union -- a venue for counseling, reflection alone, etc. This is in stark contrast to divorce, which glosses over the fact that individuals have marital defects (as manifested by things like infidelity) and releases them from their obligations instead of correcting them.
A divorce law reduces the significance of family in Philippine society because it conspires against the preservation of its core, the marital bond. Defenders call it pro-individual, but opponents say that it's anti-family.
When one utters marital vows before God and country, that person acknowledges the union's permanence and indissolubility. It's not "...until inconvenience do you part." Married individuals have a new function in society: to hold together a family with the marriage at its heart. That's why the prospect of marriage should really be taken seriously by couples, because the State values this union and will protect its permanence and indissolubility at all costs.
To be honest, seeing marriage in this light makes me feel unworthy of what marriage aspires to be. Still, I don't think I could see marriage as anything less than the most significant commitment one can make to another human being. Our laws cherish that notion, and that's why I respect them.
Yes, mikoid, i do agree that marriage and the family are important and that the state and the church should join hands in helping these two institutions survive - but the ultimate choice whether it should continue in its state is not the government's nor the church's to make. It is the couple's. And making a decision that may be contrary to those two entities' beliefs should not make the couple liable for what is now conceived of as a crime - especially since the decision is clearly personal - without any direct repurcussions to the state or the church.
Though it may be true that with this, more marriages may end up in divorce, this phenomenon should clearly not be pinned on the law. Instead, it should be seen as a reflection of the health of marriages today. This is the aspect that the government and the church should be looking at - the reason why couples would opt for a divorce - and not the final outcome.
I admit that I may not be as familiar with the law as you, mikoid, but of the little that i know, i would like to think that the law is a tool that the government and the people can use to have some semblance of control over acts that are malicious and evil - to let justice reign. But in a case like this where it is apparent that the government decides for the individual on an issue that is neither malicious nor evil - you wonder whether that, in itself, is just.
im sure most of us knows that there a proposal that there be a divorce law in our country, so what do you think? Personally, I am in favor of it. Basically for the battered wives, atleast they won't have to spend a huge amount in seperating their husbands like in thr case of annulment. ‹
gud luk sa finals ppl
ya, i agree with you about the battered wives thing...
pero as of now ewan ko, la pa akong stand. it's kinda hard kasi with the possibility that people will take marriage and commitment for granted.
if people could learn to understand this law and apply it the proper way, then i guess it wouldn't be so bad.
PRO AKO!!! dapat lang..... kaya nga lang sometimes it would get abused.... pero kawawa naman yung miserable d ba???? i guess the answer to that is discipline.... ehek.... dapat responsible enough na yung tao bago magpakasal..... case to case naman pag igragrant yung divorce e...
Definitely pro. This country should realise that not everyone is a Roman Catholic, and thus should learn to separate church and state. If you're stuck with a relationship that's getting nowhere, you shouldn't be sentenced to life with someone. They think the kids will get affected--but the kids get more affected when unhealthy relationships are forced to continue. Everyone must be given another chance.
I believe marriage is a lifelong commitment, and it should not be treated as an ordinary contract that can just be severed when one doesn't feel like it anymore. Divorce just contributes to the complacency of people to just get into relationships without really thinking it over. Kung talagang hindi mo masasabi na tatagal kayo ng future asawa mo, huwag na lang kayong magpakasal in the first place.
I don't think religion has anything to do with it. The inherent principle of commitment does not depend on a belief in a God. There are other ways of approaching the arguments of the lawmakers, and divorce is not the only solution.
There are lots of arguments about this new proposal. I'm pretty sure everyone believes marriage is a lifelong commitment, and yes, it should not be treated as any ordinary contract like what Yoshi says. That argument is perfectly alright. However, we all know that in reality, people make mistakes. We are only human beings. This gives another reasonable argument that divorce must be passed as a law in the Pinas. You say that "kung talgang hindi mo masasabi na tatagal kayo ng future spouse mo, wag na lang magpakasal in the first place." How about I tell you that walang assurance ang 2 taong magpapakasal na tatagal sila forever. Marriage is a risk. Almost everything we do is a risk. Of course, we always want the ideal relationship, but who really has one? The hubby and the wife work together
to stick with that lifelong commitment. Ngayon sa mga panahong 'to, may mga taong wala sa sarili. And there will always be ppl like that. We can't do away with ppl like that. As I see it, the new proposal only applies to the couples who are having trouble in their family lives. Kung talgang committed naman sa isa't isa ang 2 tao, they don't even have to worry about the proposal. They'll stick with each other no matter what.
The lawmakers are not saying that divorce is the only solution. They are just giving the ppl options. Things to choose from. I'm sure they will not encourage divorce to every problematic couple. Like what BadGirl said, discipline ang kailangan ng mga tao. I know Filipinos aren't too stupid just to let this new proposal ruin their lives. If they really have strong faith, then it won't be much of a worry for them. Filipinos will learn to fully understand this law, and apply it in the proper way.
Whenever people face a difficult and challenging situation, the tendency for those involved is to take the less torturous path towards a solution. That's normal. Good, in fact, for everyday problems and hassles we face.
However, we cannot say the same thing for issues that are as important as marriage and family.
Legal separation has been the recourse of many troubled marriages. However, the introduction of divorce as one of the options of troubled marriages would open a floodgate of pain for families who COULD have worked out their differences, but instead opted for the permanent dissolution of the relationship between man and wife.
I have had my share of experience in family troubles. I have had friends with families in even worse shape. But the point is, parents must hold on to the FAMILY atmosphere for the benefit of the children, if not for themselves. I have seen too many adverse effects of broken marriages to ever be happy with divorce as a solution to family problems.
There are so many other solutions to marital problems (prayer, counseling, marriage encounters, legal separation, etc) that divorce would seem such a quick and painless solution to something which is NOT quick and painless. The danger of abusing this power of divorce would not only endanger the value of committment in this country, it would also cause our traditional values of family life and love to degenerate (should I say it?) just as these values have practically disappeared in mainstream American culture.
Got a few meaty replies the first time around. Moving back to the top so that more ideas can be posted.
I'm for legalization of divorce. While I agree that it weakens the marriage vows when you know that there is always divorce as a way out of difficult situations, sometimes, there are situations that cannot really be fixed. If a husband is a wifebeater, and no amount of counselling could help him, would you still tell the wife to stay with him? Or what if a couple were forced to marry by their parents even if they didn't want to?
While legal separation does exist, don't the couple deserve a second chance? With legal separation, seems to me the male gets the better end of the deal, since in Filipino society, males getting a second partner is more accepted than in females. Annulment is possible, but how can you explain to the kids that the marriage was null and void in the first place, and that they are technically ********? And 7 years for an annulment decision to come through--ang tagal naman niyan to be in limbo.
I really agree that if you get married, you have to work very, very hard at it and not throw in the towel at the first sign of difficulty. But when enough's enough, and when the children and everybody else around you are suffering, I think divorce should be an option. A very tight divorce law, wherein not every couple who has problems could use as an escape, but only as a last option, should be written. Everyone deserves a second chance.
shiva: But the problem is, marriage and the family ARE institutions, meaning that all people generally grow up with a father and a mother who are married to each other.
This leads to child developmental issues, actually. I have a single parent in school whose son is one of my counselees, and she's expressed her difficulty in rearing her two sons in the absence of their father. Boys DO need a father figure, and boys who don't generally look for one, either in constructive or destructive ways. I can only speak for the boys, though, as I teach in an all-boys school. But the point is, the job of parenting is too big for one person.
The whole conflict here is not just between the spouses, but the effects of their strife on the children. It's very hard NOT to see oneself as different when everybody else has a mother and a father. As for older children, how would this affect THEIR interpersonal relationships, when one or both of their parents openly admits that LOVE just couldn't work, and that the phrase "for richer, for poorer, till death do us part," isn't true?
I just don't think that a husband or wife leaving for good is the solution to marital strife.
you are absolutely right re: consti and the family code. but a divorce law is not necessarily repugnant to both. having a divorce law will not necessarily uproot the family as the basic unit of our society.
the legal issues on annullment, nullity and legal separation aren't as simple as it may first sound. you expounded on the effects of these cases on the couples. but there is a major difference re the effects of these situations on the children of such marriages. one important one is the children's right to their legitimes or inheritances.
in cases of annulment (in the strict legal sense), the children stay legitimate, i.e., they get their full legitime or "mana". but then again, the grounds for annulment are really tight and not oft used. (ex. deceipt amounting to fraud, substantial mistake, incurable STDs etc..)
as for nullity, the grounds are also airtight, except for one. here is where the "backdoor divorce" clause lies, in article 36 or the psychological incapacity clause.
normally, if a marriage is nullified, which is what you discussed, the law will treat the marriage as having never even existed to begin with. but as correctly pointed out by ira, this will make the children of such nullified marriages illegitimate, i.e., they only get 1/2 the legitime of a legitimate children. nakaka-confuse. children are born thinking they're legit and end up ******** just because their parents cant agree. unfair right? it ends up punishing the innocent children.
there are only 2 exceptions to this regression to bastardism (for lack of a better term) and one of them is nullity under art 36. because of this exception, from my point of view, it seems that the framers of the family code somehow intended to give "troublesome marriages" a backdoor solution. they get the marriage nullified but the children remain legit. i.e., they are free to marry again without any adverse effects on the status of their children.
so, without being unpopular to the church and other powerful lobbyists, naisingit na rin ang divorce sa family code without really calling it a divorce.
the main problem i have with this set up is that the definition of "psychological incapacity" has specifically been left ambiguous by the framers of the code and the supreme court itself precisely to give leeway to irreconcilable couples. the SC didn't want to set too tight limitations for fear that couples seeking relief under art 36 will not be able to get it if the rules are made too stringent. i.e., they feared that given an stricter definition, art 36 will lose its applicability in a substantial number or psych. incap. cases.
although the 1998 molina case gave more stringent regulations on how to define psychological incapacity, i don't think these limitations are enough.
ang lumalabas ngayon is that the definition of psychological incapacity, and the chances of a couple obtaining a virtual divorce under art 36, is left to the competence and creativity of their legal counsels.
it is mainly becuase of this ambiguity and extreme flexibility that i'm still of the opinion that a stricter and more comprehensive divorce law will be more beneficial to present state of affairs, with re to the family.
under the present law (art 36), a creative enough lawyer can weave a tale so convincing that the courts might be persuaded to grant a nullification to a marriage that is still "salvageable". i am hoping that if a divorce law will be passed, it will be comprehensive enough to get rid of this present ambiguity and provide for more stringent mechanisms to prevent the granting of a divorce to salvageable marriages. *keeping my fingers crossed*
Actually,i need ideas for our project. Perhaps i can fish some here...
I am against it because its like destroying the very foundation of any society - the family. If this becomes a law, our social problems will increase dramatically. Imagine the level of social problems we have right now and try to add more into it. What can you say???
I'm against divorce! This is again another "patching" remedy for big wounds in the society. Hindi kaya ng band-aid ang malalim na sugat. Prevention over cure. What I'm driving at is stricter procedures for couples who want to get married. Right now there are rules regarding acquiring marriage licenses for different age categories. There are also a series of seminars couples must attend before their wedding. Adding more formation and education on what married life is all about should work better than divorce. This also means not lowering down the age for marriage. Prevention instead of cure. Besides, divorce is not a cure. It just adds to the garbage which society already has. It is an easy way out to problems. This encourages spur of the moment decisions on serious things -- marriage -- in life anyway you can get a divorce. Problems not faced are problems unsolved.