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House OKs absolute divorce bill on 2nd reading
House OKs absolute divorce bill on 2nd reading
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House OKs absolute divorce bill on 2nd reading
by Christhel Cuazon16 May 2024
Photo courtesy: House of Representatives

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 15 approved on second reading a bill that seeks to reinstate divorce in the country as a means of dissolving marriages.

During a plenary session, House Bill (HB) 9349, or the proposed Absolute Divorce Act was passed via viva voce or voice voting.

The bill stipulates the grounds for absolute divorce, which include psychological incapacity, irreconcilable differences, domestic or marital abuse when one of the spouses undergoes a sex reassignment surgery or transitions from one sex to another, and separation of the spouses for at least five years.

Under HB 9349, the grounds for annulment of marriage under the Family Code of the Philippines are also grounds for absolute divorce:

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• 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;
• Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than 6 years;
• Drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, or chronic gambling;
• Homosexuality of the respondent;
• Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage;
• Marital infidelity or perversion or having a child with another person other than one's spouse during the marriage;
• Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner; and
• Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year

The bill was approved two months after it was referred to the plenary by the House Committee on Population and Family Relations.

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