‘No quickie divorces’ in dissolution of marriage bill, says Lagman

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MANILA, Philippines — Under the proposed Act Providing for Absolute Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage in the Philippines, there will be no “drive-thru,” “no-contest” or “quickie” divorces, one of its main authors, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said.

“The bill unequivocally provides that “no decree of absolute divorce shall be based on a stipulation of facts or confession of judgment”, which is a prohibition on a no-contest divorce,” Lagman said.

Coerced petitions and convenient collusions are also prohibited, he added.

Under the bill, the Office of the Public Prosecutor is mandated to conduct investigations to determine whether or not there is collusion between the spouses.

The bill specifically provides that the “Office of the Public Prosecutor in provinces, cities and capital towns is authorized and obliged to conduct investigations to find out whether or not there is collusion between the spouses in a petition for absolute divorce and shall report its findings to the proper court within six (6) months from the filing of the petition.”

Penalties of five years imprisonment and a PhP200,000 fine are imposable on a spouse who coerces the other into filing a petition for divorce as well as on colluding spouses.