The Challenges of entering a Relationship with a Filipina who is still Legally Married

If you fall in love with a Filipina who is still legally married this could present a number of challenges.

Currently, the only legal options available to Filipinos who want to exit a failed union is through an annulment or a petition for legal separation. It seems like in the near future there will be a possibility to get a divorce but the matter is still being discussed.

Under the Family Code of the Philippines, a marriage may be annulled if any of the following grounds exist: lack of parental consent, psychological incapacity, fraud, marriage by force or intimidation, inability to consummate the marriage and if one party has contracted a sexually transmissible disease.

Those filing for annulment must undergo a mental exam, appear in court and sometimes even claim they or their spouse entered the union while in a state of psychological disorder. The process can cost hundreds of thousands of pesos and take years.

Legal separation can be granted for a numer of reasons like repeated physical abuse from partner, drug addiction of one’ spouse, lesbianism or homosexuality, bigamous marriage, sexual infidelity etc.

Only annulment allows remarriage, legal separation does not.
So, before embarking in a relationship with a Filipina who is NOT A LEGAL RESIDENT IN A WESTERN COUNTRY AND IS NOT EVEN FREE TO REMARRY or ONE WHO LIVES IN THE PHILIPPINES AND HAS NOT ENOUGH MONEY TO APPLY FOR A TOURIST VISA AND IS NOT FREE TO REMARRY you have to consider what alternative options there are to help her get a resident permit in your country, otherwise, if you want to live with her you might have to be the one to move to the Philippines. But, again, if you are not legally married to her how do you get a permanent resident permit in the Philippines?

Perhaps a viable solution in certain countries, such as Italy for example, is if she has a child from you. Here in Italy an illegal immigrant who has a child from an Italian can have a permit to stay regardless of whether they are married or not.

But because each country has different immigration laws, before embarking in a relationship with a Filipina who is not in the position to remarry and before getting emotionally involved, carefully weigh if you will be in the position to live together, legally speaking. This might be more complicated than you think.

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