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DIVORCE: TO BE OR NOT TO BE? A complete legal breaking up of a marriage. This is how Mr. Webster defines DIVORCE.

To be able to claim a stand on this matter, it is but important for one to truly grasp and gain a reasonable understanding on divorce. This term is used to mean a legal action between married people to terminate their marriage relationship. It can be referred to as dissolution of marriage and is basically, the legal action that ends the marriage before the death of either spouse. This legal action is brought about by both parties of the marriage and is seen as the final termination of a marital union among married parties. With such, all the legal duties and the responsibilities of the marriage are cancelled. Also, with divorce, the bonds of the matrimony between the married couple are dissolved. According to Cathy Meyer, the purpose of a divorce is to terminate the parties marriage. To be able to do that, the married parties and the court will decide how to handle the questions regarding the custody and placement of the minor children and how to divide the properties and debts that the parties have accrued. State laws assume that each party is to be entitled to half of the marital properties and both will be responsible to their part of the debt, which is they have to divide the debt into two. After saying the vows in a marriage ceremony, everyone believes that each and everyone would end up in a fairytale ending where all will be able to live a well lived life and have their ever sought happy ever after. However, this does not hold true to all marriages. This is evidenced by the Solicitor-Generals report that from 2001 to 2010, there's a 40% increase in the number of those who filed for annulment. With these increase in number, one can deduce that moir and more married couples who once thought of their happy ever after with their spouse end up filing an annulment. Because of such, the topic of Divorce which has always been lurking in the corner has once again been brought into the limelight. To be able to give justice to those who have undergone such separation, it is only but just to highlight some of the many reasons why married couples end up taking the course of divorce. According to a blog by Ana Mikas, there are top ten reasons for Divorce. For the justice of understanding it, here are 3 reasons: High Expectations. A couple number of couples who enters into a marriage carrying with them their high expectations. However when these unmet expectations come this leads them to marital clashes and which then would them further into a break up. Divorce usually comes into play due to the fact that couples tend to disregard discussing among themselves their expectations of the marriage and of their soon-to-be spouse. Also, due to couples who are less willing and eager to work their marriage often times leads them to solutions which are quicker.

Adultery. Men and women who enter into marriage are often times broken because of the infidelity of the Partner. Compatibility. To become a married person does not only entail choosing your spouse with the most physical compatibility. To be able to work out your marriage, spouses need to consider their mental compatibility. When a couple is not atoned to a spouses feelings, they often tend to lead to divorce. PROs and CONs Here are a few items to consider when one gets the ideas of divorce. Pros: 1. INDEPENDENCE There are times when in a marriage, a man or woman becomes a mere extension of his husband/ wife. These kinds of people often times lose themselves and their interests for the sake of the marriage. Through divorce, one can be free from the grasp of an unhappy marriage and allow this once again to be independent. This will enable spouses to have the time they lacked and be able to do the things they were unable to do when they were married. 2. INCREASED SELF- ESTEEM In an unhappy marriage, one tends to feel or become unhappy. A partner in a situation wherein he/she is belittled wrecks his/her self-worth. Divorce initially decreases self-worth but with time as well healing, one can increase his/her self-worth. 3. DECREASED STRESS AND ANXIETY Fighting, yelling and trying to keep another person happy creates a stressful situation. Through divorce this daily stress can be reduced or fully eliminated. 4. PERSONAL GROWTH Through divorce, mistakes and faults are learned and thus once be able to be prepared for the next relationship he/she is to enter in the future. 5. HOUSEHOLD TENSION IS GONE Fighting in the house is now eliminated through this separation.

Cons 1. FIGHTS OVER CUSTODY

With the divorce, there would be a lot of discussions to be made regarding the custody of the minor children. Because of this, parents would get to have lesser time spent with their children. Custodian by the parents results into confusion of the children of whom to stay and when to stay with them. 2. LONG PROCESS To undergo divorce, it is imperative that you are knowledgeable when it comes to the legal aspect of divorce. Especially laws pertaining to child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. 3. EMOTIONAL STRESS Often time couples leave their marriages due to the constant stress to only suffer more stress because they werent prepared for the emotional aspect. Statistics say that the risk of suicide is greater for people going through divorce. Couples become more susceptible to psychiatric problems such as depression and anxiety. Not only will your relationship with your spouse change but also, relationships with friends and family developed during your marriage. This will add up to the stress the divorce has created but also couples find themselves on shaky ground emotionally. 4. CHILDREN SUUFERS THE MOST With the process of divorce, children get to have lesser time spent with their parents. This might even result to trauma to the children. In many cases, children are far worse off financially, educationally and emotionally than at times when parents are staying together. The childrens sense of stability and security which they expect from their parents and from their homes are now decreased. ARGUMENTS OVER DIVORCE PRO-DIVORCE Ana Santos lists 8 reasons why the Philippines needs to adopt Divorce. 1. CURRENT LAWS THAT ALLOW FOR LEGAL SEPARATIONS AND ANNULMENTS ARE FLAWED. Legal separation and Annulment are the only option Filipinos can choose from when couples want to dissolve their union or live apart. Both are options are flawed. In legal separations, everything but the marriage is dissolved. Quite literally, the couple remains married only on paper. In an annulment, you must prove that your reason for wanting to nullify the marriage existed even before the marriage--this requires one to declare and prove that his or her partner is incapable of functioning as wife or husband. 2. DIVORCE USED TO EXIST IN THE PHILIPPINES. According to Atty. Fred Pamaos, the Philippines once had a law on divorce. Before the Spanish colonial rule in the early 16th century, absolute divorce had been widely practiced among our ancestral tribesthe Tagbanwas of Palawan, the

Gadang of Nueva Vizcaya, the Sagada and Igorot of the Cordilleras, the Manobo, Bila-an and Moslems of Visayas and Mindanao islands. 3. THERE ARE SECTORS IN PHILIPPINE SOCIETY THAT PRACTICE DIVORCE. The Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines allows for divorcehowever, with stipulations: namely, a man can divorce his wife, but a woman cannot divorce her husband. 4. IT IS A RECOURSE FOR WOMEN WHO ARE IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS. According to the Philippine Commission on Women website, physical injuries and/or wife battering remains t o be the most prevalent case across the twelve-year period, from 19972009, accounting nearly half (45.5 percent) of all reported violence against women (VAW) cases nationwide. 5. THE STIPULATIONS OF AN ANNULMENT ARE DESTRUCTIVE. he most commonly used reason for an annulment is psychological incapacity. It requires that you prove that your spouse (or both of you) is indeed psychologically incapable of performing the responsibilities that come with being married. In legal terms, that means presenting evidence that proves this allegation. 6. PEOPLE ARE IN FAVOR OF DIVORCE. According to a Social Weather Station survey conducted in March 2011, 50 percent of adult Filipinos agree and 33 percent disagree with the statement: 'Married couples who have already separated and cannot reconcile anymore should be allowed to divorce so that they can get legally married again. 7. AN ANNULMENT IS AN EXPENSIVE PROCESS THAT NOT EVERYONE CAN AFFORD. The cost of proving grounds for an annulment, such as psychological incapacity, requires the hiring of specialists and the like, which can cost thousands of pesos--not something everyone can afford. 8. DIVORCE DOES NOT DESTROY THE FAMILY. Divorceon any law, for that matterwill not destroy the family. It is only the members of the family who can do that. Former Gabriela party-list Representative Liza Maza says that the fear that most married couples will avail of divorce is unfounded. She says that divorce is an option for marriages experiencing irreparable breakdown. This is not for happy marriages. Maza adds that a measure providing divorce as an option would, in fact, ensure the survival of problem-ridden families. She points out that a strong family marked by violence violates the sanctity of marriage. "Tayo na lang po ang bansa na hindi nagpapahintulot sa isang reasonable at angkop na solusyon sa mga sitwasyon na kung saan na hindi na talaga kailangang pagsamahin pa ang mga gusto nang hindi magsama," Maza says. She also believes that it's time to have a dispassionate view and look at the merits of the proposal. The bill(Divorce) has serious concerns it wants to address. With legal separation the couple can't remarry... With psychological incapacity, you have to prove it's present at the time of the celebration of marriage. These legal remedies are insufficient, that's why the bill is introducing divorce. ANTI-DIVORCE

Cavite Congressman Elpidio Barzaga says divorce would not strengthen the nation and may only lead to hasty marriages. Barazaga believes that we have a constitutional mandate requiring the protection of the family and state as far as marriage is concerned. According to the framers, in order to have a strong nation, we must have a strong family, and it's necessary for the state to solidify the family, promote its total development and express the sanctity of the Filipino family. He also says that if we allow absolute divorce we may result in hasty marriage. Our wish for having a strong family will not be realized if we allow divorce in the country. Divorce would not strengthen but in fact will destroy the family. Kenneth Garay also believes that divorce will result to the failure of the basic unit of society. He believes that the family should be able to teach their children well but how can they be able to do this when they have become separated due to divorce. He sees that when a child is brought up in a broken family, this would result to a childs heart to be broken and it would be hard to erase such memories in his mind. STAND For me, I believe that Divorce should be implemented in the Philippines. With only two options to choose from, that is legal separation wherein one cannot marry again and that of Annulment, wherein you have to prove ones psychological inability, I choos e nothing. With divorce, legal processes are to be made and cases should be thoroughly thought about. This entails that couples should think about their marriage not only as a ceremony but as a vow made to their partners and their commitment should not be compromised. Children living in a roof with parents always bickering will not increase the childs learning in life. It will in reverse teach them that problems can only be solved through fighting. These heated arguments of parents will only result to a childs trauma over broken marriages solved only through violence. This will only teach them to continue staying under their wrong notion that marriages always work. Divorce is not only about breaking up the marriage but it is about finding a better solution to a marriage that is not working and also about learning to let go and learn from the mistakes that have been made. In the Philippines debates have been made whether to continue with the divorce bill. But considering our justice system now, much is still needed to be done. More polishing of the law and much more of systematizing our justice system is needed. As a nation, we are not yet ready to implement such laws.