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REQUIREMENTS FOR PETITION FOR

RECOGNITION OF DIVORCE DECREE


Process
1) A divorce decree obtained abroad needs to be recognized
in a Philippine court through filing of a petition.
2) The recognition will capacitate the Filipino husband/wife to
remarry.
3) A divorce decree in Japan is one that is issued by a
Japanese court or one that is registered in the family
registry.
4) The average time frame of a court case is at least one year.
The exact period cannot be determined with certainty,
since it is the court that handles the schedule of hearings.
The time spent by the judge in issuing the decision is
entirely up to him or her. The most that the lawyer can do
is request for early resolution of the case; the court case
will be filed in the place where the marriage is registered.
5) It is ideal that the client can personally appear before the
judge. If this is not possible, she/he must have a duly
authorized representative to appear on his/her behalf.
Documents
1) Marriage certificate issued by NSO (now known as PSA)
PSA Advisory on Marriages
(commonly known as
CENOMAR/CEMAR);
2) Certified copy of Japanese Divorce Decree (in original
Japanese text, with DFA/Phil. Embassy Red Ribbon);
3) English translation of divorce decree (with DFA/Phil.
Embassy Red Ribbon);
4) Certified Copy of Notification of Divorce (in original
Japanese text, with DFA/Phil. Embassy Red Ribbon);

5) English Translation of Notification of Divorce (with DFA/


Phil. Embassy Red Ribbon);
6) Copy of Divorce Law of Japan (in original Japanese text,
with DFA/Phil. Embassy Red Ribbon);
7) English Translation of Divorce Law of Japan (with DFA/Phil.
Embassy Red Ribbon);
8) Special Power of Attorney (format will be provided) in favor
of a relative, signed by client, notarized by Philippine
Embassy/Consulate in Japan (if client cannot appear in
court hearing);
9) Copy of Valid Philippine Passport; and
10)
Documentary proof that the client is habitually
staying in Japan (Residence Card/Entry Permit)
Steps
Below are some stages/steps (about 8) related to the petition for
official recognition of foreign divorce decree in Philippine courts.
The estimated cost and time period each step may take are listed
to give the applicants a clear idea of the whole process.
Step 1. Personal or Skype consultation between client and
lawyer: The Lawyer makes preliminary assessment of client's
legal problem, proposes a solution, lays down what services will
be rendered; Explains terms and modes of payment; Sends a
formal contract to the client for his/her consideration. Client sets
up appointment for consultation with lawyer (directly or through
email, Skype, line, others); Consultation fee will be deducted
from the package price if the client proceeds with signing the
engagement. This step may cost P3000 and may take a week.
Step 2. Formal signing of the contract; Both client receives a
signed copy of contract; Client tenders payment (may be made
in cash, cheque or bank/wired transfer) Lawyer issues
acknowledgment receipt for payment received; Client turns over
all documents required for the case; Lawyer may assist in
obtaining NSO/PSA documents if client is unable to do so from

Japan;
Lawyer prepares the petition, will consult with client while the
draft is being finalized; Lawyer files the petition in the
appropriate court. (The 1 year average timeframe begins from
this point). Step 2 may take 1-2 months (depending on
availability of documents and communication between lawyer
and client). Initial payment covers 30% of payment for legal fees;
P10,000 for necessary expenses . This stage may cost P40,000
(P37,000 with the deduction of consultation fee in step 1).
Step 3. Case is raffled to the appropriate branch Court that will
order the publication of the petition in a newspaper Court will
issue a notice setting the date of first hearing. Copies will be
served to involved agencies (Civil Registrar, PSA, City
Prosecutor, Office of Solicitor General, any registered oppositor).
This stage may take a month.
Step 4 TRIAL PROPER. First hearing (will require attendance of
client or his/her representative). This step will involve proving
that all formal requirements for the case have been completed
(publication, service, etcetera) and drafting of judicial affidavits,
preparation of witnesses for testimony (client/petitioner, officers
who certified authenticity of documents, etcetera).
Hearing schedule depends mostly on the court calendar. It is
possible that the hearing can be scheduled once every month. An
average of 3-4 hearings can be expected and may take from 3-5
months.
Appearance fee rates can range from P3,000 if in Metro Manila
to P10,000 if outside of Manila.
Step 5. After all hearings are concluded and all documents
presented are formally submitted, the case shall be submitted
for resolution. This may take 3-6 months. Metro Manila courts
would have a heavier caseload and will affect the length of time
until decision is issued.
Step 6. Once the decision is issued, Lawyer will request that all
court documents (decision, certificate of finality) be issued and
certified and registered with Civil Registrar (Certificate of
Registration, Certificate of Authenticity will be issued). Then, the

Record of Marriage Certificate with Civil Registrar will be


annotated. All documents obtained by the lawyer will be
forwarded/endorsed to the NSO/PSA for recording. This step
may take about 1-2 months. This is a requirement before the
NSO/PSA requirements.
Step 7. Request NSO to issue marriage certificate and Advisory
of Marriage with annotation of judicial recognition of foreign
divorce which may take about a month.
Step 8. Bring to DFA documents for authentication (red ribbon).
The rest of the documents (Philippine Court Order NSO/PSA
Marriage Certificate (with annotation) NSO/PSA Advisory of
Marriages (with annotation) will be sent by courier or post (fees
shall depend on weight, choice of courier/postal service). This
step will take about a week. Authentication services at the DFA
(P1,500 per document) and the lawyer may send all documents
by courier or post upon client's request mail.
Based on the above information, all the steps may take, give or
take, from about 11 months and 2 weeks to 17 months and 2
weeks based on the above information. The costs may also range
from about P123,500 to P156,500 but the costs may be less or
more, may vary, depending on documents needed, schedules of
court hearings, etcetera. The clients, however, can request their
lawyer to inform them about what documents are needed and
the costs, including the number of court hearings. They can use
the above guidelines for payment transactions.

Judicial Recognition
Divorce

of

Foreign

There is no divorce in the Philippines, but when a divorce is validly


obtained abroad by an alien spouse from his or her Filipino spouse,
the Filipino spouse shall have the capacity to remarry under
Philippine law. However, the divorce obtained abroad must be passed
upon judicially by a Philippine court to prove its validity before the
Filipino spouse can remarry under Philippine law.
The decision of the Philippine Court shall become the basis for the
annotation of civil registry documents.
The following guidelines shall be followed in the annotation of the

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foreign-issued divorce decree with the Office of the Civil Registrar


General in the Philippines:
The foreign divorce decree must be judicially enforced or confirmed in
the Philippines by filing the proper civil action at the Regional Trial
Court in the Philippines (RTC-Phil).
The court decision shall be registered in the Local Civil Registry
Office (LCRO) where the concerned RTC-Phil functions.
The registered document shall be submitted to the Local Civil
Registrar where the marriage is registered. If the marriage was
registered overseas, the registered document shall be submitted to
the City Civil Registry Office at the Manila City Hall (CCRO Manila).
The following documents shall be submitted to CCRO Manila in
annotating a civil registry document:
Original or Certified True Copy of the foreign judgment or order duly
registered at the City Civil Registry Office at the Manila City Hall
(CCRO Manila).
Original or Certified True Copy of the Certificate of Finality of the
decision of Regional Trial Court (RTC-Phil).
Certificate of Registration of the decision of Regional Trial Court
(RTC-Phil) at the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) where the
concerned RTC-Phil functions.
After the annotation at the Local Civil Registrars Office (LCRO), the
annotated documents and its requirements must be submitted to the
Office of the Civil Registrar-General (OCRG) in Manila.
NOTE: All documents sourced or obtained in Japan and intended for
use and submission to Philippine authorities must undergo consular
authentication at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo or the Philippine
Consulate General in Osaka through verification of the seal and
signature of a duly appointed official of the Japanese Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (Gaimusho).
More information about the legal procedures or hiring the services of
a lawyer in the Philippines may be obtained from the Integrated Bar
of the Philippines (IBP) or the Public Attorneys Office (PAO) in
Manila.