On Failed Relationships and Their Legal Implications

The biggest misconception about dating is thinking that all it takes are two people who love each other very much. Unfortunately, this isn’t all that it takes for there are also other factors to consider. Factors like differences in beliefs, culture, teachings, and personal issues can all impact your relationship. Even the most minor inconveniences can add fuel to the fire and reduce the relationship to ashes. 

Marriage is a beautiful accomplishment in life (in most cases at least). Being able to spend your life with your special someone is a wonderful experience. Yet there are caveats: relationships are hard to maintain and partners need to sort out their troubles together. While you may feel that married couples give off a bright and glowing aura in public, one must not assume it is always that way when behind closed doors.

Seemingly happy marriages may inspire us to find our special someone but this is often illusory. There are situations where marriages aren’t so beautiful and happy. One red flag in marriages is domestic abuse, defined as a pattern of behavior used by one partner in a relationship to gain or maintain power and control over the other. Abuse can manifest in physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats against another person. This includes any behavior that frightens, intimidates, terrorizes, manipulates, hurts, humiliates, blames, injures, or wounds someone. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It can occur within a range of relationships including couples who are married, living together, or dating.

Many of these cases never come to light – partly because partners don’t dare to speak and also because taking legal action is too expensive and lengthy to take for many Filipinos. In the context of the Philippines, annulment is primarily the way to end marriages.

An annulment is a legal procedure that voids a marriage and declares it null from its inception. Unlike divorce, the effect of declaring a marriage void is retroactive, meaning that the marriage was void at the time it was entered into. It applies when an impediment to a legal marriage exists at the beginning of the marriage. An annulment is only granted with a showing of specific grounds.

A divorce declares a marriage legally over. Because a divorce recognizes the marriage as valid, the process is often much more involved. For example, if a prenuptial agreement was filed, the divorce must follow what’s outlined within it. Additionally, each partner may have a legal claim to any personal property or money owned by the other, unless otherwise outlined in a prenup.

To simplify the contrast between the two, an annulment is a legal ruling that deems a marriage null and void as if it never happened in the first place. Meanwhile, a divorce declares a marriage legally over.

Philippine lawmakers legalizing divorce allows for more options for victims of abuse to be able to get out of their abusive relationships and live healthier lives. An annulment or divorce is not a requirement. No government on the planet will enforce you to end your marriage as that choice lies purely between you and your spouse.

Just because a relationship is working out quite well for you does not give you the right to restrict other people from being allowed to end their relationships nor does it give you the right to tell the victims to keep being victims. It is rather hypocritical to restrict a group of individuals from making a choice, whilst claiming to value the freedom of choice.

About the Author

Edgar Louis de Gracia

Edgar Louis de Gracia is one of our proudly Cebuano HAPIskos!

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