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Abused Filipina married to US citizen seeking divorce......need advice badly

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Arresto Menor
My friend, married to a US citizen way back sometime 2006, was abused and life threatened wants to seek divorce. She has since returned to the Philippines. In her account, she has been abused by her husband and he threatened her with physical harm that she was forced to seek shelter in a neighbor's house, report it through 911 and have the police escort her to the consulate. She had nothing on her except the clothes on her back. There are records and eyewitness accounts to what truly transpired together with the actual 911 call. She now resides in the Philippines and would like to file for divorce to move on with her life. What are her possible courses of action, who to contact and possible effects? Her "husband" refuses to speak to her so she could file the divorce. Her status with immigration is uncertain as well since it was the husband who filed for the marriage and her immigration papers. What could she do and where could she go? She is concerned her records would show that she is still legally married, and she has found employment on a cruise ship that will transit the US, which requires a US visa to enter. Would this also be an issue with immigration? Your help and advice would be most invaluable. Thank you.

Last edited by vpnavarro on Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo error)

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Reclusion Perpetua

I am sorry to learn about the fate suffered by your friend in the hands of her husband. It is good to know that she's able to return to the Philippines and escape from him.

What she should do is to call/communicate with the U.S. embassy and inquire about the status of her visa, so she'll be able to clear that issue in relation to her employment.

As for divorce, there is no divorce law in the Philippines and divorce obtained by a Filipino citizen abroad will not be valid in the Philippines, although it may be valid in the country where it was obtained.

Since your friend is a Filipino citizen, she may divorce her husband in the U.S., but that divorce decree will not be recognized here in the Philippines. Please note that laws affecting the status of a person are applied to citizens of the Philippines, no matter where he/she might be. In other words, so long as your friend is a Filipino citizen, the laws of the Philippines will apply to her.

Her option is to file for legal separation/nullity of marriage based on the psychological incapacity of her husband, if the grounds for these court actions are available to her.


Atty. Katrina

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