Filipino couples who find themselves in irreparable relationships find it difficult to separate due to long and costly legal procedures. (Photo: Mark Saludes)
A US Supreme Court case, Maynard vs. Hill, is often referred to as a basis for the Philippine Supreme Court to side with the validity of marriage every time there is a declaration of a nullity case that reaches it.
In this case, the US Supreme Court said that marriage is more than an ordinary contract but an institution of society, regulated and controlled by public authority.
“Marriage is something more than a mere contract, though founded upon the agreement of the parties. When once formed, a relation is created between the parties which they cannot change, and the rights and obligations of which depend not upon their agreement, but upon the law, statutory or common,” according to the ruling.
In a highly conservative country, the legalization of divorce is still a fight fought by many who say choosing to end one’s marriage is a civil and political right.