Can Filipino citizens get a divorce in Poland?

In today’s article we would like to introduce you to the situation of Filipino citizens, one of whom resides on Polish territory while the other remains in the Philippines and who want to obtain a divorce. In connection with inquiries relating to the possibility of the Polish court to grant a divorce to citizens of the Philippines, we will try to familiarize you with the above-mentioned topic, based on a recent case conducted by our law firm.


First of all, it should be borne in mind that Philippine law does not provide for the institution of divorce. Executive Order of the President of the Philippines No. 209 – Family Code of the Philippines provides for the in Chapter 3 the possibility of marriage annulment and in Articles 55 – 67 the judicial separation of spouses. As a general rule, therefore, Philippine citizens cannot obtain a divorce.

In a recent case conducted by our law firm, the Claimant, who is a citizen of the Philippines, concentrated her life there, while the Respondent, also a citizen of the Philippines, permanently resided in Poland. Taking into account the above, it should be pointed out that the jurisdiction of the Polish court to rule in this case resulted directly from the content of Article 1103 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Referring to the applicable law, it should be borne in mind that, in accordance with Article 51(1) of the Private International Law Act, the applicable law governing personal relations between spouses is the spouses’ common domestic law. In principle, therefore, the law under which the Polish Court should rule in the present case was Philippine law.


filipino divorce in poland


However, after an in-depth analysis of the regulations, the Polish Court, on the basis of Article 7 of the Private International Law Act, came to the conclusion that the law under which the judgment should have been issued is Polish law. The above-mentioned article expressly states that foreign law shall not be applied if its application would have consequences contrary to the fundamental principles of the legal order of the Republic of Poland. The court explained that the fact that it is inadmissible to pronounce a divorce on the basis of Philippine law is irreconcilable with the principles of the legal order under Polish law. In the opinion of the district court, the application of the laws of the Republic of the Philippines in the situation of the parties characterized by a long-standing factual separation of the relationship, living apart due to residing in other countries, the cessation of any ties, leads to irreversible, negative consequences both in general terms and from the point of view of the rights of the individual in the form of maintaining in the social space only the legal fiction of a formal relationship and at the same time the indefinite lifting of restrictions related to it (Judgment of the District Court in Ostrołęka, 1st Civil Division, dated February 16, 2023, file reference I C 186/22).


According to Article 56 of the Family and Guardianship Code, the prerequisite for the pronouncement of divorce is the complete and permanent breakdown of marital relations. In the present case, the Court had no doubt that there was a permanent and complete breakdown of marital relations between the spouses, and therefore heard the case on the basis of the provisions of the Family and Guardianship Code, ruling a divorce between the parties.


If you have any questions or concerns, as well as if you would like to cooperate with us in handling your case for divorce, we invite you to contact our attorney Catherine, who will be happy to answer your questions and help you throughout the procedure.

Phone: +48 502 775 164