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It's extremely hard to end your marriage in the Philippines
Marriage and divorce is different around the world. In the Philippines, divorce is illegal, forcing partners to stay married even when they don't want to be. - photo by Herb Scribner
Its extremely hard to end your marriage in the Philippines.

Ana P. Santos reported this month for The Atlantic that its illegal in the South Pacific islands for couples to divorce, meaning couples who wish to separate have limited options if their marriage isnt working.

In fact, Muslims, who make up 5 percent of the Philippines population, are the only group who can file for divorce because of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws, which are a Filipino set of laws protecting Muslim citizens, The Atlantic reported.

Santos reported couples can file for a legal separation, where they can split their assets and live apart, but the partners will still be legally married.

Couples can also get annulments, but that is a costly and arduous process, Santos reported. One person told The Atlantic that she paid her lawyer $10,000 for an all-inclusive annulment package.

But couples can only get annulments for select reasons, like if one of the partners was under 18 when they got married, if either party has sexually transmitted diseases or if one of the partners is married to multiple people, according to The Atlantic.

Issues like infidelity and physical abuse are not reasons for annulment, according to the countrys laws. If a partner wants to end the marriage because of these reasons, he or she must prove that their partner has psychological issues or a personality disorder for them to get the annulment, The Atlantic reported.

The process is inhumane. It is hurtful to two people who may have at one point loved each other and may have even tried to work it out, Philippine Senator Pia Cayetano, a womens rights legislator, told Santos.

The Philippines have these laws because Catholic Spanish colonizers settled the country in the late 19th century and established the country's laws, The Atlantic reported. The Catholic Church has historically had a strong stance against divorce, one that is still a point of contention today.

This is just one example of how countries around the world handle marriage. I reported on a list earlier this month that looked at how long marriages last in different countries and cities across the world. It appears there is no clear-cut length of how long marriages last, as it varies country by country.

Its no surprise that divorce rates around the world have exploded over the last few decades, news site Hopes and Fears reported. But how long does it take for most married couples to call it a day? Country by country, the average length of marriages that end in divorce vary greatly, with some not even making it to their 10th anniversary.
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