Culture of Marriage and Divorce in the Philippines

Once a girl in the Philippines gets married, that’s usually it. She stays married.

If the couple can’t get along, they just separate because it’s too expensive and too much of a pain in the ass to go through the annulment process.

That’s what you need to remember.

It’s very important you understand this concept because your freedom may depend on it.

Make Sure You Don’t Date a Married Woman!

If you are dating a girl in her twenties, chances are she’s never been married. Do some checking and make sure she’s still single.

Girls in the Philippines - Online Dating and Cultural Advice

If you are dating a girl in her thirties and up, there’s a better chance that she’s gotten hitched. That’s obvious because she’s had more years to date. The older the woman is, the more you should be suspicious.

You had better do enough research on any Filipina to make 100% sure she doesn’t have a husband somewhere.

Adultery is still prosecuted here. I’m not kidding.

Your Ass Will Go To Jail

If you get caught screwing a married woman, you will go to jail!

All her husband has to do is go to the barangay and file a complaint. It doesn’t even matter if they’ve been separated for years.

Once the girl’s husband files a complaint, the police will arrest you (the foreigner) and your girlfriend (the man’s wife) and put you both in jail.

That’s how it works here.

It’s All About the Money

It will cost you a ton of money to get out of the charges.

Often, money is the name of the game. Think about it.

If a man finds out his wife is dating a rich foreigner, he loves it.

It’s an opportunity to get paid.

Don’t Be Stupid

The moral of the story is to NEVER date a Filipino woman who is married. That’s stupid anyway because there are millions of beautiful Filipinas to choose from.

If you get caught with a married woman in the Philippines, you’ve got to be the dumbest man in the history of men.

You’ve been warned, my friend.

Get on FilipinoCupid and find you a SINGLE Filipina.

More Reading

Make sure you read all the articles in this series on How to Date a Filipina so you know what to expect!

Then, come to the Philippines, meet a nice girl, and enjoy the hell out of your life.


Published by Mark Blackard

I believe in free speech, less government, & cold beer.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi

    I really do appreciate your article bot the subject. My question would be how can I find out, if she is married or not. There must be some kind of institution to check this.


  2. You know, that’s a very good question I should have talked about in the article. I can’t give you a definitive answer because I’ve never gone to any government agency to inquire. I’ll throw in my two cents, though.

    As I’ve said before in my writings, I don’t trust one word from any girl I meet online (from any country) until I physically go to her home or village and see things for myself. Even then, I’m not going to believe everything the family tells me.

    With that said, the first step for me is to spend a few days around the family. Drink some Red Horse Beer with the girl’s uncle and ask him direct questions. He’ll probably open up after three or four cold ones. If he doesn’t, pay him 100 Pesos and he’ll talk.

    But for me, the burden is on the girl to prove she’s not married. Tell her to prove it. You can go with her to the barangay hall or the municipal building where she lives and try to inquire there. They’re going to speak in Tagalog or Visaya so if her auntie is the clerk you’re not going to get the truth. I’m not sure if they can issue any type of specific document stating she’s single or not. I would think they have to because I’d surmise that the U.S. Embassy would ask for shit like that if you try to get a marriage visa.

    Looking at my girl’s documents as I type, the papers she has that lists civil status are her NBI and local police clearance. The NBI is the National Bureau of Investigation background check. It’s required to get a passport or a job. It clearly states that she is single. However, I’m not certain if this is based on what she filled out on the form when she applied, or if they obtained that from some type of database. Her police clearance lists civil status as well. There is also a barangay clearance but I don’t have that in front of me. Maybe it indicates civil status. too. You would think that these docs would be good to go, but what if the girl got married down in General Santos City and now lives in Cebu? I don’t think the dots would get connected. This is the Philippines. Computer technology is 50 years behind the West.

    I’ll still maintain that if a girl is over 25 and has kids, I will assume she is married until proven otherwise. I’ve had girls tell me their husband is dead, already remarried, been gone for years, etc. All of these excuses mean the girl is married. The only girls I know who are truly divorced are RICH by Filipino standards. They work abroad and had the money for the annulment / divorce. It took them years to get it done.

    If you’re dating a girl from the province, she doesn’t have the money to get a divorce. That’s life here. My girl just said, “No divorce in Philippines. If man and woman get married and break, only separated. No divorce.”

    Hope that helps.

    In summary, I would say check the girl’s barangay clearance, police clearance, and NBI. If they all say she is single, I would probably feel comfortable with it.

  3. This really isn’t true anymore. The laws used to be very anti-female, but they were changed about five years ago. Even before then, husbands who got their wives put in jail for infidelity had to jump through some hoops and even bribe police to take them seriously. Since then, the man must make a case and won’t get far if he was first to leave. I have some personal experience with this as I had a lawyer there advise me about what I was doing with some married lady-friends.
    And while there is no divorce, annulment can be had (with a lot of time and trouble) for about 200K, and there are other workarounds (e.g. the woman could convert to Muslim and find a Muslim partner to marry).
    Crimes of passion are also technically legal, so a man who catches you in the act with his wife could kill you both and get away with it. But the only case where that has ever happened was 50+ years ago, and even then it appears to be an urban legend.

  4. Thanks for the comment, my friend. I’ll add that things are different from region to region so that’s a factor as well.

    I think the article is a good warning for the novice Westerner coming over here who has no idea what he’s stepping into. The bottom line advice from me is to not screw with married girls in the Philippines. Period. Besides, why in the hell would you want to? It’s not like there is a shortage of beautiful, single Filipinas roaming around. This ain’t America where 9 out of 10 chicks are battling obesity and we’re standing in line to buy them drinks.

    I don’t know anyone who has got caught by a girl’s husband in the act. I do know a guy who got locked up for a short stretch after a complaint was made down at the barangay. He eventually got out of it after paying a lawyer and some bribes to the cops. A waste of money and time. That was the inspiration for the article.

    Again, thanks for weighing in.

  5. My GF in the philippines is 43 years old and has been separated for 15 years. Her ex has remarried but they are still married. He has committed the crime. If she starts the annulment before I go over will I be okay. Thanks I really need to know

  6. I’m not a lawyer, but I think you would be fine if that’s truly the case and her old man is gone. However, if you met the girl online, I wouldn’t trust anything she has told you. The probable fact is that she is married. Period. End of discussion. You’re dating a married woman in the Philippines. I wouldn’t date a married woman in any country. Her ex-husband is probably next door at the basketball courts drinking Tanduay Rum every night. Most ex-husbands don’t stray too far from the barangay or the village.

    I’ll bust your balls for a second and ask why you are dating a married girl? There are millions of single chicks over here with no kids, who are not married, and don’t have the excess baggage. Just playing devil’s advocate.

    Like I said in a previous comment, I wrote this article so that guys are aware of what can happen. Most of the time nobody cares.

    But hey man, if you love the chick, do what makes you happy. Life is short. I’ve risked a lot more for a lot less than love.

  7. I was dating a woman from philipians long distance, she was married but seperated.
    Her busband left her for another woman so she claimed and I grew really attached to her and her children even sending mo ey to help her out.

    She never asked but I offered, then all of a sudden she started getting online less and less and disappearing.

    I confronted her about it and she said her ex husbands sister was making her life difficult, taking the phone away etc.

    I was wondering why a 36 woman was allowing someone to dictate her life. Then i started receiving messages on her messenger who claimed to be her husband who she said was her sister in law. Red flag clearly, then she said she had to block me because she didn’t want her sister in law ruining us.

    She made an alt account and messaged me but then next i was blocked and unblocked and she claims it wasnt her… next day I recieved a message from her husband thanking me for sending mo ey to support their family and asked if I could keep helping without asking anything in return..

    She’s now blocked.

    Becareful, some woman there have no shame or guilt they will use you and once you start catching on they will discard you and move to the next target.

  8. You need to be carefuly with filipina ladys they love money more than of any things .they worshipe for money .

  9. I am a Filipina, in my 30s and never married. I am sorry for all your bad experiences about other Filipinas but bear in mind that we are all not the same. Not all Filipinos want your money. Not all Filipinas marry a foreigner for money.
    I am a CPA and I earn my own money. I earn more than enough for myself by Philippine standards. I do not ask money from my mom nor, does my mom needs my money. I have been in a relationship with a “white man” for three (3) year and I never asked him for anything. True, sometimes he would send me some money and stuff that I never asked for because I can afford it. I made it clear to him that he has no obligation to send me anything but he said those are gifts to express his emotion considering that we are in a long distance relationship. I also send him stuff and shop for him online.
    Your cases, gentlemen, can happen with any woman you encounter- whether a Filipina or not. Any woman can lie to you. Any woman can marry you for money. Heck, any woman can cheat on you. So my advise is, before you jump on marrying or going into a relationship with any woman, foreign to your country or not, do your own due diligence. Use your head, not just your heart. Be cautious and do not rush into marriage. Take time to build your relationship and the trust between you two. Take time to know each other. A good marriage takes hard work and time, and a lot of trust and love.

  10. Dear No One,

    Thanks for your comment. As with all of the comments from my female readers, I’m curious as to exactly HOW you stumbled onto this article. If it’s not too much of an invasion of your privacy, please let me know how you landed on this page. Be honest, too! Ha! Were you stalking your boyfriend’s browser history?

    It sounds like in your case, you are the anomaly. You’re certainly not the norm. Let’s be honest. Most women in the Philippines looking for a foreign guy are looking for that lottery ticket. That’s reality. Don’t sugar coat it for the men who know nothing about the Philippines, Southeast Asia, Central America, etc. It is what it is.

    Your advice is sound and I agree with you. Any relationship should be approached with caution and due diligence or you’ll get burned. That goes for people the world over, and not just this region. The problem is that men who have been married to women from the West, are used to getting treated like shit. Once they start talking to a Filipina, they are easily mesmerized by the change in attitude. They let down their guard and forget logic.

    My argument about not dating married women stands. Don’t date a married woman in any country, culture, location, profession, etc. You’re just asking for unnecessary trouble.

    Thanks for the comment and for stopping by.


  11. Google search lead me here and it got me curious. Just wanna share my two cents and observations as a Filipina. So some people reading this are probably considering dating a Filipina. Go for it, the good ones are really caring, patient, enduring and can do hard-work it’ll probably blow your mind. Most Filipinas are family-oriented and would do anything for their family’s well-being. Go for it, but approach with great caution. More than half probably sees you as a ticket to the land of milk and honey.

    The way I see it, most westerners looking for wives in south east asia are middle-aged men. The thing is, most filipina women looking for lifetime partners prefer younger men. Something like a 10 year age gap is somewhat acceptable in this culture. I definitely agree with the comment above saying you should have proper expectations and use your logic when dealing with women. I would do this with any people I would meet.

    That 18 year old sweetheart you say? She probably sees you as a walking bank. Unfortunately for most cases, this has been like a trade between two parties. The man gets the sexy chick he likes, and the woman gets the money she is after. This culture became prevalent here that milking a “white guy” has become a game or even a job.

    So what to do? Try dating an educated woman, one who has degrees and earns a living. A decent filipina woman will be embarrassed to ask for money and even avoids it if she could because she can earn for herself. They are less likely to be after your dolyares (dollars/money) as we say here.

    Western culture usually are more open and generous so westerners would love to shower their love ones with gifts. Lots of opportunistic Filipinos love this. For them you are like an open wound ready be sucked (leeches!). I am a filipina and I hate this kind of mindset here. So you want to shower her with gifts to show your love? I say give it time.Make her prove herself. This will show you are not an easy to fool guy and also gives you time to know her well. Don’t send money every time you are asked, you are not obliged to. Use your nuggins for that one.

    For the issue of married women or not, if she tells you she is married but separated, she is legally married. Don’t mess with her until she had her marriage annuled. The ultimate proof of someone who isn’t married yet is a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

    Final word, I firmly believe every woman deserves respect. Perhaps for those who cheat and steal, they are also victims of circumstances. I couldn’t say anything but be sad for failed relationships out there. Let me echo what the others have commented here, use your heart but let your mind lead the way.

    Good luck!

  12. Kitty Cat,

    Thanks for leaving this comment. There is a lot of value in what you’ve written. If you have time, check out my other articles and let me hear your opinion on those topics as well. With all the beautiful, available, single Filipinas in the Philippines, why do you think Western men fall in love with the bar girls (hookers) in Angeles City?


    ATTENTION MEN! Make sure you read this comment. If you want to ask a Filipina about an issue, I recommend you reply to this comment and see what Kitty Cat has to say.

  13. Yes many filipina married scammers on dating website like Joanne Redoble Apuhin and her husband Christopher Ian Desabille Apuhin, google their name and see the websites that expose their dating scams

  14. A Filipino women left her children to came to USA, did not back to Philippin, she slept my husband, spent our money, harass my child, tell my husband to bully me and my child … she use our money to buy clothes, purses, makeup, traveling… Night mare… she broken my family. Wish she in the jail

  15. Dear A Lady,

    Sorry to hear that your husband ran away with a Filipina. But, it’s time for you to move forward with your own life. Just learn what you can from the experience and get to making yourself happy. You have just as much right as he does to pursue happiness.

    Here is some more life advice for you. You can’t blame the Filipina. Most people do get mad at the person their spouse cheated with. That makes no sense. If you want to get mad at anyone, get mad at your husband. Also, take an objective look at yourself and how you treated the guy.

    Good luck with moving forward.


  16. I’ve just got to no a married Filipina I really like her we been talking for a bit and she just told me that she is married but can’t afford a annulment I don’t no what to do I like her but I don’t no can u help

  17. Gary,

    That’s a typical story here, my friend. The annulment process takes a long time and is a pain in the ass. I guess if you really love the girl then hire a lawyer and get it started. Read the other comments here on this page as well to see what other readers have said about the issue

    If they’ve been separated for a long time, some guys say don’t worry about it. For me, I don’t mess with any married woman in any country.

    You obviously can’t marry the girl while she’s still married, so where can it go? If you’re trying to get her to your home country, it’s a problem. She’s never gonna get a fiance visa because her ass is already married. So add another year or two before she can go to Disneyland and meet your family. If you’re in the Philippines and she’s from Luzon, just move with her to Cebu. Problem solved. Her ex-husband don’t have enough money for a flight down to Cebu, anyway.

    If you want my advice, I’d say find a new girl who is not married. Simple. But shit man, life is short. If you love the girl, who gives a shit about what a document says. Live your life.

  18. I’m in a relationship with a married Filipino for almost three years now and I suggest guys stay away from this type of relationship. It’s a pain in the ass. Her husband lives right down the street from us also. He is a big drunk and loves the RedHorse and chicken fights.

  19. Interesting read! I have been studying pinays for 10 years, and am writing a relationship guide now, for foreigners who want a serious filipina. Truly the most maganda-beautiful women on earth, but SOME are also very mischievous with questionable motives. My mission is to learn WHY ‘certain’ Filipinas (compared to any other woman on EARTH!!!) are the only women who have little standards when dating a foreigner? I know many are well-off, and will be offended by this. But there is still a negative Western image of pinays, which I am trying to fix. God bless and Salamat. – Blazer

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