Countries Without Divorce

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Most of the world has legalized divorce. Traditionally, societies have seen marriage as a permanent commitment between two people to remain together. Various religions seek to regulate marriage -- and these religions have influenced secular law -- making divorce illegal. However, most countries have found flaws in marriage laws that do not allow spouses to separate, divorce and marry someone else.


Malta legalized divorce in 2011. It took a long time to legalize divorce, since the country is devoutly Catholic. The pro-divorce movement believed legalizing divorce would allow those with dysfunctional marriages to have another chance at love. People in Malta do not become eligible for divorce until after four years of separation.

Restricted Divorce

While almost all countries have divorce, not many countries have the freedom that Americans have in regards to divorce. Americans can divorce for any reason by simply citing irreconcilable differences. In other countries, couples can only divorce in the case of adultery or desertion.


As of 2011, the Philippines does not have divorce, but they do have legal separation, where the couple divides their assets. However, they cannot remarry. Couples can also get an annulment, but only under specific conditions, such as mistaken identity, psychological incapacity or homosexuality. To prove psychological incapacity, the divorcing spouse must get a psychological report to back up the claim, which many spouses cannot afford.

The Philippines once had divorce, but the 1950's civil code abolished them. A 2011 study found that 50 percent of Filipinos agreed that the government should allow people to divorce and 33 percent disagreed. Since the Philippines do not have divorce, some people choose to not get married at all and instead have children out of wedlock. In other cases, people abandon their marriages and leave the other spouse to raise the children. Since there are no legal divorce procedures, there is no legal way to force one spouse to pay child support.

Vatican City

The Vatican City does not allow divorce. The official stance of the Catholic Church is that marriage is permanent. The church considers those who destroy a canonically valid marriage through their own fault to be in violation of Catholic teachings, while those who are abandoned by their spouse are not seen as at fault.


About the Author

Chuck Robert specializes in nutrition, marketing, nonprofit organizations and travel. He has been writing since 2007, serving as a ghostwriter and contributing to online publications. Robert holds a Master of Arts with a dual specialization in literature and composition from Purdue University.