Annulment in the Philippines: Questions and Answers (Part 3)

My fiancee and I secured a marriage license, but no marriage ceremony was ever celebrated. I learned, however, that my “wife” is already using my surname in her documents, including her passport. Am I considered as “married”?

No. A marriage license is valid only for 120 days, and any marriage contracted after that period is null and void. A woman cannot use his putative “husband’s” surname in the absence of a valid marriage.

After a year of marriage, my spouse and I agreed that our marriage is getting nowhere, and that we should go find someone else. We prepared an agreement that we both want an annulment. Would this be of any help in the annulment process?

No. As noted in a previous article, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) or the public prosecutor, as the case may be, is under legal obligation to make sure that there’s no collusion between the parties. In fact, the grounds for annulment or the annulment itself is one of the issues EXPRESSLY removed by law from the matters that could be settled or compromised. The petition may be dismissed if there is proof of collusion between the spouses.

My wife (or husband) sent me a letter saying that “wala na akong pag-ibig,” “ginamit lang kita” or “let’s separate.” Are these sufficient grounds for annulment?

No. The law is always in favor of the validity of the marriage. A signed contract by the spouses that they agree to an annulment, as discussed above, is against the law, moral and public policy. Therefore, it is not valid.

My spouse, who is no longer a Filipino citizen, said that he/she will not object to end our marriage. Can I seek an annulment here in the Philippines or, if that’s not possible, a divorce in the United States or anywhere abroad?

Article 26 is clear that only the former Filipino (or the foreigner spouse) may seek a divorce abroad. In other words, even if a spouse is no longer a Filipino, the other spouse who is still a Filipino can’t validly seek a divorce.

I am a Filipino citizen, married to a foreigner. I discovered that my foreigner-spouse secured a divorce abroad and is now married to someone else. What should I do to be able to remarry? Is that unfair to the Filipino?

This definitely seems unfair to the Filipino spouse, as the foreigner spouse (or the spouse who is no longer a Filipino) could remarry after securing a divorce. The Filipino spouse, on the other hand, must get hold of the divorce decree and have it recognized in Philippine courts. Dura lex, sed lex. The law may be harsh, but it is the law.

If my spouse is confined to a mental hospital for years now, can I use that as a ground for annulment?

Insanity is a ground for annulment, but it must be shown to be existent at the time of marriage (and, besides, it is subject to ratification by cohabitation). It could also be used to support the ground of psychological incapacity, but such must also be shown to be existent at the time of marriage and must appear to be incurable (among other requirements). Please note, however, that insanity is not synonymous with psychological incapacity.

How much will I spend for a petition for annulment or a petition for declaration of nullity? How long does it take?

These matters are discussed in a previous post. The amount of expenses depends on the grounds relied upon, as some grounds are relatively easier than the rest, like psychological incapacity. It also depends on the acceptance fee of the lawyer. The duration of the entire process also depends on a lot of things, e.g., the grounds relied upon, docket of the court, availability of the judge or the public prosecutor, postponments, etc. In other words, there’s really no fixed cost or duration.

I believe that my marriage is null and void because my spouse had a previous marriage. What should I do to remove my marriage file at the National Statistics Office (NSO)?

Nobody could simply “remove” any official record at the NSO, as this is a criminal offense. A petition for annulment or declaration of nullity (see distinction between a petition for annulment and a petition for declaration of nullity) must be filed in court and once a favorable decision is issued, the decree is registered with the pertinent civil registries and the NSO.

I’m separated from my wife for years now. I recently learned that she got pregnant by another man. Can this be used as a ground for annulment? Can I have custody over
our child?

Infidelity is not a ground for annulment (please see the grounds for annulment in the previous post). At most, it could be a basis for legal separation or filing a case for adultery. As to custody, the Supreme Court already ruled that sexual infidelity, by itself, is not sufficient to grant custody over a child. Please read the previous post on the primary criterion in granting custody.

If you can’t find the answers here, please refer to Part I, Part II or other related posts. You can check the Related Posts at the bottom of each post. You can also use the Search function (also in the right sidebar).


  1. dear atty,

    my husband is a foreigner and we got married here in the Philippines. things did not work out and he finally said he does not want to be with me anymore. I guess cultural differences is one the reasons things didn’t work out, and also because of our age gap. can I use this as ground for annulment? thanks

  2. Atty,13 lang po AQ ng mpangasawa AQ ng ama ng anak KO 40 anios indi KO po kilala at indi KO rin xa nobio tinanan nia AQ pero indi KO kagustuhan dahil po nag aaral AQ at ayaw kong kantiawan AQ pinanindigan KO nlang ang lahat na mahsama kmi khit indi KO xa mahal,nagsama po kmi ng 5 taon bago kmi nagkaanak ikinasal po kmi ng akoy 20 na na puro pasakit sa piling nia hangang ngaung 33 na may NSO marriage cert po kmi,gusto kona po Sana wakasan ang kuniarihang pagsasama nmin sa pamamagitan ng annulment ako po Sana magpa file,tulungan nio nman po ako.

    Lubos na gumagalang,

  3. ask ko lang po kc nakasal po ako dati mga yr 2002 pero di po kmi nag sama kc di rin kmi nag katuluyan mga after nun di na kmi nag kita hanggang ngaun now may chance po ba na ma annul po un at panu po ung mga dapat kong gawin salamat po

    1. ping, I can’t really say if there’s a chance your marriage will be annulled. We usually ask our clients lots of questions (and ask for certain documents) before we give any legal opinion whether there’s a ground to support an annulment. No legal advice is given here. Hope you understand.

      1. Atty. same po kami ng case 2008 po nakasal kame pero after din ng kasal di rin kame nagsama iniwan ko agad ung babae di na ako nagpakita pa till now. nagpakasal lang kami kasi nabuntis ko ung babae pero ayaw ko talaga noon. sa ngayon may gf po ako at gusto ko magpakasal. please help.

  4. atty. kasal po ako sa hapon, pero hindi po kmi ng sama kasynduan lng po ung kasal para maging citizen po aq ng japan, pero nung nsa japan n po aq di po kmi ngsama s bahay mgkahiwalay po kmi ng tirahan, ngayon hindi ko po natupad ang npagkasunduang bayad s kanya kya ng sumbong po xa s pulis, in short na automatically annulled po ung kasal namin at pinauwi aq ng pinas. gusto q po mgpakasal anu po ang ggawin q pls help. tnx

  5. I was married for 6 months and we found out that the marriage will not work we decided to have a separate lives and until now we haven’t any communication for 5 years. May I file an annulment for this?

  6. Sir,

    I have a friend of mine, a woman, who is married but because of marital unfaithfulness of her husband, they got separated. Now she is living with someone who is not her husband and they are planning to get married. Is there any possibility for the couple to get married through annulment? Thanks sir

  7. Hi atty, i’ve been married to a Japanese 5yrs ago here in the Philippines.We havent been togethether since the marriage happens i didnt go to japan and he did not visit here anymore.we also dont have contacts after the marriage.i dont know his whereabouts or how to contqct can i file and what will the court ask so i can have an annulment.

  8. Hi, been reading your blogs po at sobrang nakatulong po na maliwanagan ako regarding sa annulment. My partner and I po are leaving together for 10years na po, which started nung ipanganak ko ang panganay namin. He is married po year october 2001 then opisyal po na humiwalay nung January 2004, and nag file na po Yung ex wife nya ng annulment just recently po. Ang itatanong ko po sana is, dapat po ba naming I provide Yung mga birth certificates ng mga anak namin? nakapangalan po kase sa partner ko yung mga bata born on 2005 and 2012. Hinihingi po kase ng ex wife nya yun . ang sa amin po kase di ba dapat walang collusion? Di po ba magiging ebidensya ng collusion kung ibibigay naming Yung mga b.c ng kids namin?

  9. My wife work Abroad and she leaves us for about 7 or almost 10 yrs in the Philippines.we had 2 both teenager.she never go home or had a vacation for that span of time Because we had a fight before.we are also second cousins. now my question is can i file annulment against her beacause im planning to get married to my present live in partner.tnx

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