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

There were a lot of questions on the first FAQ, some of which were not answered due to certain prohibitions (see Part 1 or Part 3). For information purposes, we added Part II, wherein we discussed other common issues relating to the topic on annulment and divorce. These issues include the role of the Solicitor General, the duration and costs of annulment proceedings, and where to seek free legal aid.

Should I seek an annulment?

This is a personal decision that should not be taken lightly. While divorce is not allowed in the Philippines, the fact that the law provides for annulment means that there are meritorious instances that would justify the annulment of marriage.

What specifically is the role of the Solicitor General in the process of annulment? Is it true that the SolGen is often the source of delay?

The Solicitor General is authorized to intervene and take part in the proceedings for annulment and declaration of nullity of marriages before the RTC and on appeal to higher courts.The Solicitor General is the principal law officer and legal defender of the land. His intervention in the proceedings ensures that the interest of the State is represented and protected in proceedings for annulment and declaration of nullity of marriages by preventing collusion between the parties, or the fabrication or suppression of evidence. This is the express pronouncement of the Supreme Court. The SolGen may or may not appeal an annulment decision, and such decision is within its authority. In other words, it’s not true, and unfair to say, that the SolGen is the cause of delay.

How long does an annulment process usually take?

The entire process could take less than a year or, if you’re unfortunate, years. There are so many factors that could delay the proceedings. You and your lawyer must be vigilant in making sure that the proceedings go smoothly.

How much does it usually cost?

This is a difficult question, primarily because there are so many variations. If you have absolutely limited resources, you could file the petition as a pauper litigant (for filing fees) and seek free legal aid (discussed below). If you engage the services of a private lawyer, the entire process may cost you at least Fifty Thousand Pesos (PhP50,000).

I have a limited amount of money. Where can I seek legal aid?

There are certain institutions where you could seek free legal assistance. Start with the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), although they may or may not accept your case, depending on their load (they’re usually overloaded with cases). The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and certain law schools, provide free legal aid. Remember, however, that your request may be denied because there are other important cases handled by these institutions.

How can I verify if my lawyer really filed the petition in court or if a decision was really issued? Can I obtain a copy of the decision?

You may ask your lawyer to provide you with a copy of all documents (motions, pleadings, orders, decisions, etc.) relating to your case. The photocopying cost, of course, will be charged to you. In any case, you could always request to photocopy the record with the court where the petition was filed.

If there’s already a decision annulling my marriage, but the decision is appealed by the Office of the Solicitor General, is it ok to remarry?

No. Unless and until the decision in your favor becomes final and executory (no motion for reconsideration or appeal was filed) and the other requisites have been complied with, you can’t remarry.

If there’s already a divorce validly secured abroad (by the foreigner-spouse or the Filipino spouse who became a foreign citizen, losing his/her Filipino citizenship in the process), can the Filipino spouse immediately remarry?

No. For purposes of re-marriage, the divorce validly secured abroad is not automatically recognized here in the Philippines. The foreign divorce decree must be recognized here in the Philippines; a process which may only be done through the courts.

444 comments

  1. ,gud am atty. i just want to seek an advice. i am married last 2003 with an irresponsible man, gabi gabi nakainom, then nahuhuli ko sa cellphone na may ka text, call mate, may ka chat sa internet, nagkikita rin sila ng ex gf nya. on 2012 it came to the point na nahuli ko sya with his gf, then nung sinita ko sya binaliktad nya ang tanong, he asked me kung sakanya raw ba ang anak namin o hindi, kung sya raw ba talaga ang ama o hindi. that pushed me to the line.. sabi ko maghiwalay nalang kami dahil kung ganun kababa ang tingin nya sa akin wala na syang respeto. since then naghiwlay kami. nagbibigay sya sa anak namin ng 500 per month, ngayon na develop ako sa lesbian, may reason pa ba para maghabol o mag file ng kaso against sa amin nung lesbian ang ex husband ko? where can i seek assistance to file an annulment? thank you and hoping for your reply in my e mail.

  2. attorney can you kindly give me your contact number so i can call you to ask more about annulment in the philippines and how much will it cost…. i was married to a japanese man and was divorced for more than 2 years…. ngaun pong malalaki n ang mga anak ko im planning to marry again to a filipino guy…. im hoping i can have your contact number as soon as possible…. thank you po….

  3. I was a seafarer before. I was married since May 2006. Met my ex last December 2005 and during the period of January to May 2006, she got pregnant but had a miscarriage.During the early time of our relationship, she told me that she just needed a child even without a father. In other words, she just wanted to have a baby. So, on my part, I was lucky coz her words meant that there’s no commitment at all as if she just only wanted to have a baby because shes 9 years older than me, and I was just 27 at that time and just disembarked from the ship. But when she got pregnant, she began to cry and his brothers were talking to me that I need to marry her because she will be terminated from her job as public school teacher. So for only 5 months of this tragedy, I got married her without on my own self. Even a member of my family didn’t come because it was too quick. For example, her brother convinced me today and then less than a week they brought me to the City Municipal to marry her, they have Municipal connections that´s why. I went back to the ship at August 27, 2006. She said she got pregnant on the second time and gave delivery on June 5,2007 so this child will be our first born because she had a miscarriage on the first child. After the marriage, we used to had big fights and I remembered, she told me that she used a spell on me to get me ( gayuma ). She told me that her lived in partner before left her for America and so she consulted a witch to have her revenge on her ex (IPINAKULAM NYA).Because she´s a believer of withcrafts, fortune tellings, she always depends on fortune tellings. Since I embarked the ship on August 2006 , I just needed to go home to see my father after having a stroke and my son. I stayed only for 14 days in the Phils. to take care of my father and son. We had an agreement that if I leave her to abroad, that means that we´re separated, that meant to her that i was choosing my family here in abroad than of her. So I leave her thinking that way.I returned abroad to my partner for more than 5 years and to my 2 kids, I want to marry my partner but she´s telling us that she will not sign the annulment, we must pay her 1 million before she signs. We don´t have enough money to pay her.I am seeking for your advise attorney because I wanted to have an annulment with her but I am here abroad , is it possible for me to file an annulment because for me it was a forced or shotgun marriage? I was not on myself when I married her and I felt that I was awaked from the spell of the witchcraft just before I embarked the ship.Can I file the annulment without my appearance? And if she will not sign, can the annulment be granted? I really wanted to have a good family here abroad and start a good life. For my kids and for my partner. Can You please tell me your contact numbers or email so that I can communicate with you sir/ma´am. Hope to hear from you soon.God help me…

  4. Tanong ko lang po kung gang kelan pa po ba ako mag aantay ng desisyun ng court abt.annulment kc po dq alam kung gang kelan po ba yung period ng submitted for desicion gusto ko lng po malaman tnx po

  5. Hi.. I just want to know is it possible to file divorce after 5 months of marriage? After marriAge we found out that we are no longer happy with each other. He changed a lot and make me cry everyday. We always had fight and we sleep in one room like no one in our side.we married in other country.

  6. good evening po atty. mahirap lang po ako at separated na for 7 yrs. paano po ako makakhanap ng murang annulment? nagpunta na po ako sa PAO pero hindi daw po silahumahawak ng annulment.

  7. good day sir,

    OFW po ako. nagkaroon ng karelasyon ang asawa ko sa ibat-ibang lalaki at nakita pa sila ng mga kapit bahay ko na laging magkasama at nadatnan pa ng kapatid ko yung lalaki sa loob ng bahay. paano ko po mapapawalang bisa ang kasal namin. anu po yung mga dapat kong gawin.

    maraming salamat po

  8. hi there I just want to ask u . I have payed 150t for an annulment that has been going now for over 4 years its up to the last few witness one done 2 more to go and been asked to pay another 80t to continue with the case not knowing how much longer its going to go on for or even if it will ever be finished any advice kind regards erin

    1. Hi @Erin..package deal ba ang kinuha mo?bakit ganyan katagal?26 months inabot annulment ko package deal 220k dec.2012- april 2015..1 witness na lang at huli un psychiatrist sa case ko kasi 2x na postpone hearing bagyo at wait ng availability ni judge.every 3 months reset ng hearing..talk to your lawyer bakit ganyan katagal ng annulment mo.hoping na nakatulong ako sa tanong mo.

  9. Good pm po. Ask ko lang po nag file daw pong annulment mister q. Then sabi nya tapos na daw po. Nakakuha po aq sa nso ng naka secpa na may null/void na notes sa mar cert namin. So akala ko po ok na. Nid q mag change ng passport from kasal to single. Isang need po ay yung court order from rtc. So nagpunta q sa rtc na nakaindicate sa mar cert namin. Sabi po sa rtc wala daw po file at fake daw po annulment namin since alam nila na wala ako pinirmahan. Madami daw po case na ganon. May bago na po sya asawa at may anak na sila. So it means kasal pa din kami at pede q sya kasuhan ng pangangaliwa? Then gusto po nila ng family nya na kunin ang 2 anak namin. Boy is 12 and girl is 6. Mahirap lang po aq at may kaya sila sa buhay kaya tinatakot nila aq na mag file sila ng custody at kukunin mga anak ko sa akin. Anu po ba dapat q gawin. Kasi mahirap lang po ako at ang fam ko. Thanks po

  10. Hi,kinasal po ako nung jan.2011 pero 4 days after ng kasal namin,nagpunta po ako ng malaysia to work. Then nabalitaan ko na may ibang babae ang asawa ko. Kaya after 3 months po pinilit ko na makipaghiwalay sa kanya.Then hindi na kami nagkaroon ng communication after noon.May nakilala po akong ibang lalaki sa malaysia at nagkaroon po kami ng anak. Nalaman nya ung nangyari sa akin.Pero that time meron na po siyang girlfriend.Ngaun po matagal ko ng gustong ayusin ang annulment namin pero ayaw po nyang makicooperate sa akin.alam po niya na matagal na akong walang work at hindi po ako makapagrenew ng documents ko kasi ayaw ko po magpalit ng apilyodo gamit un apilyido nya, sa halip po,iniipit nya ako na hindi magprogress at makapagtrabaho. Its been four years na po. At sa mga nakaraang taon madami na po siyang naging babae. Tinatakot pa po nya ako na ipapakulong po daw nya ako pagnag file ako ng annulment.nahihirapan na po kasi ako sa sitwasyon ko, at naawa ako sa partner at anak ko.pls give me some advice regarding this issue.

  11. Hi Atty.,

    Hingi po sana ako ng advice kung pano mo ipa null and void ang marriage po namin kasi my partner had married before na po.

    Wala po akong enough money, if may irerefer po kayo na abogado na humahawak ng kaso na ndi masyado sumisingil ng malaki.

    at mga ilang mos or year po bago po ito maipawalang bisa.

    PM nyo na lang po ako.

    Maraming Salamat!

    Ryza

  12. Hi Atty,
    I was 17 nung nagpakasal ako, year 1992..nadaya po edad ko(20) gamit ang palsipikadong Voters ID pra lng makasal.at di rin niregister sa LCR ng Minister na nag officiate ng kasal.8 yrs na ako hiwalay at planong magpakasal.Tanong ko,valid ba yun marriage ko nuon?.Mkakuha ba ako ng CENOMAR sa NSO? Pls.reply sa email ko..thanks
    Nyles

  13. Good day Atty,

    Need your help is it really possible to get annulment if married to INC? The last hearing is last 2012 but till now we did not received yet the finality.

  14. Kasai po kMe sa church Wedding, 2012 kinasal po kame 4 days lng kme kasal iniwan niya ako buntis ako dan time wla ako natanggap supporta sa kanya ng mahingit two years at nung ngkatagpo kme ulet my kalive in po sya nung time n yun , pero pinatawad KO prin kc kasal kame at nabuntis ako ulet pero nung ng sama kme ng mahingit isang taon hnd mgnda ang pagsasama nmin hanggang ng deside ako mg abroad at ngyon gusto KO mg chuch annulment sa knya kc wlang trabaho ako ngpapadala ng pera tpos niloloko pa ako sa pera pra sa anak ko.. Help me please po Atty. after ng kasal namin hnd ako ng change status until now single ang status KO.

  15. Hello ask ko lang po ninakaw ng kapitbahay naming bakla yong birth certificate ko 2003 at nag pakasal cya sa isang koreano sa pasay city gamit ang BC ko na wala akong alam,nitong feb Lang 2016 nagbalak kaming pakasal ng asawa ko 18 yong kasal namin at pagka 16 tinawagan ako sa munisipyo namin na lumabas daw sa cenomar ko kasal daw ako ng 2003,kinabukasan pumunta ako dun at kinuha ko ang Kopya ng cenomar na kasal daw ako ang ginawa ko pinuntahan ko kapatid ng bakla at kinuha ko ang kontak Nya sa Korea,kinausap ko cya na iPa annul Nya ang kasal nla kundi idemanda ko cya,tanong ko Lang may bisa ba ang kasal nla sa pilipinas eh pareho naman silang lalake,at Hindi ko pirma ang NASA marriage contract ano pong maa ring ikaso sa kanya,pumayag syang iPa annul Nya pero ako daw mag process dito sya daw magbabayad sa annulment pwede po ba yon kahit walang pirma ng koreano Nya? Magkano pong hilingin ko sa kanyang sa damages Nya at kahihiyan namin ng asawa ko? Mapipilit ko ba syang bayaran kami? Sana po masagot nyo tanong ko

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