Can I marry again without filing the necessary petition for annulment or declaration of nullity of my existing marriage? This summarizes the countless number of questions, asked in a number of variations, we’ve encountered in this blog. The latest reincarnation of this query reads in full:
1999 kmi kinasal sa west..noong una d q alam na kasal pla sya sa iba babae but wla aq nagawa dhil buntis aq sa panganay ko.. we have two kids. 11 years kmi nagsama but 5 years lang talagang nagsama kmi the rest 6 yrs ngwork aq sa malau but still in the philippines p dn..then nagdecide kami maghiwalay 2010 we both agree to separate at isinoli nya aq sa mga magulang ko formal na maghihiwalay kmi dahil sa wala syang kakayahan bumuhay ng pamilya ako lahat ang bumubuhay sa mga anak ko , then 4 yrs na kmi hiwalay it is possible for me to remarry again wihtout filling annulment? can you advice me what to do?
Of course, we cannot give any legal advice and we can only discuss the general principles. We’re posting this separate article to centralize the discussions on this specific topic.
So, can you marry again without filing the necessary petition for annulment or declaration of nullity of an existing marriage? The answer is “no“. A marriage — regardless of the existence of any defect that would render it void from the beginning — remains valid in the eyes of the law until declared otherwise by a Philippine court. For clarity, we can re-state the query in this manner:
My existing marriage is clearly void because ________________. Can I remarry without filing the appropriate petition to nullify or declare the nullity of my previous marriage?
Feel free to fill in the blank portion. You can think of any possible reason or ground. The answer will still be the same — any subsequent marriage is invalid for as long as the previous marriage is still subsisting (not declared void or annulled by a court, and only by a court). Everything else follows: the spouses open themselves to a criminal charge of bigamy, the kids are illegitimate, etc.