Length of Time when Husband and Wife are Separated Does not Automatically Nullify Marriage

Experience makes you, well, really old. It also makes you realize a couple of things — like people asking a question that was asked and answered before. It’s human nature, I guess, and it would be ok if we have all the time in the world to sift through questions (again, sorry if I rarely reply to questions). We recently received this query: “Can a married man re-marry after 10 yrs. separation?” You helpful folks out there must have noticed that this question, and shades thereof, had been asked so many times before. This is tackled in our previous discussion:

If you’re separated from your spouse for 4 years, is that a sufficient ground for annulment?

No. De facto separation is not a ground for annulment. It doesn’t matter if the spouses lived apart or did not see each other for 2, 10, 20 or more years. However, the absence of 2 or 4 years, depending on the circumstances, may be enough to ask the court for a declaration of presumptive death of the “absent spouse”, in which case the petitioner may again re-marry.

I also realized that it would probably be better to have a single question per post (not a single TOPIC per post, because a single topic could give birth to so many questions). So, moving forward, let’s take this route.

Going back to the question, the mere fact of separation between the spouses, also labelled as de facto separation, does NOT automatically allow both husband and wife to remarry. The interested party has to go through the proper procedure allowing him/her to remarry. That “proper procedure” could take different forms (for example:  annulment, declaration of nullity, recognition of foreign divorce, presumptive death). The appropriate procedure or remedy is best discussed with your retained counsel because only he/she can probe the details of your case.

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Atty. Fred

Tinkering with internet tools comes with the bonus of better understanding how existing laws apply to the third wave - that of technology, particularly the internet. This is also a great medium to disseminate and discuss ideas across borders, time, color or creed. Read more.

98 thoughts on “Length of Time when Husband and Wife are Separated Does not Automatically Nullify Marriage”

  1. Hello po! I was 19 ng Maaga po akong nakapahasawa sa dahilang maaga dn po akong nbuntis..18 years old dn nmn ung bf ko na asawa ko na that time.that time n nlmn ng parents ko na buntis ako they decided na ipkasal kmi sa civil.. D n hu kmi ngseminar, agad kming ikinasal by the power of municipal mayor..ngaun po almost 6years n po n hiwalay kmi at ako po mgisang ngpalaki and ngsupport sa need ng baby nmin.. He has now a relation to another woman..in my case pano po ba ako mkapagfile ng annulment against him?

  2. Dun po sa mga kabit kung alam nyu napo may asawa wag nyu napo ipilit gugustuhin nyu ba yun anak nyu maabandon din. yun lng po may karma po di lahat ng masarap pwedeng tikman pwede rin po magtimpi. what comes around goes around at sa.mga naiwanan po ng asawa kung my properties po kau ilaban nyu may oras ngpagpapatawad pero sa lalaking duwag wag po tau magpatawad di po uso ang libre ngaun kuhain ang para sainyu kayo ang maging lesson sa mga lalaking duwag may batas po lumaban kau. Kayo nman po mga magulang dont raise a spoild men nakakaperwisyo po. Sa mga kabit po marami po lalaki single wag naten isiksik ang sarili naten sa mga taong may sabit – talong mayor sa laguna

  3. hi attorney.
    this matter is regarding my friend situation…He is asking for the grounds as he isn’t living for his wife anymore but he is sending monthly allowance/allotment for his son…How much is the monthly allowance for 1 child? and also the allowance for the wife is necessary? he is working abroad

    thank you

    1. If they are still married even if separated the wife and kids are entitled to a spousal and child support, respectively.

  4. hi attorney,
    iam separated for almost 15yrs i filed a case against him under article 7610, pwede bang maging grounds yan para mapadali ang process ng annulment .

  5. Hi Attorney,

    Im a foreigner and i want to marry my filipino girlfriend but the problem is she was married to another foreigner back in 2003 in his native country and they registered it in the Philipines embassy, but he disappeared when he send her back to the Philipines. How do i go about marrying her since her ex husband has been missing for 14 years?

    Your assistance would be very much appreciated.

  6. Good Day

    i know it was ask several time, pero gusto ko lang po manilawan lang, my husband left without reason, we do fight yes but is normal to the marriage couple right, but is not enough to left your family, dahil sawa lang siya sa mga away namin, he definitely said, he fall out of love, we are already separated for almost 2yrs, gusto ko lang po malaman what ground pede ko gawin para mag file ng annulement, i already beg him, but he humiliated me, i just want to start a new life, i hope you could advise me what to do, ayoko naman makipagrelasyun kasal ako, i really wanted to be free from our marriages

    1. Good Day

      i know it was ask several time, pero gusto ko lang po manilawan lang, my husband left without reason, we do fight yes but is normal to the marriage couple right, but is not enough to left your family, dahil sawa lang siya sa mga away namin, he definitely said, he fall out of love, we are already separated for almost 2yrs, gusto ko lang po malaman what ground pede ko gawin para mag file ng annulement, i already beg him, but he humiliated me, i just want to start a new life, i hope you could advise me what to do, ayoko naman makipagrelasyun kasal ako, i really wanted to be free from our marriages

    2. Good Day

      i know it was ask several time, pero gusto ko lang po malinawan lang, my husband left without reason, we do fight yes but is normal to the marriage couple right, but is not enough to left your family, dahil sawa lang siya sa mga away namin, he definitely said, he fall out of love, we are already separated for almost 2yrs, gusto ko lang po malaman what ground pede ko gawin para mag file ng annulement, i already beg him, but he humiliated me, i just want to start a new life, i hope you could advise me what to do, ayoko naman makipagrelasyun kasal ako, i really wanted to be free from our marriages

      1. Under Philippine laws, the validity of marriage may only be terminated through the filing of a petition for annulment or a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage before the courts. However, a marriage may not be terminated solely on the will of the parties. It may only be done if any of the grounds provided under the law is present.

        Only voidable marriages or those marriages which are valid until the same are set aside by courts may be annulled. The grounds for annulment of marriage are the following: lack of parental consent, unsoundness of the mind, marriage through fraud, force, intimidation or undue influence, physical incapacity of either party to consummate the marriage, and affliction of sexually transmissible disease found to be serious and incurable (Article 45, Family Code of the Philippines). On the other hand, a petition for declaration of nullity should be filed in case of void marriages. The grounds for declaration of nullity of marriage are the following: lack of capacity of either or both of the parties, lack of authority of solemnizing officer, lack of marriage license, bigamous or polygamous marriage, contracted through mistake of one on the identity of the other, void marriage under Article 53 of the Family Code (Article 35, id.), psychological incapacity of either or both parties (Article 36, id.), incestuous marriages (Article 37, id.), and void marriages by reason of public policy (Article 38). Hence, your marriage may be terminated only if any of the aforementioned grounds is present.

  7. tanong po hindi na po kami ngsasama ng asawa ko 8years na nasa italy n siya at my anak na, ayaw din nya mkipgcommunicate skin re. s annulment, gusto ko na po magasawa ulit wala naman po kami anak sa una kong asawa.. ano po ba pwedr ko gawin para mapawalang bisa po ang kasal namin?

  8. hi my girlfriend is from philippines and will be going back end of the month we both want to get married but she is still married so she needs an anullment they have been sepperated for 11 years have not had any contact with eahother in that time what is the best way we can go and what will happen if we both live together in philippines whilst she is still married

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