Questions and Answers: Annulment in the Philippines (Part 4)

Part 4 of the continuing installment of discussions on annulment or declaration of nullity. Before posting a question, please be mindful of our limitations and kindly search the related articles in this site. Otherwise, please be patient and wait for future discussions that may be related to your query.

Are the grounds mentioned in Civil Code exclusive? If the reason does not fall within the grounds, will the annulment case prosper?

The grounds for annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage, as the case may be, are provided under the Family Code, which amended the Civil Code. These grounds are exclusive. However, the specific facts or acts that support each ground may vary on a case to case basis. For instance, psychological incapacity (Art. 36) was purposely drafted without a specific definition. As noted by the SC in one case, judicial understanding of psychological incapacity may be informed by evolving standards, taking into account the particulars of each case, current trends in psychological and even canonical thought, and experience. The guidelines are not set in stone, the clear legislative intent mandating a case-to-case perception of each situation.

What is the remedy if my spouse could not be found? I’m having a difficult time starting the annulment process because I can’t find my husband (or wife).

The presence of the other spouse in the proceedings is not required, provided there is a valid service of summons. The summons is usually served by handing a copy to the other spouse. However, if the other spouse could not be found, service of summons is done through publication. The petitioner files a motion asking the court, for valid reasons, that summons be served through publication.

My petition for annulment was granted, but before it became final, I remarried. Is my second marriage valid?

No. The law provides that remarriage during the existence of a previous marriage is not valid. The mere fact of filing the petition, or the grant thereof without complying with all the requisites, is not a reason for contracting a subsequent marriage.

My petition for annulment was denied even if my wife didn’t appear. I didn’t tell any lies during my testimony. Shouldn’t the petition be granted considering that my wife didn’t even appear and testify to the contrary?

The absence of the other party is not enough ground to grant a petition for annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage. The court, in deciding whether to grant or deny a petition, must look at the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the ground used in the petition. The court may deny the petition if the evidence presented is not enough, even if the other spouse does not appear. The Solicitor General or the Public Prosecutor may even oppose the petition, on behalf of the State, if the grounds are not sufficient.

I got married without parental advice. Is my marriage valid?

A marriage is valid even if no parental advice was given. There is a separate discussion on the distinctions between “parental consent” and “parental advice“.

How will I know if my attorney is a valid one? Is there a website available to check if it’s valid?

A lawyer must be registered by the Supreme Court. It may happen that a person in Supreme Court Law List: (a) is already dead; (b) had been suspended from the practice of law; or (c) disbarred. It may also happen that the name is registered in the Law List, but the identity of that lawyer is being used by a non-lawyer.

I’m single and I was surprised to learn that a Marriage Certificate is on file with the NSO. My ex-boyfriend is reflected as my husband, but we didn’t get married. What shall I do?

We’ve encountered variations of this problem a number of times. The common thread is this: there was absolutely no marriage, but for one reason or another, a marriage certificate ended up with the NSO. The good news is, it’s relatively easier to show that there indeed was no marriage. The bad news is, a petition still has to be filed to declare the alleged marriage as null and void.

If a Filipino couple later became U.S. citizens, then got divorced, is their marriage still valid under Philippine law?

There are a lot of questions relating to this issue, even with the number of articles that deal squarely with this issue. These articles also discuss the situation wherein the foreigner-spouse refuses to file for divorce. Again, kindly search the site before posting a query. Thank you.

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If you can’t find the answers here, please refer to Part I, Part II, Part III 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).

28 comments

  1. good day,

    my wife and i got married last 2009 in Dubai consulate and got married here in the Philippines last 2011 for a church wedding required by my in-laws…now we are separated for about a year…may i just ask what will be the process for annulment? both marriage was registered here in the phil. do i need to go personally to dubai to file an annulment or annulment for those two wedding can all be done here? and how? what will be the procedure? thanks and god bless…

  2. Hi Atty. I just want to ask about my situation with my husband because I’m planning to do an annulment maybe on 2014, before we got married with my husband we had a child already. Last 2007 I found out that he had any girl and made her pregnant and now their child is only a year older than my daughter, that time I decided to work in Dubai to forget him. At January 2010 I came back in the Philippines and suddenly he asked me to get marry with him, yes we got married last June 2010 but after 4 months of being married I went back to Dubai to work, while I’m in Dubai he is always leaving our child to my family sometimes to his family and he is going anywhere, too much rumors I heard about him that he is with another girl again,until now he is not supporting even to our child. He was never been a good husband to me and a good father to my child since then. From 2011 I don’t have any communication with him until now coz of what he did to me and to my child, he is not even supporting her. Now I heard that he is working and living with another girl again in abroad. In this case can I ask if it is possible that I will file an annulment .In annulment should be my presence there in the Philippines is important while processing it ? Coz I’m in abroad right now. Or its just ok if I will go vacation and file then let the processing go and go back abroad? I mean without my presence it can be done?. Should I need to talk to my husband about it? or its ok if not?. What should I do in this situation?. Hope you can help me. .Thank you so much. God bless..

    1. Hi Jairah, a petition for annulment may be filed even if the petitioner is abroad. The law prohibits the collusion between the spouses as to the grounds on annulment. However, they could agree on certain matters like custody, support and properties. Discuss the process with a retained lawyer.

  3. Hi Atty, ang problema ko po ang asawa mag abroad lagi na lng kaming iniiwang mag-aama.. Trabaho alaga ng mga anak sa araw araw ang aking ginagawa. Minsan may nagbigay sa kin mga pictures at messages ng asawa ko na may kasamang lalaki sa Hotel sa ibang bansa at sobrang sweet nila nabasa ko rin ang mga pangakuan nila… Sa madaling salita, sa huli inamin nyang nagkasala sya, pero panay pa rin syang alis ng alis, parang sasabog na dibdib ko sa pagtitiis, maraming nagsasabi na masyado na kong martir, ngayun hirap na ko ano po ba ang dapagt kong gawin.. Baka mamatay akong walang kaligayahan.. tulungan nyo po ako.

  4. Hi Atty. tanong ko lang po kung mabilis lang ang proseso kung yung wife ng boyfriend ko eh willing din sa annulment
    (1year na pong kasal) ganu po kaya katagal at magkano ang magagastos?

  5. Good day.. attorney, gusto ko po magtanong sa inyo. Ako po ay dating may asawa may isa kaming anak kasal kami sa huwes. Ngayon po ako ay nag karoon ng kinakasama may 2 kaming anak. Alam na din po ng dati kung asawa. Ngayon po ay gusto ko mag file ng annulment para makasal kami ng kinakasama ko ngayon. Mapapabilis po ba ang annulment namin? Ano po kayang mga grounds for annulment upang mapabilis? Maraming salamat.

  6. Good day, atty!
    After the petition for nullity of marriage has been granted, is there a gap/period for a man or woman before he or she can remarry? Thanks and Godbless.

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