The previous practice in discussing the endless topics relating to annulment was a series of posts, each one containing a number of questions and answers. Figured that centralizing the discussions would be more helpful. The repetition of the same questions, however, led us to experiment in having separate posts for each sub-topic. First do a search to check if there are related discussions.
Anyway, a common issue is the viability of an agreement between the spouses when it comes to having an annulment. We previously crafted the question in this manner: “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?”
We answered: “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.”
We’ve noticed a slight variation in a subsequent query, which goes: “hi sir. if there’s any settlement between wife and husband and both of them also signed with the attorney,can they used it as a ground for annulment?” The answer to this query, based on the previous discussion, is no. The only difference between the first and the subsequent query is the existence of a signed agreement before a lawyer (which could mean that the agreement was signed with the lawyer as a witness or the lawyer notarized the document). While the existence of the lawyer or the notarization of the document might add a semblance of validity to it, it does not change the absolute prohibition against collusion. It doesn’t matter whether the agreement is signed before any person on earth or executed in any form. The absolute prohibition stays. The spouses cannot agree on annulment or the grounds of annulment.