Annulment in the Philippines: Questions and Answers (Part 3)

My fiancee and I secured a marriage license, but no marriage ceremony was ever celebrated. I learned, however, that my “wife” is already using my surname in her documents, including her passport. Am I considered as “married”?

No. A marriage license is valid only for 120 days, and any marriage contracted after that period is null and void. A woman cannot use his putative “husband’s” surname in the absence of a valid marriage.

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?

No. Agreement between the spouses is not a ground for annulment/declaration of nullity. On the contrary, 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.

Could I file a petition for annulment if my wife doesn’t agree?

Yes. The petition could still be filed, and the case could still continue, even if the other spouse (husband or wife) does not agree to, or even oppose, the petition.

What if I can’t find my spouse?

Under the rules, summons must be served on the other spouse. This is generally done by serving the summons, together with a copy of the petition, on the other spouse. However, in case the other spouse could not be found, resort could be made to service of summons by publication.

My wife (or husband) sent me a letter saying that “wala na akong pag-ibig,” “ginamit lang kita” or “let’s separate.” Are these sufficient grounds for annulment?

No. The law is always in favor of the validity of the marriage. A signed contract by the spouses that they agree to an annulment, as discussed above, is against the law, moral and public policy. Therefore, it is not valid.

My spouse, who is no longer a Filipino citizen, said that he/she will not object to end our marriage. Can I seek an annulment here in the Philippines or, if that’s not possible, a divorce in the United States or anywhere abroad?

Article 26 is clear that only the former Filipino (or the foreigner spouse) may seek a divorce abroad. In other words, even if a spouse is no longer a Filipino, the other spouse who is still a Filipino can’t validly seek a divorce.

I am a Filipino citizen, married to a foreigner. I discovered that my foreigner-spouse secured a divorce abroad and is now married to someone else. What should I do to be able to remarry? Is that unfair to the Filipino?

This definitely seems unfair to the Filipino spouse, as the foreigner spouse (or the spouse who is no longer a Filipino) could remarry after securing a divorce. The Filipino spouse, on the other hand, must get hold of the divorce decree and have it recognized in Philippine courts. Dura lex, sed lex. The law may be harsh, but it is the law.

If my spouse is confined to a mental hospital for years now, can I use that as a ground for annulment?

Insanity is a ground for annulment, but it must be shown to be existent at the time of marriage (and, besides, it is subject to ratification by cohabitation). It could also be used to support the ground of psychological incapacity, but such must also be shown to be existent at the time of marriage and must appear to be incurable (among other requirements). Please note, however, that insanity is not synonymous with psychological incapacity.

How much will I spend for a petition for annulment or a petition for declaration of nullity? How long does it take?

These matters are discussed in a previous post. The amount of expenses depends on the grounds relied upon, as some grounds are relatively easier than the rest, like psychological incapacity. It also depends on the acceptance fee of the lawyer. The duration of the entire process also depends on a lot of things, e.g., the grounds relied upon, docket of the court, availability of the judge or the public prosecutor, postponements, etc. In other words, there’s really no fixed cost or duration.

I believe that my marriage is null and void because my spouse had a previous marriage. What should I do to remove my marriage file at the National Statistics Office (NSO)?

Nobody could simply “remove” any official record at the NSO, as this is a criminal offense. A petition for annulment or declaration of nullity (see distinction between a petition for annulment and a petition for declaration of nullity) must be filed in court and once a favorable decision is issued, the decree is registered with the pertinent civil registries and the NSO.

I’m separated from my wife for years now. I recently learned that she got pregnant by another man. Can this be used as a ground for annulment? Can I have custody over our child?

Infidelity is not a ground for annulment (please see the grounds for annulment in the previous post). At most, it could be a basis for legal separation or filing a case for adultery. As to custody, the Supreme Court already ruled that sexual infidelity, by itself, is not sufficient to grant custody over a child. Please read the previous post on the primary criterion in granting custody.

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

98 Responses to “Annulment in the Philippines: Questions and Answers (Part 3)”


Pages: « 7 6 5 4 3 2 [1] Show All

  1. 15 free2live_26 Apr 14th, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    i just happen to see this site and so glad that there’s a place where we can get useful info regarding the law. i’m asking on behalf of my cousin who works abroad. here’s his dilemma, he was married 1999 at the age of 17 and the girl was also 17.after the church wedding, they split apart after several weeks of living together, thanks to the girl’s mom. they had a daughter together. to make a long story short..9 years passed and they have no communication eversince. now my cousin is abroad and has finally found the girl of his dreams and wants to marry her. they were asked to provide copies of singleness. how can my cousin get this? will he be able to get one? if not how can he get one or at least how can he fix everything the legal way. what is the exact process? we were told that there is a need to publish something in the newspapers but we opted to research and ask people who best know the law. hope you can enlighten us. and thanks in advance!

  2. 14 justgotdivorced Apr 13th, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Dear Att. Fred,

    I was married to my foreign husband here in Manila, for 3 years, the marriage didn’t worked so we decided to just end it and get divorce. We didn’t had any child or properties, because he was barely in Manila to be with me, and i was busy with work and have been dealing with our incompatibility and other major issues that had me thinking if its worth migrating to the States to make the marriage work.

    To cut the story short, we finally had our divorce final last February 29 , 2008 in Oregon USA.

    My question is since he is a foreign husband and acquired divorce in his country, that means my divorce is legal here in the Philippines?
    As what i have read about divorce law here in the Philippines.

    “Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

    I don’t have plans to re marry sometime soon, but what should be my next step after requiring that divorce?

    How can i go to the Philippine court to get my divorce recognized here in our country. A

    Should I go to the NSO or CENSUS and bring the divorce papers, so that they can do some legal paper work about my marriage certificate here with my ex husband?

    Im hoping you could answer my questions.

    Thank you so much for the help.

    Sincerely,
    K.A.

  3. 13 centrina_vista Apr 9th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    hi atty.,
    i would like to seek some advice from you. i’m married for almost 2 years now and i would like to file for an annulment cause im not happy anymore with my husband and i have found someone who really makes me happy. here is the thing…when i got married at the age of 21 both of our consent was fake.what should i do?

  4. 12 dolce_vita Mar 31st, 2008 at 3:05 am

    My bestfriend is in a relationship with this guy whose wife left him and his kids for about seven years already. The guy wanted to file annulment for several years already and although the wife texted the guy several times that she wanted an annulment, she has never really showed up. The guy is having a difficult time looking for the wife so that they could already start working on the annulment process. What are the possible remedies to this? If ever they get to talk and decide to work on the annulment, what are the possible grounds?

  5. 11 Kakay Mar 29th, 2008 at 8:13 am

    atty,

    Pa quote lang po from navigee for i am in the same situation and would very much appreciate if the questions stated be given clarity. Best regards

    navigee
    “I have a question that I would like to raise since it is related to the issue of annulment of marriage.

    In 1995 I had a “secret marriage” with my then girlfriend. She left for the States and after a year we separated since she married another guy in the States. I checked with the Civil Registrar and found out that our marriage was legal. So I filed an annulment case which was granted by the court in 1998.

    In 1998, before the final judgment of my annulment was granted,I re-married and me and my wife with our two kids are living together now for almost 10 years. But every so often, my wife will nag me that our marriage is void since it was done before the final judgement of my annulment case was granted.

    My questions are:
    1. What can I do to make our marriage legal if it is illegal or void since it was done before the annulment judgment was rendered?

    2. Do I need to marry her again and can we be granted marriage licenses if we want to marry again to make it legal?

    I would be very happy to here from you your views on this issue”

  6. 10 bluebell Mar 28th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Dear Sir,

    In the case of a filipina who marries a foreigner abroad, if the filipina files a petition for divorce abroad and is validly granted, what further steps must she take that would allow for the divorce to be recognized in the Philippines for purposes of re-marrying?

    Thank you and looking forward to your inputs.

  7. 9 rosie Mar 9th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    hi i need help im a wheelchair bound pilipina that lives here in australia for more than 27 years. 2 years ago my bf works in sydney n he share accomodation with 2 pilipina contract workers visa. she works as a caregiver in sydney n i talked to her at that time n she already asked me if she can work with me as a carer n also ask me if i can find here a job here in northern territory. after that conversation i told my bf that i didn’t like the way she aproach me in the phone n deep inside me she’s a bad person. my bf also told me she asked him also if he can help his son to get a job where my bf works. time pass my bf moved out on that house n leave on that place n i had a peace of mind. all that time i trusted my bf 100percent as his very caring n devoted to me. every 3months he used to come n visits me n spends quality time but i noticed my bf drinking heavily n leading to deppression. it didn’t come up to mind but my gut feeling tells me that something is going on. one time he mentioned that woman’s name that he said she borrowed money from him. time passed i didnt asked if she ever paid him back. only this year january that i asked him if that woman ever paid him. n he asked how that name come out all of a sudden i just reply nothing it’s just come out from my mind. that time we discussed that i need a long holiday in philippines to be with my brothers n sister there in philippines. he said u’ll be in philippines by the end of january as im very deppressed that i live here by myself. he went back to sydney n we talked everyday then he suggested that if it’s ok to fly to philippines by march as he explained that the airfare it’s cheaper that way n also he can take me there soo i said ok. i started to get frustrated then one time he suggested to me that this woman will take me to philippines by april coz she’s going back there to attend her sons or daughter graduation as he told me that her kids is a validictorian. i was mad at my bf why on earth he wants me to travelled with this woman. he said ok i’ll take u there by myself. i didn’t sleep alnite thinking there’s more to it. the next day i confronted him in the phone n he just there being quiet n admitted that they had an affair he said. i demanded also to speak to the woman n he said she doesn’t want to talked to me in the phone soo i said if she doesn’t wants to talk to me in phone then id says i’ll be in the plane next day. he pledge me not to come to sydney as explaining that his already in trouble at work n he said he can’t pick me up in the airport soo i said i can organise that my friend in sydney will pick me up. asked her mobile number for awhile she’s answering but i keep saying to my bf that i make my flight booking. finally she answer the phone n i asked what’s going n she just casually answer that it just happened bcoz both of them got drunk. i asked what’s her intentions to my bf she said nothing just forget it it just happened once n im sorry she said. so i asked her if her husband knows what she did as usual she said yes n told me that her husband understand wayback in philippines as they both away each other. i can’t believed her the way she casually told me that just one fling. i told my bf that i will report her to immigration n bring this issue i keep telling my bf that i will fly to see her n sydney. he said his the one coming to darwin to see me instead soo that he can mowed the lawn he said. when he arrived late nite i went to bed while he was drinking himself to death. the next day he told me that him n this woman has been married more than a year n tried to explain to me that he did it for me. explaining that the woman will look after me as if im entirely useless. omg my world collasp. the woman just got back from philippines as spouse visa. how on earth n how she easily just file a divorced here in australia that infact she’s contract workers visa can someone explain this to me? n my bf told that they just got married so that she can get her citizenship n sponsor her kids once she’s pernament resident here in australia. i found out that her daughter was born 1966 soo she’s about 58 to 60 years old. i got the feeling she fake her age when she was applying to go abroad n i got the feeling she produce fake divorced papers too. as far as i know there’s no divorced in philippines. i know there’s annulment in certain ground n it’s very costly n takes time. i’m soo heartbroken, shocked n disbelief that kapwa ko pilipina will do this thing to me. not that only if i accept it they will come to darwin to live here with me as this house my bf bought this for me saying that we grow old in this house. pls help me is there anything i can do to send her back to philippines id like to deport n banned her for going overseas. very conniving woman who don’t care other’s feeling i don’t need this type of person in our society here in australia.. pls help here’s my email ad rosiechick@yahoo.com i’m waiting if someone can give me an advice. thanks n kind regards to all who read this.

  8. 8 anonymous Mar 9th, 2008 at 7:36 am

    hello, i just want to know if a man who filed an annulment of his marriage and it has been going on for six years in court (no decision of the court yet)can have a gilfriend without violating any law? and on the part of the prospect girlfriend, would she be into legal or moral liability if she is going to be a girlfriend of the man whose marriage is still on process of annulment?

    pls educate me, thanks

  9. 7 justin Mar 2nd, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    BUT FIRST AND FOREMOST, PLEASE HELP ME WHAT CASE TO FILE FOR THE MISTRESS. I EMAILED THE MISTRESS, SHE DID NOT DENY THE AFFAIR BUT SHE SAID THAT IT WAS OVER BUT MY HUSBAND IS STILL CALLING HER.I HAVE EVIDENCES TO PRESENT LIKE, RECEIPTS IN A REMITTANCE CENTRE, PHONECALLS HISTORY AND EMAILS. SO, IS THERE A CASE TO FILE FOR THIS MISTRESS. THANKS.

  10. 6 justin Mar 2nd, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    MY HUSBAND IS NOW PLANNING TO FILE AN ANNULMENT. BUT, I TOLD HIM THAT I AM NOT SIGNING ANY DIVORCE OR ANNULMENT PAPERS. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE THAT OUR MARRIAGE WOULD STILL BE LEGAL SO HE CANNOT MARRY THE MISTRESS. PLEASE HELP, THANKS!

  11. 5 justin Mar 2nd, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    HI! I’M STILL DEVASTATED WITH MY LIFE AT THE MOMENT. ME AND MY HUSBAND ARE NEWLY SEPARATED.WE BOTH LIVE IN U.S. LAST YEAR, I FOUND LOADS OF RECEIPTS FROM A REMITTANCE CENTRE THAT MY HUSBAND WERE SENDING MONEY TO THE FAMILY OF THE GIRL AND THE GIRL AS WELL. MY HUSBAND ADMITTED ABOUT THE AFFAIR. THE MISTRESS IS NOW WORKING ABROAD AS A NURSE. IT’S ONLY THRU PHONECALLS AND CHATS ARE THE MEANS OF THEIR COMMUNICATION. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR ME TO SUE THE MISTRESS AND SEND HER BACK TO THE PHILIPPINES BECAUSE SHE CAUSE OUR MARRIAGE APART TO FEEL HER HOW HURTFULL DID SHE CAUSE ME. HOPE YOU CAN HELP ME.

  12. 4 JOEL Mar 2nd, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    HI,I GO ABROAD BY THE YEAR 1997, HERE IN PARIS FRANCE AND THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT GRANTED ME TO HAVE A RESIDENT CARD SINCE 1998,BUT MY WIFE IS IN THE PHILIPPINES TOGETHER WITH MY 3 CHILDREN,THEY ARE NOW 7,10,12.I VISITED THEM YEARLY IN THEIR HOMES.BUT MY WIFE LEFT OUR FAMILY HOME SINCE 1998 WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGED AND THEY GO AND STAY WITH HER PARENTS,I TRY AND ALWAYS ENCOURAGED HER TO GO BACK IN OUR FAMILY HOME DURING I VISITED THEM YEARLY BUT SHE DOESN’T WANT TO COME BACK TO ME ANYMORE WITHOUT ANY REASON,SHE JUST TELL ME THAT SHE RATHER LIKE TO STAY WITH HER MAMA, DESPITE OF ALL I JUST GAVE/SEND THEM MONEY FOR THE NEEDS OF MY THREE DAUGTHERS THROUGH BANKS AND SOMEONE.SOMEWHERE IN THE YEAR 2006,SHE JUST TOLD ME THAT SHE DOESN’T WANT ME ANYMORE AS HUSBAND BUT SHE CONTINUED TO ASK MONEY FOR THE SUPPORT OF MY 3 CHILDREN BUT SINCE THEN I STOP SENDING MONEY FOR THEM.RIGHT NOW THE PROBLEM IS,I GOT ANOTHER WOMAN HER IN PARIS AND WE GOT A 1YR OLD BOY WHICH IS MY WIFE IN THE PHILIPPINES KNOW ALREADY.COULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO FILE A ANNULMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES SO THAT I CAN MARRY MY WOMAN HERE IN PARI? AND CAN I FILE A PETITION FOR COSTUDY FOR MY 3 CHILDREN SO THAT I CAN GET MY DAUGTHERS HERE IN FRANCE? MY WIFE IS UNEMPLOYED,SHE IS A NURSE BUT SHE IS STUPID AND LAZY.SHE’S MAMA’S GIRL.THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVICE.

  13. 3 Dexter_T Feb 16th, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Good day!

    I am writing in behalf of my mom who will be turning 60 years old soon. My dad recently asked my mom that he wanted their 33 years of marriage annulled. They have been separated for almost 6 years now but during those time would just meet up for some special events, like Christmas or the wedding of my sister.

    We have learned that he has been living with another woman and have a new child. The reason for their separation is for his constant gambling, lying and womanizing, in fact, he has sired a number of children during the course of the marriage. What I want to know is how can my mom at least get her dignity back by granting the annulment but would want my dad to face the consequence of his past and present actions?

    Also, I would like to know if its possible to sue my father for all the lapses that he failed to do for me and my siblings. He never gave us support and even got our insurances that my mom and him set up when we were still young..

    I hope that you can enlighten me with this very sad situation.

  14. 2 PierreONE Feb 4th, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Hi, I would like to ask if I could file an annulment due to the fact that I found out that my wife have cheated on me during the course of our marriage and up until I found out that she got pregnant from another man, also, I am filing the case due to her habitual lying and disclosing some truths when I asked her about her other relationships with different men before. We’ve been separated for more than seven years now and during our separation have no other means of communicating until lately.

  15. 1 navigee Jan 29th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    I have a question that I would like to raise since it is related to the issue of annulment of marriage.

    In 1995 I had a “secret marriage” with my then girlfriend. She left for the States and after a year we separated since she married another guy in the States. I checked with the Civil Registrar and found out that our marriage was legal. So I filed an annulment case which was granted by the court in 1998.

    In 1998, before the final judgment of my annulment was granted,I re-married and me and my wife with our two kids are living together now for almost 10 years. But every so often, my wife will nag me that our marriage is void since it was done before the final judgement of my annulment case was granted.

    My questions are:
    1. What can I do to make our marriage legal if it is illegal or void since it was done before the annulment judgment was rendered?

    2. Do I need to marry her again and can we be granted marriage licenses if we want to marry again to make it legal?

    I would be very happy to here from you your views on this issue.

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