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.


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).

177 thoughts on “Annulment in the Philippines: Questions and Answers (Part 3)

  1. cha cha

    hello, just wanna ask. is there a chance for a contract to be void if one side of 2 parties has no parental consent that there was a wedding that appeared and that one side was not in a legal age when the wedding had happened?

  2. fifai

    Hi, my husband ended a 1 year affair with his mistress. The mistress being bitter, texted me about them. I forgave my husband and told the girl to move forward. After 4 weeks, the girl texted me she’s pregnant.
    Can the mistress sue my husband if denied support?
    Can i sue the mistress if she starts making trouble for us?
    If we agree to child support, when does it start and who states the amount of support?
    If after dna test we find out that its not my husbands’, can we file a case against her?

  3. jianz24

    Dear Atty,

    Hi..its my first time here. Anyway, Ive got few questions and I was trying my best to find the answers to every post here…but I guess I found it but not fully understood it…

    Question 1:
    Is it really possible to obtain a marriage license even the couple didnt apply for it? (personally) — I went to the local municipality 2 weeks ago to ask about the authenticity of our marriage license coz me and my “husband” didnt apply for it. And the personnel there told me that they really have “persons” who get/obtain license from them. If that so….is our marriage license valid?

    Question 2:
    If ever the marriage license is not valid, what should I file…annulment or nullity?

    Thank you so much. I hope to hear from you and for me to have clear answers about the issue –legally based. Thank you so much.

  4. genelou

    Good day Atty.!

    I think this case is interesting for all. My present bf has a one yr old marriage to a previously married girl and who is older than him of 8 years. She has two kids. My bf wanted it to annul becoz of the following grounds:1.)She was ligated then before their civil wedding (and he wanted to have his own kids in his blood)2. The papers of the girl during the two-day preparation of their wedding didn’t reflect that she had a former marriage.And he just felt mercy and he was just confused of this decision that he thought this could make things well but he was wrong then!.3) Constant arguments between them were already happened and accdgly, it came up to a point where the said wife pointed him a very deadly knife that made him to flee form the area.4.) His parents knew nothing about this undertaking because they are really against of the girl.(He is above 25y.o. now)…Both of us has name to protect in the society.I just like to ask for an opinion from the desk of the attys about the strength of this annulment plan. Do you think the outcome of this petition if file will be in his favor? and be annulled immediately?

    Thank you so much. We hope to receive your comments atty.
    Please help.

  5. mjoceana

    My partner is planning to file an annulment with his wife who is now in Australia and married an Australian guy, my question is can this be ground for annulment?

  6. scorpio18

    magandang araw po. nais kopo sana maka hingi ng kasagutan sa aking tanong. maari poba ma annul ang aking kasal sa ex mister kopo na me dalawang pangalan. 6years napo kaming kasal taoong 2005 po kaming kasal ng akopo ay nag dalang tao sa anak namin. taon 2006 po eh nag hiwalay kami ng aking asawa sa dahilan po ng di pag kakasundo at dahil ako ay nasa ibang bansa. umuwi po ako ng 2007 dto sa pilipinas at dinakami muling nagkita at kahit anong kominikasyon e wala nasa puder po ng aking magulang ang aming anak. hanggang nagun po sa taon 2011 wala kaming kominikasyon ng aking ex mister,at aking napag alaman na ang aking dating asawa eh me dalawang ginagamit na pangalan at apelyido. ang una po eh un pong since birth nya na pinangank sya ng taong 1984 at un po ang ginamit nya hangang sya po eh mag aral hanggang highschool, ng sya po eh nag edad ng 14 nag pa late registerd sya para sa pag apply ng ng visa sa abroad at angkanyang kapanganakan duon eh tanong 1987, napag alaman ko na ang ginamit pala po niyang birthcertificate eh ung kanyang late registerd me bisa poba ang kasal namin? ung late registered name po nya eh wla syang kahit anong record sa panagaln naun maliban lang po sa late registerd birtcertificate at marriage contract namin. maari po ba mapawlang visa ang aming kasal? meron po ako kopya ng dalawang birtcertificate nya.

  7. zmangawang

    Hi Atty,

    My by got married 4 yrs ago, and he said that the marriage was just arrange for him to be able to go to canada. No feelings involve.The woman is a filipina but living in Canada and already acquired a canadian citizenship. After they get married they only have a month living together as a husband and wife and my bf got onboard and the woman flew back to canada. The thing is they didnt even have any constant communication for almost 4 yrs.Not even phone calls maybe there are some but my bf says that marriage is really nonsense. And my bf wants to file annulment because because we want to settle down. will that be consider as a ground for annulment? Thnak you so much… Hope that you help me regarding this matter. thank you

  8. misskaecker

    I got married 2003 Manila City Hall secret married. Me and my husband both seaman. My ex husband find another woman so since 2005 no more communication. We don’t have kids. How will I know if he got married again? And in my case do you think if I will file an annulment it will be very fast because for six years we don’t have any communication? Thank you very much.

  9. emie

    im separated for a year now, gusto ko lang malaman kung makakuha ako annulment. during our marriage ceremony on process pa ang marriage license namin nong iparegister na ng pastor nalaman nya na wla pa kaming license kya nong lumbas na ang license at iparegister na ang kasal namin inimove na lang ung date ng ceremony, instead of September 28 ung date ng ceremony ginawang November 28, just want to know if this can be a ground for annulment.

  10. danica25

    Hello Atty,
    Good Day!
    I was in a relationship today mag 2 years na kami with a guy na married pero hiwalay na cla verbally hindi po na process yung hiwalayan nila kasi po nasa abroad yung girl …Ngayon dumating na yung babae at na file na na yung case cbi nya nya sa akin sabi ng Atty nila PART PALA SA PROCESS IS COUNSELING FOR 6 MONTHS (take note minimum daw yang 6 months kasi usually pag di cooperative ang mag asawa eh taon ang bibilangin)…so i have no choice but to follow the rules and regulations. Kailangan ba talaga magsama sila sa isang bahay para sa counselling?Ang grounds po ng annulment cbi ng bf ko is yung Abandonment at Impotence…. ang alam ko na dahilan bakit nasira yung pagsasama nila kasi yung babae ay irresponsible at lier kasi tinatago nya yung about sa financial aspect for almost 2 years at sa mga panloloko na ginawa sa knya ng babae… May laban ba ang bf ko sa annulment na ito?Di na kasi nya mahal yung babae…

    Hopefully masagot nyo po ang mga tanong ko maraming salamat po.

  11. Bianca1984

    Hi, I just want to ask about my marriage status.. We got married last 2008 without the concent of his parents upon checking sa NSO it was been registered. After our marriage hindi po kami nagsama ng asawa ko. Recently lang po kami nagsama sa iisang bubongand this time alam narin po ng parents nya. Kaso lang po marami po kaming misunderstandings and lagi po kami talagang nag aaway. Dumating po sa point na nagkakasakitan na kami. Everytime we argue lagi nya pong sinasabi na maghiwalay na kami. This time po kasi parang hindi ko na po talaga kayang tiisin yung pananakit nya physically,emotionaly and sa tingin ko po I am mentaly abused narin dahil lagi lagi po niyang sinasabi na maghiwalay nalang kami. Meron po akong anak bago kami nagpaksal, pero sa ngayon po yung bata naka apelyido po sa kanya. TAnong ko lang po anu po kaya and pwedeng grounds para maghiwalay na kami. Kasi po Hindi na po talga nag wowrk out yung marriage namin and hindi narin po yata healthy na nagaaway kami lagi. Wala po kaming sariling anak dahil sa hindi rin po namin malamang dahilan hindi parin kami nagkakaroon. Wala naman din pong 3rd party both side. Pero yun nga po it seems hindi na talaga kami nagkakaintindihan. Natatakot po kasi ako na baka pag hindi pa kami naghiwalay mas lalo lang po kami mag away at humatong po sa hindi magandang resulta. I am 28 years old and He is 32.

  12. pie14

    hi good day,.just want to ask,.if the declaration of null and void was granted what happen to marriage certificate??and also if the marriage was null and void,.is the petitioner can request a cenomar???if yes what was the cenomar have???is the cenomar stating the there a previous marriage??thanks in advance,.

  13. Canadian Miss

    hello there,

    i would like to ask several questions:

    on Art. 63. The decree of legal separation shall have the following effects:
    (1) The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the marriage bonds shall not be severed;
    — does this means that the couple is still technically “married” by law?

    if a woman is legally seperated for almost 5 yrs got pregnant by another man, does art 164 of the philippines family code applies? does this means that the child is still a legal w/ in the bonds of marriage? can this be a ground for disqualification of her petition for annulment of marriage? what are the legal implications of this scenario?


  14. Saigon

    Firstly, am legally (civil) married 1991 and we mutually separated 3 years after without communication or contact since then..She is alive based on our 2 children and relatives so I cant presumed her dead.
    I have my gf now and wanted to get married.
    I am not practicing my baptized religion and been anachronistic of it since way way back and wanted to change religion to save my soul and piece of mind:
    A. Would embracing MUSLIM FAITH for both of us (me n my gf) can lead to legally and acceptable marriage if we do it on Traditional Muslim wedding?
    B.Would embracing the Muslim faith for my (ex) wife and me first to lead to a divorce can free me more to do the first question?
    C.- Would the scenario B can also legally give me two wives if we (first wife) dont get divorce and simply prove to Muslim authority that I can “feed” and care equally my two wives?


  15. sanpedro

    i wanna inquire about filing an annulment for my case. Im married to my husband (Filipino muslim) and im also a filipino, we are married for 2 years in philippines, and im not happy anymore, he agrees to the decision of annulment, as long as i do everything process ang money matters because he said i was the one who wants the separation, he will just sign the papers and we’re both off away from each other. so thats the situation, and the reason is just we cant work things out anymore, im so tired of him and me not getting along on problems and many things, is it possible to be granted if this is the case? what can i best do about this . can anyone help for some advise?


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