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

This is part of the continuing installment of discussions on annulment or declaration of nullity. We cannot answer each question because of certain limitations. Related questions are lumped and discussed in general. Before posting a question, 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. Check this previous discussion.

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 (please go here, here, here and here) 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.


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

76 thoughts on “Annulment in the Philippines: Questions and Answers (Part 4)

  1. edrielyn

    im edrielyn just wanna n my bf want to get married ky lng he still married gs2 sana yng ipaanual yung ksl nya.. 5yrs n clang d ngssma..we didnt know kung nsn n yung asw nya..what do you thing ang unang mgnda gwn nmin pr mgstrt n yung anualment process? preho kmi ngbbrko thats the reason bkt d nmin maayos yung anualment nya..

  2. Sofia Loren


    I have been married for 5 years now. However, I am currently separated with my husband for almost 6 months already. I left his family’s house because of his infidelity (knew about him having 3 different mistresses during our marriage). I forgave him for the first and second since he asked for forgiveness and I decided to give him another chance for the sake of saving the marriage. However, the third one is the last straw already. Aside from his infidelity, he has hurt/abused me physically and verbally. I already had preliminary talks with my lawyer and he said I have a strong case. I have two police reports documenting his violence, text messages affirming his verbal and psychological abuse, plane tickets with him and her third mistresses flying out together, pictures of him and his mistress as well as phone bills indicating hours of calls to this third mistress. At the same time he is already going out with her in public. My friends and I have seen them together. Now the irony of this is he doesn’t want to have our marriage annulled. He still gets very possessive and jealous of me going out and having fun with my friends (both men and women), he follows us around and makes a scene – he does this even if he’s already out in the open with his mistress. It is taking its toll already in me. Now my lawyer said that infidelity is not a ground for marriage. But infidelity, physical violence, habitual alcoholism if taken as a whole could constitute psychological incapacity. By the way when we got married, our marriage license was obtained in less than the prescribed required time since our family had connections in obtaining it in rush. What are my chances in having my marriage annulled? Do you think my case is strong enough? I want to be single again and get my life back. Being married with him is just so unhealthy for me. Hoping to get your inputs on this. Thank you.

  3. therrie

    I need help, i am married to a Singapore citizen, but we got separated 6 months after our first child was born, she was born in Singapore and holding a singapore passport, after 10 years of lost contact not supporting he suddenly appear and wanted to see his daughter, i let my daughter see him as my daughter wanted to meet her father for a week on a verbal aggreement. From Philippines, she then flew to singapore with my sister but my sister came back home alone…the same day i received a letter from a lawyer that my said husband is taking custody of our daughter. We got married here in Philippines, is there any way i can get a full custody of my child. She’s been in Singapore for a week now and i cant even talk to my daughter…please help.

  4. Vincenzo

    First of all I apologize for my English mistakes!!
    My name is Vincent and I am writing from Italy. I am married with a civil ceremony held in the Philippines 23 years ago with a Filipina, now she has the Italian Citizenship. Our marriage is over 3 years ago with the betrayal by my wife. We tried to go forward for the good of the family (we have three adult children) but my love for her has died.
    In December 2009 during a vacation alone host of my relatives in the Philippines, I met a wonderful girl and we fell in love. I am back in Italy I talked with my wife and we decided to separate.
    My questions are these:

    1) My wife has the Italian Nationality and the Italian Passport. She don’t have a Philippine Passport. She keeps the same the Filipino Nationality or she was lost?

    2) If my wife has lost his Philippine nationality can I marry again in the Philippines with my new girlfriend to get a Italian visa?

    3) Once started the process in Italy for the separation by consent, pending the approval of separation by consent, can I go back to the Philippines to find my new girlfriend or I can be accused of being a concubine?

    Waiting for your response, thank you and greet cordially.

  5. jessee

    Dear Atty.,

    I am an educator for 16 years, been separated for almost 8 years. Last year, I started living in with another man who is single. After a year of being together, he started asking about having a baby.

    Could you please enlighten me as to whether I could be fired by my institution should I get pregnant considering the fact that they know about my separation?

    I have not been seeing my ex-husband for several years and the last that I ‘ve known of him was that he now lives with another woman.

    Your suggestion could be of help to me in deciding whether to end my services with my school after this semester…

    Thank you very much for the enlightening answers.. God bless.

  6. confusedwife

    Hi Atty,

    I am confused how do we go about this. My husband and I had a civil marriage in 2008. We had a marriage license and all the necessary requirements. We even have an NSO of our marriage contract i am currently pregnant with our first child. No someone is bothering me in a social networking site claiming that she is married to my husband in 2006 but they were not able to secure a marriage license with this wedding and they only used article 34 even though they haven’t live together for 5 years before the marriage happened. After the alleged marriage they never lived together as husband and wife. The woman sent a copy of her NSO marriage contract as well claiming that she’s a legal wife. But both of us are not aware that the man we marry had another marriage way back 1997. That make me my marriage and the second marriage null and void since it was a subsequent marriage. Since my husband and the first wife have not seen each other of more than 10 years the wife now requested for an annulment of her marriage and it is now on going. Now my husband plans to make our marriage legal once the court decree for annulment is granted from his first marriage. Does my husband still to fill a nullity of marriage to the second marriage? Please enlighten us what should we do. He never had children with his previous marriages. What if my husband re-marry me after the court has granted the annulment request would that marriage be still void? When infact his legal marriage was already dissolved?

  7. cprs_rn

    hi everybody,

    i was married in the church in 1998 but got separated on ex husband and i have been separated since..and on 2008 i filed for an annulment in the civil court, and just last januaray 2010 i got a court decision saying that my marriage was null and void..

    i have a boyfriend of 3 yrs and we were planning to get married in the country where we live(Ireland).

    my question is, will i be allowed to get married in the civil registry here in ireland or in the philippines even if my annulment did NOT came from the catholic church tribunal(remember i was married in the church)?

    please enlighten me on this,,i want to know what the philippine law says about my case..

    thanking you..

  8. brosia

    my brother’s wife got married to a japanese national before they got married on sept 2005. this was stated at the cenomar my brother secured at nso. Based on your previous explanations Bigamous or polygamous marriages are one of the grounds for declaration of nullity of marriage. are there other documents that he needs to present before applying for nullity of marriage or the cenomar will suffice.

  9. kitchie

    Hi Atty,

    My fiancé got married before, his marriage was declared null and void last March 2009. Since we want to get married this year, i asked for a copy of his Cenomar and marriage certificate from NSO for the documents needed for the church reservation. But upon receiving the documents, the nullification of his previous marriage hasn’t reflected on both documents yet. As per his lawyer, they have already forwarded the decision to the local civil registry were my fiance got married and to NS0 last year.
    My question is, how long does it take before the decision will reflect on his Cenomar and marriage certificate?
    I hope you can help us on this.
    Thank you.

  10. Savannah

    Is it possible for a husband to file an annulment when he and his wife are still living together during the entire process but in separate rooms in the house?

  11. kylemorr

    I have been separated with my husband for 2 years and a half because i was physical abuse by him and the day we got separated he never give any financial support to our child because he go back to studies. That’s why I ask for the barangay to have a written agreement that he must give a financial support to his child at the time he got his job after he graduated. Now, I’m planning to file for an annulment. I just wanna know what are the steps for filling an annulment, how long does it take to void our married? and if it is possible to annulled our married?

  12. 1heart

    Nag pakasal po ako noong 2002 dahil sa kagustuhan namin na maging apelyedo nya ang mga anak namin.Bago kami ikasal meron cyang gf.Kasal n kami gf nya p din ang babaeng yun.Napagod n ako s kakaantay n mag babago cya.Umalis ako s kanila 2003 iniwan ko ang 2 kong anak.Nag papadala ako ng pera pag may trabaho ako. Hindi ko pa din nalilipat ang mga apelyedo ng mga bata kasi nga umalis ako s kanila.Hindi ko n balak ilipat pa dahil nag aaral n cla gamit ang apelyedo ko.S ngayon meron n cyang ibang pamilya ay may anak n din cla. Gusto ko po ipawalang bisa ang kasal ko s kanya.Ano pong ground ang pwde kong gamitin?Kanino po ako lalapit?Nag tatanong po ako s mga kakilala ko pero sabi nila mahal daw po ang ganyan.Pero gusto ko po talagang maging maayos ang lahat n wala n talaga kaming ugnayan pa.

  13. althea

    hi… i would just like to inquire if a marriage can be considered null and void if it was solemnized by a Christian Pastor but the wedded couple are both Catholic? If so, is there a need to file for an annulment? another thing, if a the marriage certificate was not registered, meaning no records are found for the said ceremony both at NSO and city hall, is the marriage still valid? Please advise. Thanks for your response in advise…

  14. scher

    i was married to a muslim turkish last 2008 at OMA QC hall under islamic rites. then we divorced the same year and the papers were processed at OMA also and was registered at NSO. now im planning to get married to a filipino in a civil ceremony. but when i got my cenomar, my marriage was still on the record. would this mean i am not legally divorced? im afraid the municipal civil registry will not accept the cenomar with the divorce papers and would not grant me a marriage license. please help me on how to get my first marriage null and void. Please help me… thank you.

  15. Dadoy

    My wife & I were married for 15 years now. Just this year she confessed with me that she had had a first marriage in 1992 after 2 years we got married 1994. They don’t have children and not live together even my parents in-law did not know about that marriage (no parental consent) and the guy had also a new wife and children. Now with me we have 4 children already. We want to file am annulment for her first marriage. Please help us what to do? How long will it takes and the amount we’re going to spend (actually we don’t have enough money for this as we know what we have heard)? What about bigamy charge with my wife? Our plan is that after the annulment we’re going to re-marry again. Thank you sir.


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