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).

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

  1. Ness

    I am s filipina married to US citizen last Feb, 2010. After few months same year, nbi and fbi agent came and took him and brought him back to US. I taught its only about overstaying in Philippines because he didn’t pay to stay longer. He been staying 3 months without paying to the immigration. Later the nbi told me that he is fugitive and have felony case in US and i don’t knew about it. Im just shock and how did it happen that he able to get a capacity to marry since he have the case. He didn’t comeback anymore until now.
    What will I do? Are the papers from nbi records enough evidence so I can file in court to dissolve my marriage to him? If i need to file for annulment, what grounds I will use?
    Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to hear answers from my question.

  2. Lowla

    Hi ,
    My wife left me 3 years ago with my 2 year old daughter with no reason and i have met a new love recently. My wife is threatening me that she will file a case against me and my girlfriend.. we talked about our marriage and she told me in the presence of several witnesses that she doesn’t want to go back with me and I same as with her.. but still she is threatening me. What legal cases can she file against me and my girlfriend?

  3. Nona

    My husband and I got married in the Philippines 2 years ago. He is a Sri Lankan. I moved to Sri lanka after we celebrated our 2nd year wedding anniversary. I found out that he is married here and has 2 children. He obviously married the girl before we had our wedding. What shall I do before and after I leave this country, Sri lanka? How can I annul my marriage in the Philippines? Please let me know soon because I am leaving Sri Lanka soon.

  4. cherry mae

    good day Atty, una ngpasalamat aq kc meron ganitong, topic advice, ganito po kc story a ng life q naun, I need ur advice, may fiance po kc aq naun at ng leave in kami about 5years now, at ngaun Plano namin mgpakasal dito sa pilipinas, pwo may aswa na sya dati, at d cla annul, pwo wala na sila contak sa unah aswa nya, pwo ng file ng divorce ang fiance q, ask q lang po may possible po bah, nah pwd sya ikasal ulit dto, sa pinas, pls Atty, I need ur advice,

  5. John ray

    Can i file annulment?
    My wife has an unstable emotional behavior and always have emotional and physical outburst. And with fights everyday, leading us to psychological depression, and what gots worst is that because she cant control it, my son can always witness our fight. I believe my son already has a emotional trauma. I warned already my wife before to control herself infront of our son, but still nothing happens. So i decide to leave leave necessarily to avoid more arguments and fights. Because of this, i have been consulting some psychiatrist because i have a severe anxiety and depression which greatly affect my day to day life and work. I am just supporting them, by send money to palawanshops. We have been separately for more than a year. I wanted to move on but, i need to annul our marriage. I really wanted to annul. There is no hope of reconciliation, baka kasi yong anger and outburst nya, masabayan ko at maka masaktan o mapatay ko siya dahil di ko nakaya magpasensya.

    Hoping for your advice. Salamat po

  6. Krystel Joy


    Base on questions and answers above about annulment, there is no way that I can be annuled through abondonment.
    I was married at the age of 21 because I was pregnant. we got married while im 5months pregnant. during that time everything went fine. we both decided whole heartedly to get married for the child. After 1year we decided to separate becoz we were not able to understand each other.
    And now, we were not living together for almost 3 years.
    can I talk to one of the lawyers because we are now planning to get annuled and we would like it in easiest way and fastest way. Kindly email me. thank you.

  7. Joy


    I would like to ask if my marriage is valid or can be registered even we did not have a license when we had the ceremony? The one who assisted us during the civil ceremony told us that they need the license first before they will release a copy of the marriage contract. There was no affidavit also telling that we lived together for more than 5 years. We just got married because my parents wanted us to get married soon. We were not also expecting that we will be getting married that day. I haven’t check NSO yet. Is it possible that the marriage we had was registered? If it is, what do we need to do, sir/ma’am?

  8. che

    ang unfair naman ng batas..pano yung katulad ko n babae wala n bang chance na mabigyan ng second chance??im only 26 years old..nag sama lang kami ng asawa ko for only a year and we don’t have want to be free again pero siguro i cannot do anything for that..

  9. maria lourgena

    good day atty Im happy this site I have also a problem just call me maria I have question for you and hope you can help me I was married for 19 years ago but we separated last 2002 because of his irresponsible attitude to us always going to his friends drinking liquor hang out always together his friends and even he has no work I was the one who work for our food we had 1 child then I was so tire of our marriage I decided to broke our relationship we separated and I didnt see him anymore we separated almost 13 years I want to file an annulment what should I do please help thank you..and more power to you

  10. Nicole

    Greetings 🙂
    I was just wondering what would happen if the spouse (wife or husband) signed the annulment contract but not everything stated is not true got married while the other spouse have not signed or may never sign the annlument contract?


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