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).

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

  1. Paul

    I am a usa citizen I want to marry a phillipino girl but she needs an annalument . Can I do this by myself is it just paperwork or do I need a lawyer. Also can I file for her visa if annalument is in process but not finialized.she been separated over 6 years now

  2. Leanne

    hi good day Atty,

    I need help po and ask ko din how much ang cost for annulment. Here’s my problem, we got married last dec 9,2015 and for some reason we argue and not get along with. he is threaten to leave me at anytime he wants. what should I do to be single again in my NSO certificate or Cenomar. He is a canadian foreigner, we didnt live together yet. He is in canada.
    please give me a quotation of costs, and procedures that I have to do.

    thank you!


  3. Nichole

    I married a foreigner on 1990, few days after the wedding he left for the states and no more words from then until now,,,nowhere to be found,,how can i file an annulment?

  4. Mv gyver1174

    dear atty Fred,
    i am writing in behalf of my sister, what is best solution with my sisters marital problem.. Her husband was living with another woman as of today and got i child. He is not supporting his daughter with my sister anymore . my sister is in abroad and have a property that she still paying monthly. Her husband shared for only two months payment and now they wants to be separated or annulled, but her husband is looking for a half share in the property. is there any way to not benefited her husband with the property? what is the case that my sister would file against her husband for abandoning them. my niece is in our custody she’s 10 y.o now. Is RA9262 can be file against her husband? please tell us what is the best way. her husband is torturing her in the net conversation.
    looking for your favorable assistance.
    Thank you very much.

  5. Tracy

    My husband left me 2 years ago, but he is back after the help from dr.mac@yahoo. com, my marriage is restored!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hanzel joy

    I was married this january 12 2017, then i left Philippines January 14 2017, but it indicates in the nso certificate that we were married January 17 2017 wherein i am not in Philippines anymore that time. Our wedding was just signing papers and thats it, no parents or relatives involved just two of us and the pastor, the witnesses who signed as witness i dont know them and never saw them. Now i don’t have communication with the man already bacause of his bahavior i decided to seperate with him. He became violent and unrespectful. How will i deal with this? I am working now in USA can i file a divorce here?

  7. Jhen

    Dear Atty.,

    I would like to ask if there is a relative effect in work if the one who will file for an anullment case is the husband who is a supervisor or the wife who is a teacher? My boyfriend already wants an anullment and he wanted already to file. Sabi ng wife niya, siya nlng daw magfile ng anullment para yung psychological assessment is about lang sa boyfriend ko at hindi sa kanya. Pag yung boyfriend ko daw kasi ang magfile baka maapektuhan yung current work ng wife niya na teacher pag ang psychological assessment ay tungkol sa wife niya. Please clarify po. Thanks

  8. Maria

    Hi Atty.
    I’m a Filipina who got married with a American guy here in Philippines in civil wedding but not in US… Me and my husband separated after 2yrs. Of marriage and we have no communication eversince. But the last thing he said was he got no problem in US cause he is still single there. That, i felt so unfair… My question is can i use his reason to file for annullment? Thank you and more power.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *