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).

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

  1. michael

    What should I do if my wife we were married in a civil but today I was 5 years apart and he was in Canada and I am in Saudi . But has she filed for divorce in Canada and for custody of our son, please advise us what will i do to file annulment & requirements

  2. michelle

    Hi im michelle
    I have 4 children from my previous
    im marriage Australian man we been marriage 2013 in Brisbane Australia but we almost together 9years im been Australia 6 times balance every year maybe 2 times but in 2013 im there 3 times that year i go Australia tourist visa. why balance because we need together his mum to look after since 2011 because his mum she have cancer but pass away 2013 last we plan we buy house we move together our new house in Gympie from Brisbane. After settle there arrange things we plan come here in Philippines February because our 2014 then we apply my children and my mother to migrate so we can together all our new home there and thats our plan and because r his mum past away. So We need always us because that’s his promise and our promise when here we apply migrate June 24 2014 and we wait almost 2 years still not approved. But since he stay here in 2 years almost i can see his changing attitude he always mad and more cranky because in 2 years only 2 works coming and drawings because his draftsman. But he change also our children and sometime we have miss understanding that coz our problem. but he give up without im knowing he go Australia his own august 10 he run off the house bring our van here then stay 1 week in manila from here in all my do that time worried find him then go police but no news till 1 week i received text he in Australia he said to me he not back its hurt for me but we have contact again after 2 months ant maybe he text only 5 times since august 2015 when he is gone. all my do is crying sad pain hurt because he leave me and all my money i use here in Philippines so im not secured now because i use all my money from my bank account and he not use his money from account in Australia .because i believed what his promise and together to plan and im his wife not expecting also he left us because that day we not argue and he hug me and kiss and he said i need buy lights to our comfort then when im home he gone not expecting he run off like magic after when he there not even knows also he withdrawn our migrate all the partner visa. he withdrawn October 27,but i emails him migration visit our home October 16 then i forward migration emails except my saying him we have interview and i said him my emails we not separated then i call him my husband he answer i say with tears a lot and said him if im correct he there for work he said my saying migrate im not expecting he withdrawn us. but i have received calls from Australia migration said me no longer visa our partner visa because my husband withdrawn .so i shock how i can live now without worries my financial and children opportunity is gone and hurt because we together plan and our home together buy. bu all in Australia all his name .now children no school in 1 year because of our migrate then this is happen now. then he emails me February 29 he transfer 21 thousand and say i stop try call text and we mistake if we comeback together and he said he file annulment for us in few weeks. then he said sorry this is end our love .so shocking again. like im not wife like im trick and rag like he use me only when he need me then leave me like this and all my money is gone because i use that to us here .then our home his name all we have there in Australia all from his name but all that give his mum for us and when his mum died we there hospital Australia till mum Shirley last day im with here and my husband .when he have weakness i leave my family here to go him because i help him to care his mum. not fair he leave us im not ready to secured my children and mother because he promise he father and husband forever from start to meet so why i marriage him and love him and believed him but now all we here suffer and children too. i need help what need to do this problem please help. I try apply again tourist holiday visa last month but the result is refuse my sponsor my friend maybe effected happen my partner visa withdrawn.
    but my husband said he annulment me in few weeks he said that in last email February 29 then now no emails no answers call since February 29 till now. but September 2015 to February 28,2016 he email me 2 times a day to said he ok
    but last February 29,2016 bad news about he want annulment me, but i think not annulment call instead divorce .and he said he never give me transfer anymore that’s last 21 k because i begging him to fees our bills here and i said him his fault because me no work and we here because of migrate so i have reason to begging and he my husband. but not expecting his last emails more pain hurt and sad.
    my question he can file divorce there even im here but im not citizen there because our partner visa he withdrawn .im worries also me no work no income and all here children suffer and soon need school what i need to do? please can u advise this kind of problems.

  3. dawn at sea

    My husband and I have been married for 15 years, 20 years in relationship. We have 3kids, 14, 12 & 9 years old. There have been 3 infidelities and I am have reach my end of the line when a supposed text message to his mistress was wrongfully sent to our eldest daughter. He has been physically, verbally violent since the early years.. I want to separate from him but he refuses to leave the house and always say that he will not leave his kids. We are occupying my parents house.

  4. anna

    I have a foreign spouse we have a civil marriage in the Philippines , my husband secure a divorce in his country. I would like to ask if i could have and annulment so I can remarry someday.




  6. Maria

    Hi i just want to seek advice about my situation i am legally married in philippines and we have 1 child weve been seperated but not legal for 6 years we dont have any communication at all after he left and go dubai to work. Now im here in singapore and working here for 5 years and i have a boyfriend who is muslim my question is if i convert to muslim can i marry here my boyfriend in singapore? Or in my case i married when i was 18 years old with my parents consent can i file for void or null? Or can i file assumtive death because i have no longer news about him?
    If i convert to muslim and change all my documents to my muslim name is there a chance for me to get a cenomar in philippines and proceed my marriage in singapore to my foreign boyfriend?

    Hopefully u can, read my comment i really need an advice.


  7. needannulment

    Good afternoon po.

    My husband and I was married last November 2010. The main reason of that marriage is that I am 8 months pregnant. We stay in one house but with the expense of my in-laws. My in-laws are the one who gave allowance for our food, for the expense of my daughter and for everything we need. My husband have been in rehabilitation center before and after our marriage. He also have his mistress and have two children with her. We are separated for almost 4 years. Can my reasons be a ground for annulment?

    I am hoping that you can help me. I am a working student now and hoping that my surname that will print in my diploma is my maiden name. Thanks and God Bless

  8. Chery

    Hi ..I’m currently pregnant and I have filed my annulment last year . what will be the effect on my petition on my situation as a being pregnant with other the courts will still Grant my petition?

  9. Evelyn

    I am the petitioner for my marriage to be nullified. If the result comes out to be positive means granted. Do I still need to support my ex? as he has he has a job of his own and our son is 34 yrs old now and have also a stable job?

  10. Arlene

    I am presently residing here at Canada for 9 years and I was been separated with my husband for 5 yrs he was included before to application of petition here in Canada with my kids but hence I confirmed that he was a child with the other woman and he abondoned my kids for 2 years and half I don’t have any choice not to file a divorce here for me to continue the sponsorship of my kids..last year he begun contacting my kids again and giving them some support..I am glad that he his doing that but the thing is he went back to Phillipines from Saudi Arabia to get married with the mother of his son last March 2015..I was confuse because I know that when you do the Merriage at the church the man should secure the CENOMAR and he did it..and I know 100% that our Merriage is their Merriage are valid? Because the was using the name of my ex husband and what I know according to Saudi Law that they can’t live together unless they were showing a prof that they are legally married.

  11. Riri

    Good day… married po ako sa japanese last year nagpakasal kami sa japan sept 2016. He is 60 and im 25. My spouse applied for my eligibility to get visa twice syang na reject ng immigration saying na hndi daw po totoong kasal kmi dahil malaki ung age gap at may tumawag sa immigration at nagsabing hndi daw po totoong kasal kami we kasal po kmi at totoong nagpakasal kami anu po dapat kong gawin para mabigyan ako ng eligibility nsa hospital ngayun asawa ko at walang ibang pwedeng magalaga sa kanya what legal action can i do about it please let me know.. Thank you. I will wait for your legal advice. ? please help me

  12. rene john

    What if the spouse is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, is it a valid ground for annulment?

  13. patience

    I need your help, I met my wife (not legally married) 17 years ago she was married with 4 children but was abandoned by her husband so she kept her children. the husband did not support them for 3 years or so. she worked to fed her children. She stopped working since we stay together until she died lately. we had 2 children by us. i am a muslim by religion and i was also married with children by my first wife, which i also help and support them. she had some death benefits from sss since i let her continue to paying her due with sss using her married name since they are not legally separated. she filed affidavit of abandonment with sss purposely to have her husband out as beneficiary. and add three (3) of her new children to it. please help me if i can be an automatic beneficiary or who? thanks


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