Prescription of Actions for Annulment in the Philippines (and Who may File Action)

A petition for annulment may be denied for a number of reasons. We’ve already discussed certain defenses, one of which is the expiration of the prescriptive period within which the petition should have been filed. A prescriptive period simply means that the petition based on a particular ground can no longer be filed beyond a given period. Of course, an action based on certain grounds, such as psychological incapacity, minority or other grounds for declaration of nullity, does not prescribe (see difference between annulment and declaration of nullity). Here are the prescriptive periods for each ground, as well as the person who is entitled to file the petition, as provided under Article 47 of the Family Code:

1. No parental consent. This covers anyone who was eighteen (18) or over, but below twenty-one (21) at the time of marriage, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party.

  • Who may file the action: The spouse whose parent or guardian did not give his or her consent. Time frame: Within five years after attaining the age of twenty one (21).
  • Who may file: The parent or guardian or person having legal charge of the minor. Time frame: At any time before his/her child reaches the age of twenty one (21).

2. Insanity. This means either party was of unsound mind, unless such party, after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.

  • Who may file: The sane spouse who had no knowledge of the other’s insanity; by any relative, guardian or person having legal charge of the insane. Time frame: Any time before the death of either party.
  • Who may file: The insane. Time frame: During a lucid interval or after regaining sanity.

3. Fraud. The consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.

  • Who may file: The injured party. Time frame: Within five (5 )years after the discovery of the fraud.

4. Force. This covers a marriage where consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.

  • Who can file: The injured party. Time frame: Within five (5) years from the time of the force, intimidation or undue influence disappeared or ceased.

5. Impotence. This is a situation wherein either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable.

  • Who can file: The injured party (the one who is not impotent). Time frame: Within five (5) years after the marriage.

6. STD. Either party was afflicted with a sexually transmissible disease (STD) found to be serious and appears to be incurable.

  • Who can file: The injured party. Time frame: Within five (5) years after the marriage.


Browse through the comments below to check if your questions are similar to that of others. Other common issues are consolidated in Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Costs in seeking an Annulment, and other related posts. You can check the Related Posts at the bottom of each post.

37 thoughts on “Prescription of Actions for Annulment in the Philippines (and Who may File Action)

  1. Gio28

    I am married to my wife for 7yrs now.and im currently resides here in the states, Virginia.she has a daughter which is not mine.we got married on Mar.25,2004 after she gave birth.but her daughter is under her name not my family name..i haven’t seen her for a long period of time because im on and off for work.i dont a stable job.Now things have changed i dont have this feelings anymore for her.i called her and i say i want to file for annulment and we both agree with this situation..i just need to know that do i have to go back to Philippines to file for annulment? or either way i can file annulment here in the U.S? how long is processing? and what are the fees? atty fees? I am hoping to hear some expertly adviced and answers regarding this matter. thank you!

    fr.Alexandria VA.

  2. Kay

    HI.I’m married for 12 years. But my marriage wasn’t a successful one and now I want to get annulled with my partner. 3 years ago, I verified the validity of my marriage license in Imus Cavite and found out that the license# written in my marriage certificate has no record on file according to the staff in charge.
    Does this mean that I have a valid ground for annulment of my marriage? If so, could you please give me the steps on how i will file the case and for the child custody, I want to know where they will go after the marriage has been annulled.

  3. saf31 married for 7 years ..but my marriage is not succesful also..and now i want to annulled it. we have daughter shes going to be 7 yrs old now she lived with me cos he never want to support our daughter we almost separated fr 4 yrs already…he have a new livein partner and i dont mind about it thats hes life..i want to know if how much its cost fee to annul my marriage?and how long?i talk with some attorney here they said not more than 6 months but its very expensive…and dont know if they a good attorney too so still im looking for an attorney that can help me…tnx i really need your answer

  4. jedai0620

    Good Day Atty.

    tatanong ko lang po kung pde mawalan ng bisa yung marriage namin nung ex ko.. kasi we were 20 that time kaya we decided to make arrangements. kumausap kami ng mga ndi namin kilala na tao to pretend that they were our parents to be present during our civil wed. now, hiwalay na kami and we are living separately. ano po kaya ang pde namin gawin para mapawalang bisa yung contract namin? thanks. i appreciate po kung email nyo po ko directly to thanks..

  5. youmi

    Dear Attorney,
    I am a filipino who’ve been working abroad for many years, and I was married to a Filipina woman and we got 2kids but because life in abroad is not that easy as we thought. I do my duties as a father, I sustained their needs financially. I became an OFW since 1999, I returned back home year 2001(just vacation).
    That year I got rumors from my neighbors when I was in that they saw my wife having affairs with someone else and I my-self reads many text messages when she forgotten her phone at home. Still I don’t believe my neighborhood as I don’t see the real happenings by my eyes it’s only a text messages. When I returned back abroad I called my housemaid at home to check the situation of my kids as I have deep doubts, but she mentioned first that my wife is having someone else at home and she don’t give attention to our children! I have decided to have separation with her since that time (2002), the year 2003 I went back home to close my relation and affair as her husband.
    My kids are with her now but I am not sure if those are mine because I discovered that before I got married to her she has child from someone else which I never knew before marrying her but I don’t want to go back to her past. I am eight years now separated from her and I am now married to a girl from Europe without kids yet and my new marriage was in Islam and it was in Philippine as well, we both embraced Islam before the marriage.
    Attorney, I applied a family reunification visa to my new wife but I got denied as my previous marriage shows on record. I am confused now as I do not know which of my marriage is valid and how can I be with my new wife. I can’t live without my new loving wife I love her so so much. I really need your opinion and advice attorney, please help us….

    I will be much thankful for your kind and soonest response.


  6. bewitched

    good day atty,

    I was married Nov.2000 left to work abroad Jan.2001.Unfortunately on may of the same year my hub found another woman when I was away and married her under Islam rite. What must I file?I want to remarry,we both have lives of our own but I want to get married in church.please help. thanks a million

  7. jeniffer

    Dear Attorney,

    Good day!

    I just want to ask, I have a boyfriend kc whose 5years separated from from his wife. They are already planning to file it in court for legality. The children are all living with the mother, but with the financial assistance of their father, my boyfriend. I am just bothered, is it possible for them to be annulled? Me and my boyfriend are already planning to settle down, the same way with his wife and with her new boyfriend. If possible, how long will it take, and more or less how much will it cost?
    Hope you can help me, I am really bothered because I am single, and I want to our marriage become possible.
    Thank you.


  8. belre

    Dear Attorney,

    i am 33 yr old of age, male, was married at my age of 20,in that case i need a parents’ consent for me to be married…that time my father did not attend the wedding in some reason, so we planned to put someone that will act and signs the documents needed in replacement to my father…that was 1991….as of now my wife and i are separated 12 yrs now we have a legal one daughter 13 yrs of age. and she has a baby boy to the other guy,….we both agree to this and no problems on both sides……… my concern is i want to me annulled and she wants also both side will be cooperate as process….now my question is..How much is the cost, and what grounds can we use to proceed the case…and we have a very limited budget…or do you have any advice so that we can proceed? And I am bothered that maybe my wife will ask an amount and saying that the annulment is on process but not…and at the end she will just say its been denied…please advise me for any suggestion ..partialy she is asking me 50k and as she told me the total cost will be 150k..

    Thank you.

  9. Hazel

    Dear Atty,

    I am seeking for a legal advise. I’m married to a jobless husband for 18 years now. He has been in and out of the jail for cases of drugs for 10 years. No support for my kids for 12 years now. He is threatening us verbally. Please help me on how I can start to file annulment case for him, in what grounds?

  10. Ann

    Dear Atty,


    I am 26 years old, a single mother. I am seeking for advise about the situation of the father of my daughter. He’s married to a Brazilian woman here in the Philippines (civil wedding), unfortunately their marriage was not successful. The woman leave him and live with other man. She has a child with the other man. Unfortunately, the same happened with us he got a child from me.

    Now, they agreed to file for annulment, what are their grounds to proceed? How much it cost? How long will it takes?

    Hope you can help me, Atty., because we also planned to settle down, I love him and he love me, too. We have our daughter already. We want a church wedding someday and have a blessed family.

    Thank you so much, Atty. I am hoping for your legal advises.
    God bless!


  11. lyledarci

    Dear Atty,

    I was married in year 2001 and got pregnant the same year.After 3 years his mother wants him to go to japan(his sister is leaving there).June 2003 he lives with a tourism visa(for 2 weeks)and i was pregnant with our 2nd child.The first 9 mos. was good we have a communication and the financial support.When my youngest turns 1 year old the communication was gone and the financial support.Now my youngest child is turning 5 years old.I just want to ask you sir if what are my legal rights for the custody of my children?What if one day he appears and get my children to me?My eldest is already 8 years old.What about our marriage is it considered abandoned? Please help me.Thank You.

    Sincerely Yours,

  12. monnaka

    Dear Atty,

    I have the same dilemma as others have. I want to know how will be the process of annulment. I am currently living in Tokyo. I got married when I was 19 yrs. we have a son and they are together. They leFt me here in tokyo and she follow her dreams to live in usa. In short she chose usa and leave me here in tokyo. Now we are separated for 4 years and I decided to annul our marriage because it is not working anymore.

    Please advise.. I don’t mind to go back to phil and meet you and clear out m marriage.
    Please help

  13. liz

    Dear Atty.,

    I am 29 and have a boyfriend who is separated from his wife for 7 years, technically speaking, they’re still married (civil marriage). The wife is abroad and just recently their two kids joined her there. The wife is happily in relationship too with a foreigner. She and my bf are already into working on their annulment. We all just want to start anew, much to me and my bf who are also planning to start life a together. How long will it take (the fastest) and how much will it cost? Thanks.

  14. tere1121

    Dear Atty,

    Good day!!! My boyfriend who is separated from his wife has already filed a annulement case. they were married at the church. if the the said case will be granted…can i and my bf be married at the church? thank you and More power

  15. Mench

    Dear Atty,
    Thank God I found this site and I pray you will be able to help me with my queries regarding my annulment case.

    I filed my annulment 2008 as NONE APPEARANCE before I went back working in Thailand as a caregiver..the following year, it was declared ”annuled” BUT the problem arise when I was about to register it in the place (Florida Blanca, Pamp) where I had my ”church wedding”, when the Civil Registrar said he cannot register it because only the ”church wedding” was annuled and nothing was declared/stated about my ”civil wedding”..he said, there should be a decision on both rights (church and civil)..
    I went back to the person whom I entrusted the filing of my case and she said because I did not submit any evidence about my civil marriage..Granted, that I did not submit..In the first place, she did not tell me to do so and though I did not submit any legal papers, there was an attachment INFO on the side of my ”Marriage Contract”stating there that I was married in civil rights on this date and year…so why then, they did not see this?…I was asked to submit all legal papers regarding my civil wedding..After I complied with all the necessary requirements,she submitted it again in RTC Branch 7 in Paniqui, Tarlac for ammendment but I was told that I will have to wait because the Judge is on vacation that time..I waited, ok ! but up to this time, I got NO ANSWER..The last time I talked to the person I entrusted my case, she said I was the cause of the delay and that she wanted me to go personally in Paniqui to inquire because she was busy herself..WHY, ME?..i don’t even know anyone there, besides, I entrusted her to work on it ..I paid everything she asked me to pay and this is what I got…I waited for the longest time..I have been separated for 10 yrs now and I believe I have the right for my own happiness since my x husband already has his own family with 3 grown up kids in which his eldest was even older than my youngest daughter, only to prove that he was already having an affair even during our own marriage.
    Please help me ATTY..I am no longer working and I was just an ordinary servant of God in JIL..I spent almost my earnings to get my annulment and until now I haven’t got my case done..I will appreciate your kind office in whatever help you can extend to me.
    Thanks and Godbless….Mench


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