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. Mai

    Dear Atty,

    I want to seek an advice regarding my case, it was 2009 when my ex-husband filed for annulment.we were convinced by the lawyer that the case will just take a year. The problems was during the case process hindi umattend ang ex-husband ko until one day he got a result na ang case was rejected. Was it the reason kung bakit nareject? or was it lawyers fault? Then i heard also na hindi na sya pwedeng mag file?and that means, ako na ang mag aayos. If so, what would be the best thing to do po kasi i’m working abroad and gusto ko na rin matpos, kaso ayoko naman umuwi often para makattend lang ng hearing kasi magastos din sa part ko yun.
    I hope you can help and thank you in advance.

  2. odetdmakulet

    good am atty.,
    my problem is,…me and my husband separated for 6 months, coz he is abroad and i am here in the philippines,.i heard a lot of rumors that he is involved in other woman but i didnt bother,..until such time that he was already giving me less allowance than im expecting,..its getting smaller and smaller,..i asked him…are having an affair??? of coursed he denied,.. i test him,..”ok since your not trusting me here together w/ your daughter it will be better if we both get separated”,..he replied “ok,.kung yan ang gusto mo”,. i was shocked but i tried calm down accept whatever we’re dealing with,. untill finally he went back in the philippines,.. it took almost a month to arranged everything,. but now he is starting to do things that i really dont like,…he screw up my things,.. like my bag my cellphone,.all of my things…he is not trusting me again,.and im sick and tired adjusting myself…while he dosnt bother that i am already irritated of what he is doing,.
    i want to get separated by him,. what are the grounds that can be apply here,..and what are my rights for getting separated,.
    im looking forward to your answer atty. tnx

  3. Humanitarian

    Dear Atty,

    Good evening,I just want to ask regarding to my case with my canadian husband.I was married when I was 18 yrs old last july 2007, b4 we got married he told me he got vasectomy but it is just reversible and when we wants kids he can go to Dr.and fix it back but right after our civil wedding he told me /asked me if I can learn to love the baby if we will just adopt what I heard was not so nice to me as I want to have my own kids but then I still accepted the fact as I have nothing to do as were already married.The following month after we got married he went back to his county and never comeback ever since then.He supported me here financially until last May 2010.I tried to contact him but I don’t hear anything from him until now.Am now 23 yrs old and I can’t live a life like this for the rest of my life.Please help me what should I do or what ground I can use to file an annulment against him.Thank you!

    Sincerly yours,

  4. mrs.D

    hi! my marriage license was issued week after my 18th birth day, and i was married the day after my 18th birth day… can this be used to file a annulment???(for example: my birthday is nov. 26 my marriage license issued nov,19 and ive got married nov.27)…
    I am hoping to hear some expertly adviced and answers regarding this matter. thank you!

  5. erica


    Im erica 27, i just got married last year of january, our relationship is not good before we got married,in short there is no love at all. We where just married because of our parents decision. Our marriage was really unplanned and in fact we just process our papers for 1 week before we where arranged for marriage. Now after 4 days of being married, i went out of the country which is in Malaysia to work as OFW. Ever since i stepped in Malaysia we started fighting, and we are really not in good terms, and after that-no communication at all. I was told that he went in Morocco to work also as OFW. Our marriage is totally messed up and we really dont want to continue this any more. Can you advice me what to do?

  6. 1akimika1

    On February 12, 2010 a petition for Annulment of Marriage was filed praying for the declaration of nullity of marriage of Maricar Balagtas to Jayson Guerrero.

    On April 28, 2011, the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan Branch 17 issued its Decision stating that:

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered declaring the marriage between petitioner, MARICAR BALAGTAS-GUERRERO and respondent JAYSON AQUINO GUERRERO void ab initio with all the legal effects thereof, pursuant to Article 500 of the Family Code of the Philippines.

    The Office of the Solicitor General filed a motion for reconsideration seeking for the dismissal of the case for annulment. We filed an opposition to the motion for reconsideration of the Office of the Solicitor General.

    On March 27, 2012 the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan Branch 17 denied the motion for reconsideration of the Office of the Solicitor General.The denial of the motion for reconsideration is in effect upholding the decision annuling the marriage of Maricar Balagtas to Jayson Guerrero.

    The Office of the Solicitor General appealed the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan to the Court of Appeals. As a result of which the decision issued by the RTC of Bulacan will not attained finality but instead it will be elevated to the Court of Appeals for review. Unless reverse the decision of annulment will stand.

    In the meantime, we will await for the order of the Court of Appeals for us to file our appeellees brief.

    Any thing could help me about this.. i really wanted to do it fast, im planning to go abroad with my new bf and my son but still i have this problem, is anything legal possibility could this be fast and how much? please i hope to got your response.. my email is …. hoping to got immediate response..

  7. lala_loadge

    I just would like to ask if my spouse will file an annulment and i will not response to his application would i oblige to response even i dont want to agree? Thanks

  8. jonard

    hi. atty. tanong ko lang po anu po ba magandang gawin para mawalan ng bisa ung kasal namin ng wife ko? civil lang po ung kasal namin b4 at that time kaya pinakasalan ko cya she was a pregnant chaka matatanggal cya sa trabaho kaya pinilit ako ng tatay nya na pakasalan sya. hiniwalayan ko sya sa maraming dahilan.. 3years na kaming hiwalay. i have a new wife now and gusto ko cyang pakasalan…i hope atty replyan nyo ung katanungan ko…para alm ko kng nung dapat kong new wife is willing to w8 ..tnx A LOT n GOD BLESS YOU…

  9. Analyze

    Dear Atty,

    How are you? just wondering if a friend of mine can file a annulment if he is not with wife anymore its been 4 yrs now no communication or whatsoever. what can you advice with this situation and how long is the process of annulment?

  10. Michelle818

    Dear Atty.,

    My brother has a wife for 10 years now. He was only 20 the time he is forced to married to the woman because the woman was pregnant that time. The woman is 6 years older than him. He told my brother that they need to be married because he cannot graduate from college and she needs it because she will be going abroad. My brother also live and work in their business because we were so poor, he cannot survived without the help of the family of the woman. My brother said “yes” because of the promise, despite he never loved the woman. As, time past my brother waited but the woman didn’t go abroad and it ends up my brother was not able to help his family. My brother is the eldest of our family and our parents got separated that time during the process of marriage. My brother agreed because he was desperately want to help our family, so he thought that if the woman could go abroad she could help a lot to support their child. Since from the start they never have a harmonious life. My brother supported their child very well from the start. Now, my brother fall in love with a woman and she got her pregnant. The woman never new about that my brother is married. Only she knew is he has a child from another woman. My brother wanted to be annulled with his wife because he is in love with this another woman and want to marry her and be with her for the rest of his life. I hope I could hear your opinion regarding with this serious matter. He really love this woman and want her to be his legal wife.

    Thank you.


  11. RM

    Kinasal po ako 3 years ago, and I found out that my wife has an affair with her guy friend, may komprontasyon pong nangyari and she admitted naman po yung relasyon niya don sa lalaki, we decided na maghiwalay na last March 2011, and sa kanya po naiwan yung anak namin who is 6 years old now. Sa ngayon po buntis na sya sa kinakasama niya . Ngayon po i am planning to file an annulment, maari niyo po ba akong matulungan regarding this, wala po akong malaking pera but i hope you could still help me about this.

    respectfully yours’

  12. marian

    Dear atty. by the im marianne from cavite po paano po ang process ng annualment kinasal po kami sa west dito po sa munisipyo ng bacoor tapos po naghiwalay po kami nung 2011 ng february yung tatay po ng anak ko dahil po sa hindi niya po kami kayang buhayin sa umpisa napilitan lang po siya makasal kami para lang po magkapangalan ang anak ko at hindi po niya kayang sustentuhan yung anak niya . Tnx po hope po matulungan ninyo ako

  13. giobel888

    Dear Atty,

    I heard rumors that filling annulment would cost big sum of money, can I ask how much it will cost? I am not that rich that I can afford that sum of money is there an alternative for us who can’t afford that huges sum of money?


  14. joey123

    Hi Atty,

    I have a partner who is married..and we are now desperately looking for grounds on how he can file for annulment…

    He is married for 18 years..though he only stays home 2months in a year ..the marriage continues though there is a mutual understanding between him and his wife that the marriage continues for the sake of children..

    Now..things gets worse cause the wife is planning to file a case or disagree to put the marriage into end…

    What’s the best thing we could do?


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