Venue of Petitions for Annulment or Declaration of Nullity

One of the recurring issues in this forum, perhaps primarily because of the apparent increase in interest of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in annulment, is the proper venue of petitions for annulment or declaration of nullity. To address this issue, let’s consider the following provisions of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages

Sec. 4. Venue.– The petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing, or in the case of a non-resident respondent, where he may be found in the Philippines, at the election of the petitioner.

Sec. 5. Contents and form of petition. – xxx

If the petitioner is in a foreign country, the verification and certification against forum shopping shall be authenticated by the duly authorized officer of the Philippine embassy or legation, consul general, consul or vice-consul or consular agent in said country.

Residence connotes “actual residence” as distinguished from “legal residence or domicile.” It is the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode that signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In other words, the possible venues for filing the petition for annulment or declaration of nullity are the following, at the option of the petitioner:

1. The province or city where the PETITIONER has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing.

2. The province or city where the RESPONDENT has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing.

3. In the case of a non-resident RESPONDENT, the province or city where he may be found in the Philippines.

Now, here’s the fun part — since this is a forum and discussions are most welcome in order to dissect points of law, let’s tackle the venue in the case of a Filipino staying abroad, even if on a non-permanent basis. Would that Filipino be considered as a non-resident, and, if so, is he/she left with the sole option of filing the petition for annulment or declaration of nullity at the province or city where the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing? Let’s complicate matters — what if the spouses have long been separated and each has no idea as to the actual residence of his/her spouse? Where, then, should the OFW file the petition? Let’s hear what students of law (and I use this term loosely to refer to law students and lawyers) have to say.

22 thoughts on “Venue of Petitions for Annulment or Declaration of Nullity

  1. jrbhk

    Dear Atty. Fred
    Annulment seems to me to be one sided am I right or wrong?
    My ‘intended’ a Filipina, was married to a non Filino.
    The marriage was completed in a foreign country and ended in divorce, which was gained legally in a foreign country, due to his adultery and leaving the marital home. His adiction to alcohol was noted in court but was not metioned in any final documented declarations. The divorce was not contested.
    Seemingly if he had divorced my fiance then we could get married now and the marriage would be recognised in the Philippines. But because she divorced him (and what woman would not) then she has to seek annulment and all the added costs of this. Is this correct or is there a way for the divorce to be recognised in some way?
    I have searched and searched but cannot find any information which has a similar history or background.

  2. Kakay

    Good day. I would like to get your advise with regards to the lawyer my husband and I have hired to file for nullity of my first marriage. My first marriage was consired null and void for the fact that my first husband was still married when we tie the knot. Being a naive girl, I believed him when he said that his marriage was already annulled and got to know later on that he did not even filed for annulment. I met my second husband and hired a lawyer to file the nullity. After a year my lawyer advised me that we can get married for there has been a decision already from the court. Again being that naive girl that I was and being a lawyer, I trusted my lawyer and got married w/o seing the documents from the court. I’ve paid my lawyer full for his services and after 3 and a half year being married to my current husband, I am still casing my lawyer for the documents for which he said is just waiting for the court to release. He gave me assurance that my second marriage is not considered null for there was already a decision from the court for which I have not seen up until now. He has been giving me excuses such as the court changed offices and cannot release it yet, the court is having an inventory of all the cases filed etc etc. Being an ofw, it is very difficult for me to contact and follow up on the matter. What can I do to force him to cough up my documentations.

    please help


  3. faith09


    i want to talk to you privately, im looking for a lawyer because i want to file an annulment. How can i get in touch with you, i am an ofw.



  4. Honeybabes

    Good day atty… im separated for more than 7yrs.. i would like to ask for your help to file a null and void for my marriage, since our marriage license has wrong information about my husband true age.. Is it a ground for nullity of void of our marriage? Please i need your help..

  5. anakat

    Good day attorneys,

    I am intending to file for annulment but am hesitant due to these factors-

    1. I am not residing in the Philippines.We have been separated for 2 years,even though we maintain contact because of our daughter.I have been working abroad for 3 years and the only time I go home is during my annual leaves.

    2. I am afraid for the sake of my daughter,who is 7 years old at this time of writing…she is currently under the guardianship of my mother.he gives a little over 5,000 php per month to cover expenses and we half her tuition fees.aside from that, all the expenses are on me.does he have the right to have the guardianship in my absence? i’m afraid i may not see my daughter again.

    3. He have previously agreed to cooperate,all expenses will be on me.
    He is confusing and can not make up his mind,even though he is older than me.What will I do in the event he changes his mind?

    Please help me.Thank you in advance.

  6. rapidraf

    atty. got summoned from my wife who’s working abroad, she came back 2x a year but we’re living together with our 2 kids , her cousin and a yaya. But my summon is addressed at my mother’s house but i am presently living with our house with my two kids. haven’t consulted a lawyer yet, i just want to know if i can use that as a grounds to dismiss the case? also attached in the summon is the diagnosis of her psychologist to me but i never attended the test , i didn’t even meet her psychologist. What will i do with the summoned , what if i didn’t appear in the pre-trial ?, also in her prayer she wants the full custody of our kids. Need your help thanks

  7. jean

    atty,what if i am abroad and my X is non-resident in Phil or alien,then i dont know where is HE now because we are separated almost 7yrs…WHERE and HOW to file annulment while i am out of the Phil?

  8. jean

    atty fred,pls send me a contact number to an available attorney for consultation.. I AM SO SICK AND FRUSTRATED ABOUT MY PROBLEM.pls help me,i will be in manila by September 22,2009.

  9. zild

    A friend told me that I could file and process my annulment even w/out appearing in the court. How much will it cost? pls email me @

  10. Castle

    Dear Atty;

    I have sent you an email before asking for your contact details or email address.

    I want to file an annulment and I need a lawyer.

    Please reply, i need your assistance.

    Thank you


    hi i want to ask what i can do so that the husband of my cousin be punished in UAE.his husband has affair to the secretary of his boss who is a Filipina also.Can my cousin ask the employer of her husband to send back or unemploy his husband and his GF there?

  12. mariarobles

    Hello Atty.

    I live here in Europe and my non-filipino husband filed for nullity of marriage in the Philippines. We never had any communication after our marriage. We are separated for 6 years and he has his own family now. We don’t have any child nor properties. He is the petitioner and I am the respondent. The ground is lack of marriage license because the marriage license number we have he said were not in our name. I want to give his freedom and also of course we want our liberty…

    My question is… I live in France, what will I do? I cannot come to Philippines just for this, I am too busy for my work. Should I bring the Summon to the Philippine Embassy of France and have it signed to the Notary? Or I just sign it personally and send it back to the Philippines? I want our marriage to end in black and white without any hassles on my side afterward because I am also planning to get married later with my french boyfriend.

    Your fast response will help alot. I really need your advice. Thank you so much and God Bless!

  13. marys

    Dear mr lawyer,
    My concern is regarding my cousins problem,
    Shes like 37 now and shes living in japan for like 10 yrs now.
    She was married to her filipino bf 18 yrs ago, and after a year found out that the guy was already married to someone else, And also she found out that the guy used a false name when he married her. it was my cousins 1st marriage and the guys second.. My cosuin went to japan and eventually found a japanese bf and they got married, she got all the necessary docs from the phil to be married in japan..And got married in phil too.. They got 2 kids and stayed together for 15 yrs, bt unfortunately they divorced.. Few yrs later she fell in love to an american guy and they are planning to get married now.. But to her surprise when she requested a cenomar from phil. the cenomar says she was still married to the filipino guy.. She was so shocked bcos for so long she thougt the marriage wasnt registered and it was void and null.
    Mr attorney what do u think she should do now? Why is it that her marriage to the japanese guy was even permitted in the first place..she is really confused now. I hope u can give us an advice.
    Thank u so much!

  14. shygirl

    Hi po i got married in 1998 and just found out in 2007 that in my BC,i am illigitimate and my father was not registered as my father and only my mother has signed the acknowledgement. When I tried to take the LET exam, I was not allowed till i declared myself single bearing my mother’s surname. My father has been dead for years before the discovery, and I was not registered as his daughter in the church I allegedly baptized only my siblings.So I changed all my documents from married to single to be able to take the exam, in accordance to my BC and had passed. I am now seperated (not legal) for 2 and half years, can I file for nullity of marriage under the ground of mistaken identity? If ever, what are the steps? how much will it cost? Pls help me po. Thanks and God bless.


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