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.

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

  1. kitikiti

    Dear atty,

    I got married 2010, a month after my civil wedding I came to work here in KSA. I have been working here for almost three years now just to be informed that my ex wife is living in with another man. I met someone and we are planning to settle down. I know that processing of annulment back home is hard and it takes a lot of patience and time before I could have the results. Is there a link you could give me where I could read all the informations I need for the annulment of my marriage?. Thank you so much.
    God bless and more power to your page.

  2. mrs.boss

    Hi, I am married with 2 kids 5 and 3 yrs old. Nag abroad husband ko 2010, within 4 months nambabae na sya sa isang indonesian. Within the time na nasa malaysia siya patuloy ang panloloko nya. Ginawan nya ko ng issue about money kaya daw nagawa nya mambabae. Until I found out may nangyayari sa kanila. Ang masakit pa nagawa pa nya isama sa family tour nila ng mga kapatid nya ang babae. And nung umuwi ng indonesia babae patuloy pa din communication nila at nagpapadala pa pera ang husband ko. Ang babae may 2 anak din sa ibang babae. Umuwi sya this year doon lang na reveal lahat dahil nabuking ko sya. Ngayon nagtatago at di na nagbibigay sustento sa mga anak nya. Pati pamilya nya tinatago sya sa amin ng mga bata. Gusto ko lang magkausap kami para sa mga anak ko. Ngayon parang iniinsulto pa ko ng pamilya nya gawa ng pagkakahiwalay namin. Naging mabuti ako asawa at ina. Dahil kahit na anong pahirap gawin nila di ako bumitiw sa husband ko. Ngayon lang po ako nagising na dapat na idaan sa legal na paraan. Tanong ko po, pwede po ba ko mag file ng case sa kanila ng kabit nya kahit nasa indonesia na babae, ang mga email lang po nila evidence ko at ang pag amin sa akin ng asawa ko. Ano po ba maganda ko gawin? Kasi gusto ko po kasuhan ang babae.

  3. Numeriano


    I would like to establish my petition in this forum because I’ve been searching and searching how to avail nullity of marriage. Just last week I found a website of GTALAW office and sent my request of petition form but did not answered. I tried to make follow-up yesterday, Thursday but until today friday 20th day of November 2015 still no response.

    My question is.., Can I go directly to Philippine Embassy to seek for help from the Consule General regarding to my petition?

    Thank You for prompt reply.


    Numeriano Dolino
    El-Khayyat Red Bricks, Bahra, Jeddah, KSA

  4. Wilfredo G.

    I am from Lipa City, Batangas; I was married last June 2000 and we got separated December of the same year. After that we still meet for 2 years and later on I got no news from her whatsoever up until now. I found out from NSO that she got married before we got married and consulted an attorney and advised me to file for Certificate of Nullity of Marriage for 80 thousand pesos. Since I dont have that such amount of money, I am asking if you could help me.


Leave a Reply

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