I’m stuck in a bad marriage, What can I do?
(Last updated 28 April 2017)
It’s a bright, sunny day here in Marilao, Buacan, and I was having a great morning until this comment came in.
I get so many queries like this from women stuck in horrible marriages, it makes me sad. Some of the “low-quality” husbands are fellow Americans, some are Filipinos, but the bottom line is aways the same … te woman is “stuck” because of the accident of her birth, she was born a Filipino.
Let’s Look at One Case in Some Detail
Here’s what my reader wrote, along with my comments and suggestions. Before you read nay farther, remember one thing:
I am not a lawyer and I have no intimate skills and knowledge of Philippines or US laws. This is all personal opinion, not to be taken as legal advice. Also, all my advice must be taken with a grain of salt. If I offer an opinion or a suggestion, remember it is my personal opinion only and anyone who reads it is free to follow, or not, as their own thoughts and feelings may dictate.
Ok, now my lawyers should be happy, so on the problem at hand.
Just want to ask about my case, our marriage was not registered from the beginning maybe because I was just 19 yrs old that time and no parents consents on both parties, just a friend from our church…
This is a very sticky subject, one on which there is a lot of confusion. One might think that this marriage was invalid, ab intio (from the beginning) becuase the requirements of the Philippine Family Code were not satisfied.
Bit it’s not that easy. See this for a competent, legal opinion:
… Under the Family Code of the Philippines, the need for parental consent for marriage is required when one or both of the couple are between the ages of 18 and 21. To elaborate, the law specifically provides that:“Article 14. In case either or both of the contracting parties, not having been emancipated by a previous marriage, are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, they shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding articles, exhibit to the local civil registrar, the consent to their marriage of their father, mother, surviving parent or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them, in the order mentioned. Such consent shall be manifested in writing by the interested party, who personally appears before the proper local civil registrar, or in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official authorized by law to administer oaths. The personal manifestation shall be recorded in both applications for marriage license, and the affidavit, if one is executed instead, shall be attached to said applications” (Family Code of the Philippines)…. the parental consent must be presented to the local civil registrar in the form of an attested and witnessed affidavit.The need for the confirmation of the parental consent by the local civil registrar is required for the issuance of a marriage license. Since the marriage license is a formal requisite for a valid marriage, parental consent is crucial for compliance in the statutory requirement for marriage.
However, note that the lack of parental consent does not render the marriage automatically void. A marriage without the required parental consent is still valid until annulled by the Courts in accordance with Article 45 of the Family Code. This therefore makes a marriage without proper parental consent only annullable but not void…
So the first obvious “escape clause” for this troubled wife is partially closed. It would not appear that she could not file a case to declare the marriage void ab initio (from the beginning beginning), since although the basic requirements of the registrar were not complied with, the marriage is still valid under the current law.
but yet after 8 yrs I decided to separate from him because of the other woman and when we settled in women’s department, we found out from NSO that our marriage was void so the women’s authorities just let us signed an agreement about our kids concerns.
It would be very enlightening to know how this opinion from the NSO (now PSA) was rendered. Was there some legal documentation that shows the PSA stated to marriage was void at the time you were going though the process of separation?
If there is something in writing from the PSA, this would indicate the best course of action might be to immediately file a case to void the marriage. For sure, a Philippine lawyer should be consulted on this.
… But after that i worked abroad for years and my ex have managed to registered our marriage contract and threatened me just to get all my income so I got no choice I still come back to him after 5 yrs of separation to give him another chance for my kids behalf …
This is another possible “escape path”. If the marriage was recorded without your knowledge and consent, the may still be a path to a case to have it declared void, but again, this is all far above my legal knowledge and you should discus this in detail with a competent attorney.
But it just got worse everyday because he never change so after 5 yrs I left him again and now I’m working abroad and still sending money for my kids education.
… He’s really psycho and a typical user. He will get whatever I have. I am currently working abroad and seldom go home. What do you think is the case I would file to get free of him? He’s good in ph law as he graduated as AB political science and his close friends are lawyers in our place. Your advice would be appreciated much….
This is the classic definition of the phrase of being between a rock and a hard place. If you consult an attorney as I mentioned earlier, I’m going to make a guess that your attorney is going to advise filing a suit for annulment (if the attorney feels you have sufficient grounds. Again, I am not competent on this, you MUST consult an attorney. Attorneys and court cases costs money, but the point to consider is, you have already been “paying” for this marital mistake for what, 8 years or more now? How many more years will you throw your money away?
There’s a saying about divorce in the USA which makes good sense here. “The reason divorce costs so much is, it’s worth it.”
Anybody else out there tempted to ask this same question, I’m stuck in a bad marriage, What can I do?