Grounds For Annulment in the Philippines
As many of my readers know, there is NO divorce in the Philippines. The Philippines recognizes divorce of non-Filipinos, obtained in other countries … as a sovereign state they have to recognize legal acts of other sovereign states, but (and it’s a big BUT), the law of the Philippines applies to all Philippine citizens, where ever they may be.
First of all, remember, I am not an attorney. Nothing you read here should be construed as legal advice. It’s all my personal opinion.
Secondly, for those of the Muslim faith, and marriages celebrated under the Muslim faith, there _IS_ divorce in the Philippines. Since I know nothing about this subject at all, you who are interested must do their own research. Start here: “Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines”
What If I Get a Divorce in Guam (or anywhere else except the Philippines)?
- 0.1 What If I Get a Divorce in Guam (or anywhere else except the Philippines)?
- 0.2 The Law Of The Philippines Always Applies to Philippine Citizens, No Matter Where They Are.
- 0.3 Basically, Those Are The Only Opportunities For Divorce in the Philippines
- 0.4 OK, So How Does One Get a Civil Annulment in the Philippines?
- 0.5 Grounds For Declaration of Absolute Nullity:
- 0.6 If None of These Grounds Apply, One May File a Petition For Annulment of Marriage
- 0.7 I Only Report The News
- 1 Related Posts
- 2 Share this Article:
This is a very frequent question here on PhilFAQS. The answer is quite definitive. “It Depends”.
If you have been granted a legal divorce from any other nation, within that nation and within other sovereign nations (including the Philippines), that divorce normally is legal and binding, if, and only if, you are NOT a Filipino citizen.
The Law Of The Philippines Always Applies to Philippine Citizens, No Matter Where They Are.
This is an important concept which many readers seem unable to get their heads around. All those complex schemes readers keep coming up with that involve somehow getting to another country and filing for divorce there are pretty much useless.
The law of the Philippine does not allow Filipinos to divorce. Two major exceptions:
One: The special conditions referenced above where the marriage is celebrated under the laws of Islam.
Two: The special case where a married couple is of mixed nationality, example, a Filipino married to a foreigner. If, and only if, the foreigner spouse files for divorce (in a country which does allow the filing of divorce), and the divorce is granted, then the foreigner is free to remarry, while the Filipino spouse is still considered married under Philippine law. He or she can then file a case in the Philippine courts to request the courts recognize the foreigner-initiated divorce and declare the Filipino spouse to be single again.
Physical separation between spouses does not necessarily entitle either party to the filing of a petition to nullify or annul his or her marriage. Our laws require that there be legal basis in filing such petition in court.
Basically, Those Are The Only Opportunities For Divorce in the Philippines
If a Filipino citizen is married to another Filipino citizen, the only other opportunity to dissolve the marriage and make both of them free to marry again is a legal, Philippine court annulment of the marriage under the Philippine Family Code.
It’s important to note here that the word “annulment” is thrown around a lot, often without noting the fact that it has two completely separate meanings.
A Catholic Church annulment, under what is properly called “Canon” law (Law of the Roman Catholic Church) is a process which dissolves a marriage under the eyes of the Catholic Church. This is a very important religious consideration for Roman Catholics (especially since the church does NOT recognize civil divorces), but under civil law, in any country, a Roman Catholic annulment does nothing to change the civil marital status of the parties involved.
There’s a lot of discussion here in the Philippines lately becuase of recent initiatives of the Catholic Church to reduce or eliminate costs involved for those seeking Church annulments. This is great news for practicing Catholics but it has nothing to do with changing the civil married or unmarried status of persons seeking a civil license to marry.
Under the laws of the Philippines no entity, including the Catholic Church, can change the civil taus of a married Filipino citizen except the courts of the Philippines.
A Civil (Philippine Court) Annulment is basically the only route to freedom to marry for most Filipinos.
OK, So How Does One Get a Civil Annulment in the Philippines?
In order to file a court case for annulment, the person filing the case must have legal grounds to file it. There has to be a legal reason to ask the court for resolution the case. Normally a person may ask for one of two outcomes.
If the marriage was not legal in some manner, then the plaintiff may ask for a Declaration of Absolute Nullity, basically a finding that the marriage does not exist and never existed legally becuase it was invalid from the beginning (ab initio).
Grounds For Declaration of Absolute Nullity:
Pursuant to the Philippine Family Code, the following are considered the only valid grounds for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage:
(1) If either party is below 18 years of age, even with the consent of parents or guardians;
(2) If the marriage was solemnized by a person not legally authorized to perform marriages;
Unless it was contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;
(3) If the marriage was solemnized without license, except those allowed under the law;
(4) Bigamous or polygamous marriages (if either party was already married);
(5) If the marriage was contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other;
(6) Subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53;
(7) If either party was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage at the time of the celebration of the marriage;
(8) If the marriage is incestuous;
(9) Or if the marriage is void from the beginning for reasons of public policy (You need a lawyer to brief you on this).
If None of These Grounds Apply, One May File a Petition For Annulment of Marriage
Grounds for an annulment of the marriage must be present. Generally these are:
(1) If either party was 18 years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of his parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party.
(2) If either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
(3) If 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;
(4) If the 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;
(5) either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable;
(6) If either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and which appears to be incurable.
I Only Report The News
I don’t make the laws. If you read through these grounds above,significantly missing are situations like the husband abandoning the wife, the husband failing to support the family and a whole raft of other sad situations I have come to know only so well since I have been writing this blog.
I hope at least knowing the common Grounds For Annulment in the Philippines helps you in your quest for future happiness.