Marriage Annulment

Marriage Annulment in Philippines

Under Philippines law there is no divorce procedure only annulment. Annulment of marriage is a complicated process that usually takes at least 6 months, even if everything goes smoothly, and requires at least two court appearances, one for the Pre-Trial and one to Testify.

According to The Family Code of the Philippines (Article 45) the possible grounds for annulment of marriage include:

  1. “That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;
  2. That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
  3. That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud (see Article 46 below), unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
  4. That 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 as husband and wife;
  5. That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or
  6. That either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable.

Article 46 states that any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in Number 3 of the preceding Article:

  1. Non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude;
  2. Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband;
  3. Concealment of sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or
  4. Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage. No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage.

 You cannot seek annulment on the grounds of:

  • Abandonment
  • Infidelity
  • Separation

…although in certain circumstances these may be grounds for legal separation.

In most cases there is a duration of 5 years after the circumstances above occurred during which the petition must be filed, but check this carefully and seek professional advice.

This information is for reference as a general guide only.

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