Sunday, November 26, 2006

Family Code of the Philippines: Primer on marriage

Related posts:

[1] If husband and wife have not seen each other for more than seven years, does it mean their marriage is already void?

[2] If a person gets married while his petition for declaration of nullity of his first marriage is ongoing, can he be charged with bigamy?

[3] Quickie marriages under Article 34 of the Family Code: Is the marriage void if the affidavit of marital cohabitation is false?

[4] Legal lessons from the Kris Aquino - James Yap breakup: legal separation, annulment, declaration of nullity, essential and formal requisites of marriage

[5] Irreconcilable differences not a ground for declaring a marriage null and void

[6] When a man is married to or living in with several women successively or simultaneously, who has the right to inherit from him?

(Note: Click the picture to download a free PDF newsletter on this topic.)

Starting this week, I will be posting primers on the various provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines. For this week, the primer is on the basic provisions on marriage, specifically Articles 1 to 34. Please surf over to Title I, Articles 1 to 54 which comprise the complete provisions of the Family Code on marriage.

You may also want to review my previous articles on “covenant marriage” and “divorce and remarriage” from the Philippine legal standpoint. I discussed these articles with pastors and workers who attended the Baptist Mission Partners symposium last week.

How does the Family Code define “marriage”?

Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code. (Article 1)

What are the essential requisites that make a marriage valid?

Republic of the Philippines vs. Liberty Albios, G.R. No. 198780, October 16, 2013

Issue:

Is a marriage, entered into for the sole purpose of acquiring American citizenship in exchange for $2,000, void on the ground of lack of consent?

Background facts:

Liberty Albios asked Daniel Lee Fringer to marry her so that she can acquire American citizenship. In return, Albios promised to give Fringer $2,000. After the wedding, they went their separate ways. Fringer returned to the United States and never again communicated with Albios. In turn, Albios did not pay Fringer the $2,000 because he never processed her petition for citizenship.

Regional Trial Court rules that Albios and Fringer’s marriage is void for lack of consent

Albios filed with the Regional Trial Court a petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage with Fringer. She described their marriage as made in jest and, therefore, null and void ab initio (from the start). The RTC ruled that the essential requisite of consent was lacking and that when marriage was entered into for a purpose other than the establishment of a conjugal and family life, the marriage was a farce.

Court of Appeals affirms RTC ruling

The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC ruling that the essential requisite of consent was lacking. The CA stated that Albios and Fringer clearly did not understand the nature and consequence of getting married and that their case was similar to a marriage in jest. It further explained that Albios and Fringer never intended to enter into the marriage contract and never intended to live as husband and wife or build a family. It concluded that their purpose was primarily for personal gain, that is, for Albios to obtain foreign citizenship, and for Fringer, the consideration of $2,000.

Supreme Court rules that the marriage is valid

Albios and Fringer’s marriage is not void ab initio (from the start) and continues to be valid and subsisting.

Consent was not lacking between Albios and Fringer. Their consent was conscious and intelligent as they understood the nature and the beneficial and inconvenient consequences of their marriage. Their consent was freely given as best evidenced by their conscious purpose of acquiring American citizenship through marriage. Such plainly demonstrates that they willingly and deliberately contracted the marriage.

Motives for entering into a marriage are varied and complex. The State does not and cannot dictate on the kind of life that a couple chooses to lead. Thus, marriages entered into for other purposes, limited or otherwise, such as convenience, companionship, money, status, and title, provided that they comply with all the legal requisites, are equally valid. Love, though the ideal consideration in a marriage contract, is not the only valid cause for marriage. Other considerations, not precluded by law, may validly support a marriage.

Albios has indeed made a mockery of the sacred institution of marriage. Allowing her marriage with Fringer to be declared void would only further trivialize this inviolable institution. The Court cannot declare such a marriage void in the event the parties fail to qualify for immigration benefits, after they have availed of its benefits, or simply have no further use for it. These unscrupulous individuals cannot be allowed to use the courts as instruments in their fraudulent schemes. Albios already misused a judicial institution to enter into a marriage of convenience; she should not be allowed to again abuse it to get herself out of an inconvenient situation.
Article 2 provides that a marriage is valid if these essential requisites are present:

(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and

(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.

What are the formal requisites of marriage?

The formal requisites of marriage according to Article 3 are:

(1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;

(2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title; and

(3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.

What is the effect if an essential or formal requisite is absent?

The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites renders the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35 (2).

What is the effect if any of the essential requisites is defective?

A defect in any of the essential requisites does not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity will be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

What is the age at which a man or woman can get married?

Any male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38, may contract marriage.

(Note: Before the Family Code became effective in August 3, 1988, the minimum age for marriage under the New Civil Code of the Philippines was 16 for men and 14 for women.)

Is there any prescribed form for the marriage ceremony?

No prescribed form or religious rite for the solemnization of the marriage is required. It is necessary, however, for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife. This declaration must be contained in the marriage certificate which must be signed by the contracting parties and their witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer.

If a party cannot sign the marriage certificate, what can be done?

In case of a marriage in articulo mortis, when the party at the point of death is unable to sign the marriage certificate, it is sufficient for one of the witnesses to the marriage to write the name of said party, which fact must be attested by the solemnizing officer.

Who are authorized to solemnize marriages?

Art. 7. Marriage may be solemnized by:

(1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court's jurisdiction;

(2) Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer's church or religious sect;

(3) Any ship captain or airplane chief only in the case mentioned in Article 31;

(4) Any military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the absence of the latter, during a military operation, likewise only in the cases mentioned in Article 32;

(5) Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul in the case provided in Article 10.

Note: The Local Government Code of 1991 restored to the mayors their authority to solemnize marriages

For Filipinos residing or traveling abroad and who want to get married, who can solemnize the marriage?

The consul-general, the consul, or vice-consul of the Republic of the Philippines can solemnize the marriage.

What can be done if upon applying for a marriage license, the parties cannot produce their birth certificates?

The presentation of birth or baptismal certificate is not required if the parents of the contracting parties appear personally before the local civil registrar concerned and swear to the correctness of the lawful age of the parties, as stated in the application, or when the local civil registrar is, by merely looking at the applicants upon their personally appearing before him, convinced that either or both of them have the required age. (Last paragraph, Article 12)

What are the requirements of the Local Civil Registrar if either of the contracting parties was previously married?

The previously married applicant must furnish, instead of the birth or baptismal certificate, the death certificate of the deceased spouse, or the judicial decree of the absolute divorce, or the judicial decree of annulment or declaration of nullity of the previous marriage.

In case the death certificate cannot be secured, the party must make an affidavit stating this circumstance, actual civil status, and the name and date of death of the deceased spouse. (Article 13)

What is the effectivity of the marriage license once issued?

The license is valid in any part of the Philippines for a period of one hundred twenty days from the date of issue, and it is automatically canceled at the expiration of the period if the contracting parties have not used it. The expiry date must be stamped in bold characters on the face of every license issued. (Article 20)

What are the requirements if a foreigner wants to get married here in the Philippines?

When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, they must submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials, before a marriage license can be obtained.

Stateless persons or refugees from other countries must, instead of the certificate of legal capacity, submit an affidavit stating the circumstances showing their capacity to contract marriage. (Article 21)

What are the rules for marriages entered into by Filipinos in foreign countries?

All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines under the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, are also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.

Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is afterwards validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse has the capacity to remarry under Philippine law. (Article 26, as amended by Executive Order 227)

Under what circumstances will a marriage license no longer be required?

In case either or both of the contracting parties are at the point of death, the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license and will remain valid even if the ailing party subsequently survives. (Article 27)

If the residence of either party is so located that there is no means of transportation to enable the party to appear personally before the local civil registrar, the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license. (Article 28)

Marriages among Muslims or among members of the ethnic cultural communities may be performed validly without the necessity of marriage license, provided they are solemnized in accordance with their customs, rites or practices. (Article 33)

No license is necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties must state these facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer must also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties and found no legal impediment to the marriage. (Article 34; please read “Quickie marriages under Article 34 of the Family Code: Is the marriage void if the affidavit of marital cohabitation is false?”)

What are the rules for marriages performed by a ship captain or a pilot?

A marriage in articulo mortis between passengers or crew members may also be solemnized by a ship captain or by an airplane pilot not only while the ship is at sea or the plane is in flight, but also during stopovers at ports of call. (Article 31)

What are the rules for marriages performed by a military commander?

A military commander of a unit, who is a commissioned officer, has the authority to solemnize marriages in articulo mortis between persons within the zone of military operation, whether members of the armed forces or civilians. (Article 32)

Can I get married to my first cousin?

No, you cannot. You are related to your cousin by four civil degrees. Because of public policy, the Family Code prohibits marriage between persons related within the 4th degree of consanguinity (Article 38 of the Family Code).

Here’s how to count the number of degrees: From you to your father or mother, that is one degree. From your father or mother, to your grandparents, that is another civil degree. From your grandparents to your uncle or aunt, that is another degree. And from your uncle or aunt to your first cousin, is another degree, making a total of four degrees.

410 comments :

1 – 200 of 410   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Dear Atty. Galacio,
I am a Filipino who initiated a divorced from my alien ex-husband ,I know ( through your blog )that in our law the divorce I obtained is not valid here in the Philippines. Do I have to file for annullment or what do I have to do to declare my previous marriage null? Please help. Thank you in advace.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mr. Galacio,

My marriage certificate shows that the civil wedding was performed 1 month before my 18th birthday. The typed age is 18, but it's obvious based on my birthday, I'm 17 at the time. Is my marriage legitimate? I do not have a concent letter from my parents.

Thanks for any input

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Article 35, paragraph (1) of the Family Code states that a marriage by someone below 18 years of age is void from the very beginning, even with the consent of the parents.

However, you cannot take the law into your hands and declare by yourself that your marriage is void. You need to file a petition under Article 40 FC to have your marriage declared null and void.

You did not indicate the circumstances of your marriage at such an age. Please take note that you and all parties involved can be charged civilly and criminally if you (and all the parties involved) made it appear that you were of the right age and that you had your parents’ consent for the marriage.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know where can I verify if the person has the authority to solemnized marriage.And if the witness were not able to attend during the marriage ceremony,and somebody else signed for them,is the marriage that took place considered void and invalid?

Thank you!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. You can verify with the National Statistics Office as to whether a person is authorized to solemnize marriages or not.

Please take note however of Article 35, paragraph 2 of the Family Code which states:

Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:

(1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians;

(2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so.

NOTE: This means that if you or the man believed in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the authority, the marriage is valid even if it turns out that such an officer was not legally authorized to solemnize marriages.

2. There are two kinds of requisites for a valid marriage: essential and formal. The requirement for two witnesses signing the marriage contract is a FORMAL requisite. The FC provides that

Art. 4. The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35 (2).

A defect in any of the essential requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

NOTE: The fact that the other people signed for the witnesses is a formal requisite that does NOT affect the validity of the marriage. HOWEVER, all parties involved in the irregularity shall be charged in a civil, criminal or administrative case.

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty. Galacio,
Thank you very much for your reply to my previous questions,I really appreciate it. I hope you will not mind if I ask another question/s as I don't really know how can I file my petition for recognition of foreign decree of divorce and or annulment. Can I file the petition for recognition of foreign decree of divorce and or annulment on my own without hiring a lawyer to represent me? I am a single parent and I don't have funds to pay for the costly process of annulment and or recognition of foreign decree of divorce. I understand that I can apply for legal aid through PAO or Public Attorneys' Office or other institutions like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP ) or law schools that have legal aid program, but there is no guarantee that they will take on my case. And even if they do, I will probably have to wait for a long time due to their heavy load. I am not sure of what to do, do I have to file for annulment or do I have to file for recognition of foreign decree of divorce? Where do I have to file it, is it in the Regional Trial Court or in the Family Court? Please advise, I will be very grateful if you can enligthen me. Thank you very much and God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Atty. Galacio
I have additonal questions please based on the above ...
If the lady does not have the money to pay for annulment ~ considering all that annulments need to have done and paid for ~ can she enter into a common law 'marriage' legally in terms of to the outside world she is married and can she then, with her 'common law husband', act and be recognised as and claim to be husband and wife legally or is this bigamy because of a claim to be married? Hope this is clear and thanks.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. As I have discussed, a divorce obtained abroad by a Filipino citizen will not be recognized here in the Philippines. When the divorce proceedings were initiated by the foreigner-spouse against the Filipino spouse, then such a divorce will be recognized here provided the requirement of Article 26 has been complied with. That is, if such a divorce allows the foreigner spouse to remarry, then the Filipino citizen can also remarry.

2. Assuming it is the Filipino spouse who is the innocent party (that is, he or she did not initiate the divorce), before she can remarry here in the Philippines, he or she must comply with the requirements of Article 13 FC. That Filipino must file the proper petition in court for the foreign decree of divorce to be recognized here.

3. If it is the Filipino spouse who initiated the divorce, then such a divorce will not be recognized here in the Philippines. That foreign decree of divorce cannot be given effect here.

It may be costly, time-consuming and seemingly a superfluous repetition of what has already been decided in the divorce proceedings abroad, BUT that Filipino spouse, in order to remarry here, must file a petition to have his or her marriage declared null and void. A common ground used as you may know is Article 36 or psychological incapacity.

4. Please take note that legally speaking, annulment is for voidable marriages, while declaration of nullity is for void marriages.

5. It is true that annulment / declaration of nullity is very expensive. Here in Metro Manila, lawyers generally ask for an initial fee of one hundred thousand pesos. Total costs will amount to something like one hundred fifty up to two hundred thousand pesos.

In our system of laws, ordinary persons cannot file cases on their own since this would be an illegal practice of law. You need to retain the services of a lawyer to prepare the pleadings for you and to prosecute the case for you.

There is a Makati-based law office Guzman Tanedo Acain which I understand specializes in annulments and legal separations AND adjusts its rates depending on the financial capability of the petitioner. Its office is at 316 Mile Long Building, Amorsolo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, 1200 Philippines; Telephone: (632) 8941441; e-mail: gtalaw@gtalawphil.com. Perhaps, you can try contacting this law office.

Please take note that I am not in any way connected with this law office.

6. All cases involving marriage, family relations, minors, and others of the same nature are required to be filed in the Family Court. The Family Court is a Regional Trial Court specifically designated as a Family Court. We also have RTCs designated as commercial courts (handling cases previously under the jurisdiction of the SEC) and also, drugs courts.

7. Common law marriages or live-in relationships or unions without marriage (as the FC calls them) are frowned upon by the FC and our Constitution. Factually, however, the DSWD has reported that 40% of couples in CALABARZON are merely living in. That translates to about 90,000 couples who either do not believe in the institution of marriage or who were probably married to parties other than their present partners. The DSWD is undertaking an advocacy program to legalize these relationships.

Under the Revised Penal Code, there is bigamy if a person gets married again while he or she is still in a subsisting marriage. If a married person is involved with a person other than his or her spouse (but without getting married to the adulterous partner), then cases such as adultery, concubinage or psychological violence can be filed. Please read my article Adultery, concubinage and psychological violence in this blog in order to understand the differences.

Also, a person involved in a common law relationship, if he or she is employed by the government, may be charged administratively. There is however a landmark case (Estrada vs. Escritor) decided by the Supreme Court two or three years ago, where a Escritor, a female government employee lived-in with a man despite the fact that both of them were married to other parties. The government employee was charged administratively for immoral conduct. The Supreme Court however recognized that employee’s defense of freedom of religion (Escritor is a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses), and she was not dismissed from the government service. Please read my article The Estrada vs. Escritor case: Did the Supreme Court legitimize live-in relationships? You can find the article in the Previous Posts section my blogs (Legal Updates, Salt and Light, and Baptist Churches in the Philippines).

Anonymous said...

Nullity of Marriage. Are typical attorney fees the same as annulment? How about time line, is Nullity longer or faster?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Attorney’s fees for declaration of nullity (void marriages) and annulment (voidable marriages) are typically the same, with the time line being essentially the same. However, for declaration of nullity of a BIGAMOUS marriage, since it is only a matter of records (and which therefore does not require a psychological report and the testimony of the psychologist), some lawyers ask for much lower fees.

It is not a question of personal preference – whether you want an annulment or declaration of nullity. Whether the proper petition is annulment (voidable marriages) or declaration of nullity (void marriages), this would depend on the factual circumstances.

aillizah said...

good day atty.,

i just would like to ask why the law stated 18 as the marrying age? aside from the belief that they are mature enough (being considered as the universal age of majority), are there still other grounds or reasons (moral, psychological and practical)? are there also books or sources that can prove these grounds?..

thanks...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Before the Family Code became effective in August 1998, our laws on marriage were found in the New Civil Code of the Philippines. Under the NCC, males could get married at age 16 while females could get married at age 14. The FC changed the minimum age for getting married to 18 for both men and women.

The commission which crafted the Family Code included among others Judge Alicia Sempio-Dy. It was the view of the commission members, based on their experiences and learning, that age 18 was the most appropriate minimum age for getting married. Judge Sempio-Dy has a book on the Family Code and she might have more explanation there about this issue.

Also, you can research the deliberations of the Family Code Commission. The UP Law Center (Law Library) in Diliman, Quezon City most probably has a copy of these deliberations.

Anonymous said...

good day!
I just want to ask some questions.
I am a filipino citizen was married to a foreign national, my ex husband initiated the divorce abroad. What are the procedures for me to do to have my divorce decree recognized here in Philippines? What are the requirements needed for me to have my divorce recognized?
Please enlighten me on this. Thank you very much.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Article 13 of the Family Code states, “In case either of the contracting parties has been previously married, the applicant shall be required to furnish, instead of the birth or baptismal certificate required in the last preceding article, the death certificate of the deceased spouse or the judicial decree of the absolute divorce, or the judicial decree of annulment or declaration of nullity of his or her previous marriage.”

If the Local Civil Registrar of the place where you are applying for a marriage license (assuming you are getting married again), refuses to issue a marriage license, then you can take judicial action to compel it to register the foreign divorce decree.

However, you just might want to have the foreign divorce decree recognized or registered with the proper government office (without any thought as of now of a possible remarriage).

There is no specific Rule in the Rules of Court for the recognition of a foreign divorce decree, so we have to look at court decisions and/or actual legal practice for guidance.

The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Garcia vs. Recio (G.R. No. 138322. October 2, 2001) that A divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be recognized in our jurisdiction, provided such decree is valid according to the national law of the foreigner. However, the divorce decree and the governing personal law of the alien spouse who obtained the divorce must be proven. Our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign laws and judgments; hence, like any other facts, both the divorce decree and the national law of the alien must be alleged and proven according to our law on evidence.

In one case (RP vs Orbecido, G.R. 154380 : October 5, 2005), the party filed with the Regional Trial Court a petition for authority to remarry.The Supreme Court in its ruling stated that Orbecido’s petition really partook of the nature of a petition for DECLARATORY RELIEF which is covered by Rule 63 of the Rules of Court. Section 1 of Rule 63 clarifies as to who may file this kind of a petition: Any person interested under a deed, will, contract or other written instrument, or whose rights are affected by a statute, executive order or regulation, ordinance, or other governmental regulation may, before breach or violation thereof, bring an action in the appropriate Regional Trial Court to determine any question of construction or validity arising, and for a declaration of his rights or duties, thereunder.

Thus, you have to file a petition for declaratory relief under Rule 63 asking the court for a declaration of your rights or duties under the foreign divorce decree. This assumes of course that the petition is for purposes of remarriage.

As I stated above, you just might want to have the foreign divorce decree recognized or registered with the proper government office without any thought as of now of a possible remarriage. Thus, instead of a petition for declaratory relief, you can try to directly file with the Regional Trial Court (in your place of residence) a petition for recognition of the foreign divorce decree and asking for registration of the decree with the National Statistics Office.

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty. Galacio:
Iam British and live in Singapore. My finance is a Philippines citizen. Is there any requirement for me to stay in the Philippines for the period of the 10 day notification of marriage. I live in Singapore and had planned to fly to Manila, get my Certificate of No Impediemnt the head to my fiances home town and register for the marriage. I had hoped to fly back to Singapore and return after 10 days to marry. Can you tell me if there is is a problem with this plan?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. First of all, you have to obtain from the Singaporean embassy or consulate here in the Philippines a document known as Certificate of Legal Capacity to marry.

2. You and your prospective spouse must then present that CLC when you apply for a marriage license. The Family Code of the Philippines (Article 17) provides that the Local Civil Registrar must post that application for a marriage license for a period of ten days.

There is no provision in the Family Code which requires any of the applicants to stay within the Philippines within that ten-day posting period. The purpose of the ten-day posting period is to provide any person with knowledge of any impediment or obstacle as to why the license should not be granted with the opportunity to make the proper objection.

As the FC (Article 18) provides, however, even if someone objects to the granting of the license, the Local Civil Registrar cannot by itself refuse to issue the license. It is only by an order of a competent court that the LCR can refuse to issue the license.

Legally, therefore, I do not see any obstacle to your plan to file the application for a marriage license, go back to Singapore, and come back after ten days when the license has already been issued. The only problems I can foresee are practical in nature, there might be problems with certain documents, payment of fees, etc. It would be much better if you simply stayed here in the Philippines for the duration of the ten-day period to take care of whatever problems might crop up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty. Gerry Galacio,

My wife and I married a few years ago in a catholic church in UAE and the marriage is not yet registered or reported to the Philippine Consulate here (due to very long process). We are planning to get married again in a catholic church in the Philippines this year so that we can celebrate/share with our families, relatives, and friends.

Is it legal? Please help.

Thank you very much.
And more power on your blog.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. The rule for marriages contracted by Filipinos abroad is lex loci celebrationis, meaning, if the marriage is valid in the place where it was celebrated, then it is valid here in the Philippines (with certain exceptions). Your marriage in UAE assuming it complied with all the requirements there (and it does not fall under the exceptions to the lex loci celebrationis rule) is valid here in the Philippines even if it has not been recorded in official records of the Philippine government. Please take note that the marriage certificate or contract is not an essential or formal requisite of marriage under the Family Code. Thus, even if there is no record (as of yet) of your UAE marriage, you are validly married.

2. Thus, if you get married again here in the Philippines, it should only be a pro forma celebration, sort of reenactment of what has already legally taken place in UAE. Meaning, you should no longer apply for a marriage license or sign the marriage certificate, etc. You should definitely inform the officiating minister of your previous marriage in UAE and explain to him that what you need is a reenactment or renewal of vows or a public celebration with family and friends.

The problem is, if you apply for a marriage license and sign the marriage certificate and the officiating minister forwards it to the NSO, you might eventually end up with two marriage certificates on file with the NSO (one from your marriage in UAE and the other one from your marriage here in the Philippines). Needless to say that creates administrative and legal problems for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty. Gerry Galacio,

Thank you for your very quick response. It is very helpful.

Therefore, you just need to avoid double NSO marriage registration.
Right?

Btw I have one clarification to make. The marriage registration did not reach the Philippine Consulate here. The process here is to register first in UAE Ministries of Courts, then Justice, then DFA and the last is the Philippine Consultate. We are still in the UAE Ministry of Justice process.

For argument's sake,

1. What if we did not report our marriage to Philippine Consulate and then we marry in the Philippines?

2. And if ever we have double NSO marriage registration, what administrative and legal problems it will make? Who will sue or take legal action on us?

3. Is the Civil wedding and then church wedding scenario is the same?

Thank you very much again.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The right of a priest, pastor or any religious minister to solemnize marriages emanates from the State, specifically from the provisions of the Family Code. Without such authority, a priest, pastor or minister can be prosecuted criminally.

Thus, a civil marriage (solemnized by a mayor or a judge for example) and a church marriage (solemnized by a priest, pastor or minister) are the same in legal effect. Whether a civil or church wedding, the couple has to present their marriage license, sign the marriage certificate, observe the rule on two witnesses, etc.

If a couple has already been married in a civil rite, there is no need for a church wedding. The same thing when a couple gets married in a church wedding, there is no need for a civil rite.

It is a decision you and your wife have to make whether to report or not your marriage in UAE. As I explained to you, we follow the rule on lex loci celebrationis. I cannot speculate on what can and cannot happen if you do not report your marriage in UAE to the proper Philippine government officials.

If there are two marriage certificates on file with the NSO, that gives rise to administrative problems. Which certificate should the NSO release when asked for a copy? Even if you got married to the same person, you would have committed falsification of entries in a public document (in the application of marriage license where you would place single in the marital status among other things). This is a public crime meaning anyone with knowledge of the crime can report it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your immediate reply Atty. Gerry Galacio.

The past days, I have been reading a lot of cases. And I have couple of points to mention:

* Most of the cases filed about double marriage only involves a third party (bigamy or concubinage), abuse or abandonment. We know a lot of famous celebrities, politicians and businessmens who are involved in this third party practice. Most of them are only money matters and can be easily settled off the court. A person will not invest his time and money to a case which is usually take years unless he can get big money out of it.

* Falsification of public document without any damaged to a third party is difficult to prove for lack of merit (unless you have reported double marriage certificate to NSO) and even more difficult if it involves marriage outside of the Philippines.

* Administrative cases is only for employees of the government.

Vincent... said...

Surnames of married women here in Belgium remain.While in my case, i need to adopt the surname of my husband after my marriage in the Phillippines.

Could you please help me to find in our existing laws to be my legal ground in adopting or carrying the surname of my husband?

i am being requested to write an explanation on this regard to the reason that i am processing my school transcript of records and diploma for the ministry of education here in Belgium.My diploma and transcript of records all bears my maiden name which is contradictory to my Belgian identity card who bears my marital surname.

I would be grateful of your help.

thank you

Anonymous said...

Dear Attorney,

Greetings!

I have a very terrible problem and I would like to seek your legal advise on this.

I married to a Filipino citizen who is currently a Permanent REsident of Canada (not a Canadian Citizen) last MArch 2007. We sought for legal advise from my lawyer if it's legal to marry here in the Philippines considering that my husband's exwife is still a filipino citizen, though married last February 2007 to a Canadian Nationale. We are so naive with the Family code and we were just banking on my lawyer's words.

We file the Spousal Visa Application and unfortunately, the Embassy sent us a letter two weeks ago stating Article 15 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, thus, telling me that my husband is still legally married to his ex-wife, because they found in their records that both of them are still Citizens of the Philippines.

I talked to my lawyer about this and he said that he was able to get a Recognition of Divorce Decree of my husband last year and honestly, we spent a lot of money just for that. He said that he will write a letter to the embassy for reconsideration along with the attachments. My lawyer likewise mentioend that the Decree of Divorce was registered at Department of Foreign Affairs, City of Local Registrar, etc. Hence we were able to acquire the NSO copy of our marriage contract.

The Embassy is giving us time though to send a submission or proposal to address this concern. WE are so lost Attorney. We wasted so much time. It took us a lot of time before we were able to file the Spousal Visa becuase we were waiting for our NSO copy of our marriage contract.

Here are my questions:
1. If its really true that my lawyer got a RECOGNITION of Divorce, would it be valid enough so our marriage last MArch 2007 will be legal?

2. If my lawyer will write for reconsideration, with all the attached documents, do we have to provide the LEgal Capacity to MArry?

3. What do you think we should do? PLEASE HELP US...Our main goal is to be together and build a family in Canada that we have both yearning over these years.

Hoping to hear from you soonest.

Thanks and more power!!!

Anonymous said...

Attorney, just to add..my husband and his ex-wife were divorced in Canada last 2006.

We would greatly appreciate your help and legal assistance...We really dont know what to do...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Vincent,

Article 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines is our specific law on the use of surnames of Filipina women. Please surf the Chan Robles website for the exact citation of this law.

Under Article 370 NCC, Filipino women have the prerogative to choose their surname after marriage. The option includes retention of maiden name or the use of the surname of the husband. As a general rule, since the use of the husband’s surname is not obligatory, a married woman may retain to her maiden name.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

P.S.

Vincent,


There is a pending bill in the Philippine Senate authored by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on the use of surnames by Filipino women. Basically, however, under Article 370 NCC, you can use your maiden name or use your husband's surname. You therefore have to bring to the attentiion of the Belgian officials Article 370 of the NCC.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Please read my article on Article 15 of the New Civil Code [ Ruffa, Ylmaz, TV Patrol, divorce and remarriage by Filipinos located in http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2007/06/ruffa-ylmaz-tv-patrol-divorce-and.html .

2. I tend to agree with the Canadian government that your husband is still legally married to his first wife in view of Article 15 NCC. What did the petition for recognition of the divorce decree allege? Do you have a copy of the decision of the court recognizing your husband’s divorce? What does the NSO copy of your marriage indicate? Does it contain the notations as to the divorce and your husband’s right to remarry?

With the facts (your husband and his first wife being both Filipinos), I do not know how your lawyer was able to obtain a recognition of that divorce. You have to sit down and talk with him or her about it.

Even if the divorce was recognized here in the Philippines (when it should not have been in my view), your marriage should have taken place AFTER that divorce decree was recognized by the court and AFTER it was annotated by the NSO on your husband’s marriage certificate.

The Certificate of Legal Capacity to contract marriage under the Family Code is issued by the embassy or consulate of a foreigner who wants to get married to a Filipino citizen here in the Philippines. So I do not think the CLC applies in your case.

As of now, you have to rely on your lawyer’s actions as to writing a letter for reconsideration.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much Attorney for your legal advice.

I have another question....if in the event the Embassy of Canada will not reconsider. What should be the legal actions we should take? Do we have to file his annulment? Can he file it even if he isnt here in the Philippines? Would the Court here in the our country expedite the Annulment of their marriage considering that their divorce was granted in Canada? How long you think is the annulment processing Atty? Also, what would happen to our first marriage last March 2007, would it be considered null and void? Do I have to file for a Nullity of Marriage considering that it's the same name as my husband (considering if we will have the marriage again after his annulment)?

I just hope and pray that the Embassy will reconsider. My lawyer will send a letter to the Embassy for justification, along with the documents. Nonetheless, I just would like to know what other options we should take so our marriage will be legal. Or you think it would be best that I will set an appointment with the Embassy to discuss further on necessary proposals and/or action plan to address this concern should they will not give any reconsideration?

Hoping to hear from your soonest Attorney.

Thanks so much and God bless!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You currently have a lawyer who is handling your case. It would be a violation of professional legal ethics if I counsel you on these matters.

For purposes of legal information only, declaration of nullity of a marriage takes about a year to complete. Our courts cannot take into consideration the divorce obtained abroad since the FC does not recognize such.It is a leagl mess since as you observed even the validity of your own marriage will become questionable.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Attorney. I understand completely what you said. Please know that I don't trust my lawyer. He just happened to be the husband of my cousin and due to personal relationship, we cannot just argue with him because we supposed that he is more knowledgeable and well versed in the law relating to family rights and, and to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons which are binding upon the citiznes of the Philippines, even though living abroad. Honestly, we're lost and devastated :(

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks for giving a little information. I think I'll just have to write a letter to the Embassy and will just seek for their reconsideration. Otherwise, we'll just have to do it right and legal. It's just too sad because we wasted so much time and effort simply because we aren't conversant with the laws pertaining to dissolution of marriages through divorce.

God bless....

Anonymous said...

hi atty:

I have a question and I hope you can help me on this.

how will I know the authenticity/validity of a marriage certificate/ contratct?

Can it beconsidered as a valid marriage even if there's no ceremony? They just signed in to a paper then that's it...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. The lack of a ceremony is a mere defect in a formal requisite and does not affect the validity of a marriage.

2. If the marriage certificate or contract is on file with the NSO, that is a prima facie (on the surface) evidence of the validity of the marriage.

If you want to question the genuineness of the signatures of the parties in the certificate, then you should ask the help for example of the NBI experts on questioned documents

3. Even if the marriage certificate or contract is not on file with the NSO, the validity of the marriage can still be established by other evidence (application for marriage license, the license itself, testimonies of the solemnizing officer or of the witnesses). Please take note that the marriage certificate is NOT a formal requisite or an essential requisite of marriage under the Family Code.

Anonymous said...

My marriage was already annuled when i transferred to another govt agency and i was using my maiden name.when i remarried,i used my husband's surname.will my present office allow me to use my maiden name again?i am using my maiden name in my passport and sss transactions.

Anonymous said...

dear atty Galacio,
I was separated from my husband for 3 years now.His friends told me that he was living-in with a woman.I also have my own life now.In fact,we got married already but my marriage wasn't annuled yet.I want to file for an annulment but i don't have the resources..I know it's very expensive.Is there any lawyer who can help me?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You have to verify what your agency’s policy is towards the use of maiden surnames by married female government employees. Please also check the Civil Service Commission rules on surnames at www.csc.gov.ph.

Article 370 of the New Civil Code is our governing law on the use of surnames. Under this article, Filipino women have the prerogative to choose their surname after marriage. The option includes retention of maiden name or the use of the surname of the husband. As a general rule, since the use of the husband’s surname is not obligatory, a married woman may retain to her maiden name.

There is a pending bill in the Philippine Senate authored by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on the use of surnames by Filipino women.

From a practical standpoint, it would be better to use the name you have consistently used in your official documents.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The problem is that your 2nd marriage is void for being bigamous. You should not have gotten married the 2nd time since your first marriage has not been declared null and void. Even if your first marriage is later on declared null and void, this will not make your 2nd marriage valid. You can be charged criminally with bigamy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks,Atty Galacio for the immediate reply.I am using my married name here at work ,gsis and bir but i am using my maiden name in my passport,my sss and bank accounts..will there be a problem in the future?Also,i just sought the help of a lawyer today and was advised to seek an annulment so as not to complicate things..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. If and when your marriage is declared null and void, you will regain the right to use your maiden surname. Please read my current article on the use of surnames by married women in my Legal Updates and Salt and Light blogs.

2. It would be a good idea for you to ask a notary public to prepare an Affidavit of Identification explaining why you are using different names in your various documents and that you are one and the same person. If ever there is a question, you can show this affidavit.

Anonymous said...

hi atty:

how long will it take before a marrigae can be annulled?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

It depends on several factors like the court docket (meaning case load of the specific Family Court handling the petition), the place (Metro Manila courts handle more cases than courts in provinces), postponements or resettings (absence of lawyers, of the judge, the fiscal, or stenographer, etc) and other factors beyond the control of lawyers and clients. On the average however, it will take about a year or two.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

hello Atty,
Tanong ko lang po, tungkol po ito sa surname ko.ANg ginagamit ko po sa ngayon ay surname ng ex husband ko..8 years na po kaming hiwalay. gusto ko po sanang gamitin na lang ang surname ko nun dalaga kesa sa surname niya, pupuede po ba ito? Balak ko pong mag abroad at sa pagkuha ko po ng passport puede po bang surname ko na nun dalaga ang gamitin ko?

salamat po.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Please read my article “Miss, Ms. Or Mrs? Philippine law on surnames for married women” also found in this blog http://famli.blogspot.com/2008/04/miss-ms-or-mrs-philippine-law-on.html .

2. Since your marriage has not been annulled or declared null and void, you are still married to your husband. You are therefore legally obligated to use your husband's surname.

Anonymous said...

hi atty. galacio:

just want to ask your advice. i dont know if it is a problem but i'm just really curious. i am married now for 12 years. i was 22 when i got married in civil while my husband is 21 but we dont have a parents' advice & parents' consent, respectively. he just asked me that we get married and we did. i even dont know our witnesses. IS OUR MARRIAGE NULL & VOID? pls answer my query, i would really appreciate it. thanx po.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

When your husband got married to you, he was only 21 (and thus he needed parental consent). That was twelve years ago. Your husband is now 33 more or less. Please take note of Articles 45 (paragraph 1) and Article 47 (paragraph 1) of the Family Code:

Art. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:

(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;

Art. 47. The action for annulment of marriage must be filed by the following persons and within the periods indicated herein:

(1) For causes mentioned in number 1 of Article 45 by the party whose parent or guardian did not give his or her consent, within five years after attaining the age of twenty-one, or by the parent or guardian or person having legal charge of the minor, at any time before such party has reached the age of twenty-one;


This means that your husband or his parents should have filed a petition for annulment of the marriage FIVE years after the marriage. Since it has now been twelve years after your marriage, the petition for annulment can no longer be filed. Moreover, your husband after reaching 21 freely cohabited with you, and you both lived together as husband and wife. In other words, the option to have your marriage annulled has already lapsed.

Anonymous said...

i am the one who have recently asked you re: our 12 yr marriage. it's my 1st time to consult a lawyer & it's so nice of you to answer right away. thanx po.
i have 1 more question, based on your response meaning po our marriage is "genuine"? we are not living in sin since we only got married in civil & not in the church?
i am not bad person, i've been wanting & waiting to get married in church but my husband never asked me (so sad....but my husband is a good man)
again thanx po for accomodating me. i will wait for your reply.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You are not living in sin simply because you had a civil wedding without a subsequent church wedding. If the civil marriage complied with all the essential and formal requisites of marriage under the Family Code, then there is no need for a church wedding. In the same way, if a church wedding complied with all the FC requisites, then there is no need for a civil wedding.

Under the Philippine legal setting, pastors, priest and religious ministers derive their authority to solemnize marriages from the State. A religious minister without the necessary license cannot solemnize marriages.

Anonymous said...

tnx so much for answering my queries. i believe you're a very busy man but still you find time to help people like us. i sincerely appreciate your kindness. God bless you, Atty. Galacio. tnx po!

aleixie said...

Dear Atty,

I have been separated from my husband for three years already. He has a mistress. And I heard he is just waiting for me to file for annulment. That's why I do not intend to file one.

My question is about my name. Can I revert to using my maiden name even without annulment? I've read somewhere that women are not forced to carry the name of their husbands. Can I now drop his name and revert to using my maiden name?

What steps must I do in order to have a reversion of name in my public records, SSS, Philhealth and PRC?

I have no passport yet, can I apply for passport under my maiden name? I will also declare there that I am married.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

aleixie,

1. Please read my article “Miss, Ms. or Mrs: Philippine law on surnames.” You can use this link http://famli.blogspot.com/2008/04/miss-ms-or-mrs-philippine-law-on.html

2. As long as you are legally married to your husband, under Article 370 of the New Civil Code, you are obligated to use your husband’s surname.

As I discussed in my article, Sen. Santiago’s bill allowing a woman to use her maiden surname after marriage or legal separation has NOT yet been approved by the Senate and/or Congress.

3. If you declare in government documents that you are not married when actually you are, you can possibly be charged criminally with perjury (making false statements under oath).

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty,

I'm a Filipino, working in a foreign country. Was married in the philippines & got separated after years of marriage.

My question is, if i remarry in a foreign country & not annulled in the philippines, will it be bigamous in this foreign country?

Thanks!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You have to consult with a lawyer of that country where you plan to get married.

However, probably all countries in the world prohibit bigamous marriages. Exceptions would be Muslim countries where Muslim men are allowed to contract various marriages at the same time. You did not indicate whether you are a man or a woman (the term Filipino primarily refers to citizenship and may refer to either a man or woman). In Muslim countries, the consequences are especially severe for a woman (Muslim or non-Muslim) who enters into a bigamous marriage.

Anonymous said...

Atty, I got married, or I thought I did, 29 years ago and I just learned that there is no record of my marriage in the municipality where I was supposed to have a civil wedding with my husband. I got to learn about this when the hospital where my husband was hospitalized asked for a marriage contract with the registry number. my copy had no registry number so I contacted the local civil registry but found that our marriage was not listed. I checked with NSO Manila and I got a copy of my contract with a registry number. I went back to the municipality where we got married and asked how come our marriage was not listed in the civil registry of weddings but it had a registry number. Upon checking again, the number belonged to some other couple. I asked if this is possible that our marriage could be registered in some other place, but the registrar said No. and that we have to be registered in the original place even if it is a late registration. My questions: Is it possible that my husband had it registered in another place and how did he do it? Will our marriage be considered illegitimate? Thanks for whatever advice you could give me.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Do you remember applying for a marriage license? Please check the NSO copy of your marriage certificate and look for the details of the marriage license – when and where the license was issued. Then check with the Local Civil, Registrar of the town or city which issued the license. Please take note that I am speaking of the marriage license and not the marriage certificate.

Under the Family Code, the marriage certificate is neither an essential nor a formal requisite of marriage. Thus even if the certificate is missing or defective, the marriage is still considered valid (as long as the requisites are present). HOWEVER, when you got married 29 years ago, the prevailing law was the New Civil Code of the Philippines.

You mentioned that your husband may have filed the certificate in another place. Whether under the Family Code or the NCC, it was the solemnizing officer who was duty bound to submit the marriage certificate to the LCR (not your husband).

Before I can give you a more informed answer, I need more information as to whether you applied for a license or not, AND why you said that your husband may have filed the certificate in another place (when it was the solemnizing officer who should have filed it with the LCR. As I said above).

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty. Galacio:

Thanks a lot for your quick response. It was my husband who applied for a marriage license, if I remember right (I don't have a copy with me right now) on 29 September 1979. I already checked with the municipality where we were supposed to be married and the registrar said that he needed proof that we were really married there. So I produced a copy of my marriage certificate without the registry number, and a photo of the Mayor solemnizing the marriage. It was in the presence of my sister, and the friends of my husband. I was 23 then and he was 32. I did not know the mayor because that municipality is not the place of residence of both of us. I am sorry I cannot reveal the place to you yet. When the registrar saw the picture, he said that the one in the picture was not the Mayor but the Secretary of the Mayor. He then asked why the windows in the office in the picture were closed. I said I dont know. He checked the date of our marriage in the calendar and he said, this date is a Sunday, and for civil weddings officiated by the mayor, they don't do it on weekends. I was shocked, Atty. I talked to my husband and he said he does not know anything about it, probably it is the fault of the mayor's office. I went back to the municipality and had the signature of the mayor checked if it was authentic, and nobody could say it was! So, I asked my husband what really happened but he could not tell me exactly how come it went that way. I went from one municipality to the other to check if our marriage was recorded anywhere, but there is no record. I am supposed to ask for a CENOMAR from NSO, but the Manila office was able to produce a marriage certificate with a registry number (which I said does not belong to us). Now I understand why it cannot be assigned a registry number at that time, it was because the solemnizing officer was not the real authorized person. I realized I was so naive not to have checked at that time.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. It was my husband who applied for a marriage license … Article 59 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines (not the Family Code) provided that BOTH of you must have appeared before the Local Civil Registrar in applying for a license.

Like I said, the details of the marriage license, you can see them in the marriage certificate which you were able to get from the NSO. Except, if your husband did not apply for a license but instead took advantage of what is called exceptional character (similar to Article 34 of the FC, where no license is required when there is affidavit by the parties that they have been living in as husband and wife for five successive years).But the NSO certificate will still contain the notations if the NCC provision on marriage of exceptinal chracter was availoed of.

2. Article 53 of the NCC provides that one of the requisites for a valid marriage was that the solemnizing officer must have the proper authority. If it is true that the person who solemnized your marriage was the secretary of the mayor and not the mayor himself, then your marriage is void.

Please take note that under Article 40 of the Family Code, a party cannot simply declare by himself or herself that the marriage is void. There must a decision of the Family Court declaring the marriage null and void.

The best way to find out whether your marriage is valid or not is to file in court a petition for DECLARATORY RELIEF. In this petition, you will be asking the court for its opinion as to whether your marriage is legal or void. (Instead of a petition for declaratory relief, you can of course go directly to a petition under Article 40 of the FC asking the court to declare your marriage void, for reasons like lack of a marriage license and lack of authority of the solemnizing officer, etc).

You can try to get free legal help from the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) in your place; from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) of the UP College of Law) in Diliman, Quezon City; or from the IBP chapter (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) in your town or city. The IBO chapter offices are usually located in the Hall of Justice of cities.

3. Please read the cases of Pugeda vs. Trias 4 SCRA 849 (3-31-62) where the Supreme Court ruled that the best proof of the marriage is the marriage certificate but that it is not the only proof. In the case of Lim Tanhu vs. Ramolete66 SCRA 425 (8-29-75), the Supreme Court ruled that the primary evidence of marriage must be an authentic copy of the marriage certificate. While the marriage may be proven by other competent evidence, the absence of the certificate must be satisfactorily explained.

You can find these cases probably in the Chan Robles website. Or you can go to any library of a law school and ask for help in locating the SCRA (decisions of the Supreme Court).

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for your valuable advice, Atty. May God bless you always.

Anonymous said...

Good day Atty. Gerry.

Sir, my GF is 21 y/o, do we need to seek parental advice or consent to get married?

I am confused with family code saying that consent is required for age between 18 and 21, while advice for age between 21 and 25. Age 21 is mentioned in both age range.

Thank you and more power. God bless you.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Dean Rufus Rodriguez in his book “Family Code of the Philippines Annotated” clarifies the matter on the age requirement this way: Parental consent is required of the contracting party who is 18 years old or over but below 21 years of age. Parental advice is required of the contracting party who is 21 years old or over but below 25 years of age.

In simpler terms, between 18 to 21 years old, parental consent is necessary. From 21 years AND one day (that is, the day after a person turned 21) up to 25, parental advice is necessary.

Anonymous said...

dear attorney, i was married when i was 16 years old and with my parental concent.. but the problem is i want the law to declare it as void.. what process shoul i make to make my marriage delared as void.?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Article 35 of the Family Code states that no one can get married below 18, even with parental consent. Please take note that Article 40 FC provides that a judicial declaration is necessary; you cannot take the law into your own hands and by yourself declare that your marriage is void. You should therefore file a petition for declaration of nullity of your marriage on the basis of non-age (you can find the Supreme Court rule in the Legal Procedures section of my website www.familymatters.org.ph).

Please take that all persons involved in making it appear that you were of the right age to get married can possibly be charged civilly, criminally and administratively.

Anonymous said...

Dear attorney,

I married my wife below the age of 18, and now we have two kids. As I was surfing this site, I found out that it is void even with parental consent. I am now here working in other country and the things between me and my wife are really not so good. I havent checked yet the NSO if they have the record of it coz i leave the country as single and doesnt need my contract. I was wondering, if my province municipal didn't able to give the NSO a copy of my marriage contract, will I have to undergo the same procedure as u mentioned through court? or I can marry someone anytime I want? Will the kids be a way to make my marriage valid?

In case I have to undergo those hearings, what can I do? Im here outside the Philippines.. can somebody.. for example my relatives, process it on behalf of me?

Thank You and More Power!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Attorney,

I was the one who wrote the above comment.. I just have additional question... my wife and I were already married for 10 years.. can i still file to the court about nullity of my marriage since I don't have any idea before that It was void.

I was staying here in other country for 7 years..

How long will it took the court to judge the nullity of my marriage? will I spend a lot of money for it? Because I want to get married again.

I would highly appreciate ur advice...

again, thank you

Anonymous said...

dear attorney,

i just wanna ask if what are the requirements of a belgian citizen who wants to marry a filipino in the philippines. what are the documents that are needed?

i really need your advise..

thank you so much...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Article 35 of the Family Code states that no one can get married below the age of 18, even with parental consent. You cannot however take the law into your own hands and declare by yourself that your marriage is void. Article 40 FC states that there must be a judicial declaration of the nullity of your marriage. If you get married again without complying with Article 40, then you can be charged with bigamy.

The marriage certificate is neither an essential nor a formal requisite of marriage under the FC. Thus even if the marriage certificate or contract is not on file with the NSO or the Local Civil Registrar, it does not mean that the marriage is void. The existence or validity of a marriage can still be proved by other evidence.

A void marriage is different from a voidable marriage. For example, if a person got married between the age of 18 to 21 without parental consent, the marriage is voidable (meaning it is valid until annulled). BUT if that person lived with the other party beyond the age of 21 without filing a petition to annul the marriage, then the validity of the marriage can no longer be questioned under Article 45.

In a void marriage however, Article 39 FC states that “the action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage shall not prescribe.” Like in your case, even if you have lived for ten years with your wife, the marriage can still be declared hull and void.

The Supreme Court Rule on Annulment or Declaration of Nullity of Marriages (there is a copy in the Legal Procedures section of www.familymatters.org.ph) provides that a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the wife. That is your problem. You have to come back here to the Philippines to file and prosecute the case.

As to legal costs, this case is cheaper since it will only be a matter of records, that is, cheaper than petitions for declaration of nullity using Article 36 or psychological incapacity as a ground. In the metro manila area, you can probably get lawyers who will charge you fifty thousand pesos as professional fee. Province-based lawyers will probably charge lower professional fees. As to time, it would take about a year or more (depending on the case load of the Family Court where your case will be heard).

Thus far, we have just tackled the legal aspects of your situation. The question is, do you have a Biblical ground for separating from your wife? Please read my article “Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage.”
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2005/12/divorce-and-remarriage_26.html

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

A foreigner wanting to get married in the Philippines must be able to present a Certificate of Legal Capacity to contract marriage issued by hiis embassy or consulate. This is provided by Article 21 of the Family Code which states:
When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials.

Stateless persons or refugees from other countries shall, in lieu of the certificate of legal capacity herein required, submit an affidavit stating the circumstances showing such capacity to contract marriage.

Anonymous said...

dear attorney,
I really appreciate ur response.would u mind me adding additional question? so u mean to say sir that i cannot just authorize any other relatives to process legal action on my behalf?

about the biblical words u are saying sir, I found out something on my wife way back before and i just got a chance to let her go and go on our lives. rest assured that my daughter will get everything. thanks again

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The Supreme Court Rule is very clear. You yourself must file the petition for declaration of nullity. You cannot authorize somebody else to file this petition for you.

Anonymous said...

I have a short and quick question.

1. is the mirriage of third degree cousins with the same family null and void?

Anonymous said...

What is the best action if both husband and wife wanted to end the marriage? not just legal separation.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Article 38 of the Family Code states that a marriage between collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree shall be void from the beginning for reasons of public policy. The prohibition applies only to first cousins, that is those whose parents are brothers or sisters.

What is the meaning of fourth civil degree? This refers to those whose parents are brothers or sisters. For example, Boy’s father is the brother of Girl’s mother. From the boy to his father, that is one civil degree. From Boy’s father to the grandparents, two degrees. From the grandparents to the Girl’s mother, three degrees. From Girl’s mother to the Girl, four degrees. Thus, Boy and Girl are related by four civil degrees. They cannot get married. If the relationship is beyond four civil degrees, there is no longer any prohibition.

If there is such a marriage (between first cousins), the proper procedure is to have the marriage declared null and void under Article 40 of the Family Code (there is a copy in www.familymatters.org.ph).

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The most commonly used ground for declaring a marriage null and void in the Philippines is Article 36 or psychological incapacity. I have several articles on this topic in this blog (please look for the links in the sidebar) and in the Frequently Asked Questions section of my website www.familymatters.org.ph. Please read especially the case of actress Amy Perez. Please also read my article “Can a husband and wife in a notarized document declare that they are free to marry other persons and they will not file charges against each other?” http://famli.blogspot.com/2008/03/can-husband-and-wife-in-notarized.html

That is the legal procedure. The question is, do you and your wife have a Biblical basis for ending your marriage? Please read my article “Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage”
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2005/12/divorce-and-remarriage_26.html

If you discover that you and your spouse do not have a Biblical basis for ending your marriage, what do you then? There are some organizations which conduct marriage seminars. You and your spouse can also go to marriage counselors. Ptr. Clem Guillermo is a well-known Filipino marriage counselor. He and his wife have a radio program called “Heartline” aired over DZAS 702 Khs every evening from 10:30 to 12. There is also a book by Willard Harley titled “His Needs, Her Needs” which encourages spouses in crisis to fall in love with each other again. I have numerous articles on relationships and marriage in my Salt and Light blog www.-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com

If you need prayers for the crisis you are going through right now, please visit this link: http://womentodaymagazine.com/chat/share.html (this link is for both men and women).

Anonymous said...

gud day atty. i have problem po sa status ng boyfriend ko. at first when he court me i believed na single po sya.at the age of 24 sino po ba mag expect na married na with 3 kids. one of my friend informed me about his status and when i confront him he simply deny it nung una.later on sinabi nya ikinasal sya last february 2007. parang napilitan lang. nabuntis nya yung girl nung 17 plng sya. pero since parang nag live in sila naging 3 anak nila. my concern atty is this...pwede ba nyang i file annulment yung marriage nya kasi right from the start hindi naman sila talaga nagsasama kasi nga po ayaw nya talaga sa girl at napilitan lang sya for the sake lang sa mga bata. hindi po cla nagkakaintindihan kahit noon pa dw at aalis na yung girl papunta ng dubai. they talk po and they decided na mahiwalay sila.mutual decision po. my chance po ma annul?kasi plan din ng girl to marry a foreigner. ask ko nga po bf ko hindi raw sya ang kumuha ng marriage license nya. help me naman po atty. gusto ko rin po kasi kahit papano legal yung relationship namin. thanks

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Anyone who wants to know the real status of a person before getting married to that person, can avail of a document issued by the NSO called the CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage). Upon application (the fee is four hundred pesos I think), the NSO will search its records to see if there are marriage contracts or certificates in the name of the specified person. If the NSO finds that there is a marriage certificate in the name of that specified person, then the proper certification is issued.

This presumes of course that the person concerned used the same name in the past and in the present. If a person uses a different name right now, then it follows that the NSO search will come up empty.

2. Since your boyfriend is legally married, then in order to be able to marry you, he must file a petition for declaration of nullity. If he gets married before his marriage is declared null and void, he can be charged with bigamy. Bigamy is a public crime which mans that ANYONE can with knowledge of the crime can file the case.

The mutual decision to separate does not have any legal effect. Please read my article “Can a husband and wife in a notarized document declare that they are free to marry other persons and they will not file charges against each other?”
http://famli.blogspot.com/2008/03/can-husband-and-wife-in-notarized.html

Anonymous said...

good day...before i ask my questions, let me first present the facts:
- i was born in the philippines (in 1977, making me 31 now) but my mother [an american citizen] registered me in the US embassy as an american born abroad [officially, they call it a Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the USA]; this established my american citizenship.
- my father was always filipino
- i grew up in the philippines, as a filipino [i still have a valid philippine passport]; however, i never renounced my US citizenship
- i am now residing in California, but i never renounced my filipino citizenship
- i was legally married in 2000 (in the philippines; i was 23 and the wife was 21) to a filipina; the certificate indicated my nationality as Filipino.

now with my questions:
- can i file for a divorce here in California to have my marriage in the philippines ended? according to the family code (art.26, para.2), as the alien spouse, i must initiate the divorce, to be able to have it eventually processed and validated thru the philippine courts. my wife, with whom ive been separated 5+ years already, and i have agreed that this process will not be contested.

- i'm not really clear with the intricacies and implications of the dual citizenship law; will it have an effect on the validity of the original certificate, as it was stated there that i was filipino (which is and was true) but at the same time, i was american all along?

thanks for bearing with me thru this rather long post. i truly appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

hello mr atty,
i got married (civil) 1999 left for canada 2000 we had a problem me and my husband then he got married again with another woman 2003 and live in saudi arabia with his new wife and two kids,2 months ago we had communication and have understanding and he told me our marriage was the one registed still in NSO philippinnes,he wants me back but i would like to make sure if our marriage is really still valid.thank you

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. The way I understand it, you want to initiate the filing of the divorce petition so that your wife (a Filipino citizen) can have the right to remarry under Philippine law.

2. In order that there will not beany complications, you must fully establish that you are filing the divorce action as an American citizen.

Please read my article entitled "The right of a divorced Filipino spouse to remarry under Article 26 of the Family Code" which has relevance to your situation. Use this link http://famli.blogspot.com/2007/12/right-of-filipino-spousedivorcee-to.html

The fact that your citizenship is entered as “Filipino” in your marriage certificate works against you. In the case cited in my article, the situation was that the marriage was solemnized while the parties were both Filipino citizens. Later on, one of the parties became an American citizen. That American citizen later on divorced the other party (who was still a Filipino citizen). The Supreme Court ruled that the divorced Filipino citizen had the right to remarry under Article 26 of the Family Code.

Based on you narration, you were an American from birth (by virtue of your mother’s American citizenship). RA 9225 (the Philippines’ dual citizenship law) however speaks of a Filipino acquiring foreign citizenship. Section 3 of the law states: Retention of Philippine Citizenship - Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, natural-born citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking the following oath of allegiance to the Republic …

RA 9225 is a relatively new law and there are problem areas like in the case you described. For example, can a person who holds dual citizenship file for divorce as a foreign citizen when the Family Code prohibits or does not recognize divorce? Section 5 of the law however states that holders of dual citizenship shall be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under existing laws of the Philippines.

The proper course of action here is for you to file a petition for DECALARATORY RELIEF with the Regional Trial Court so that it can issue a ruling on this matter. You can also try to contact the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation since it is the government agency tasked to implement RA 9225.

emil said...

thanks for the quick response, atty! upon reading RA 9225, dont you think it's not quite relevant to my case since it's about retention/reacquisition of philippine citizenship - i never lost it thru whatever means [renunciation, etc]. both jus soli and jus sanguinis apply to me [my filipino citizenship from the former, and my american citizenship from the latter?]. because of my being american, can i be defined as an "alien" in the philippines, even though i also am filipino? (funny and confusing, no??)

the blogpost link the you mentioned was helpful, too. one portion of it stated that..."[4] The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of the celebration of the marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.".

(that's why i asked about the definition of "alien" and its application to my situation:P)

if i file for a divorce here in california as an american, i shall be invoking this supreme court opinion, right? and accordingly, will the nationality entered in my marriage certificate [as filipino] be superceded by the divorce decree that i shall be filing as an american?

let me say that you're doing quite a service to everybody thru your blog [and the quick and concise responses!]. for a non-law person like myself, you've been big help. so again, thanks!

Anonymous said...

my present partner ex husband who married another girl already is bullshitting our relationship he said he want her ex wife back insisting he first marry her and their marriage still valid.is there anyway for me to report this guy for bigamy?in which department should i write or call?thank you....

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You have to check with the NSO whether or not your husband filed for annulment or declaration of nullity of your marriage. If there was such a court decision, then it would be annotated on your marriage certificate on the NSO files. But if your husband did not file for annulment or declaration of nullity, then you are still legally married to each other. Your husband’s second marriage is therefore bigamous and void, since he got married without having your marriage declared null and void first. As far as Philippine law is concerned, you and your husband are still legally married.

His second wife and children can however file cases against him (civil, criminal, support, etc).

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Emil,

1. As I said, you should file a petition for DECLARATORY RELIEF with the Regional Trial Court of the place where you have your residence here in the Philippines. This kind of petition is like asking the court to issue its opinion on your rights and remedies.

2. Having dealt with your legal situation, the proper question is do you have a Biblical ground for divorce (annulment or declaration in Philippine legal terms) and remarriage. please read my article "Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage"
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2005/12/divorce-and-remarriage_26.html

aubrey said...

Dear Attorney,

I was married 2 years ago with my bestfriend. He was only forced by my parents because he got me pregnant. me, getting pregnant is really the biggest mistake we've done.. but not totally a mistake bec the baby itself is not a mistake. I know it was against his will coz during that time, her girlfriend and him was planning to settle down also, I know he loves the girl so much but chose me because of my baby. I know it was painful for him. a month later we got married, I got miscarriage. Then he finally left me and he went to the girl he loves. It was really painful for me because I love him so much.
Right now the girl and my husband is planning to marry. I told him I will file case against him coz he is still married to me. But the thing is, he told me that he applied for CENOMAR and the result is, there is no record of our marriage.

It was my parents who applied for our marriage certificate. Is it possible attorney that our marriage is FAKE? I have my contract with me.

So that means he could marry that girl anytime he wants since the result of the CENOMAR is negative?

Pls help me attorney.. im really in a deep problem. Thank You and God Bless..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Aubrey,

The marriage certificate or contract is not an essential or a formal requisite of marriage under the Family Code. Even if such document is not on file with the NSO, it does not mean that the marriage is void. The validity of your marriage can still be proven by other evidences (the application for marriage license, the marriage license itself, the testimonies of the officiating minister and of the witnesses, etc).

You can try to get free legal help from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your town or city, OR from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) from the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City. The IBP chapter offices are usually located in the Hall of Justice of cities. Show the lawyers there the documents that you have to find out if they are genuine or not.

aubrey said...

Thank you for ur response attorney. So u mean to say sir that the result of the CENOMAR has nothing to do with my marriage??

Does it mean that my husband can really marry any other girl for the reason that he is still single?

Can i file charges against him?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

If and when your husband gets married again and you file a case against him, he will surely produce the CENOMAR in his defense. You must be able to prove the validity of your marriage (through evidences like application for marriage license, the marriage license, testimonies of witnesses, etc). Even now, you should take steps to prove the validity of your marriage like getting copies of the documents, the testimonies of the witnesses, the solemnizing officer, etc.

Anonymous said...

my wife is in canada right now.a year from now she will sponsor me and my kid for permanent residence.my problem is i applied for a cenomar and i am shocked till now that there is 2 marriages listed on my name.the first is in 1988 with my ex-gf.we had a secret marriage then.i applied for the marriage cert. today to check the the birthdates i believe shes under 18 and if she is 18 theres no parental consent.we never really lived together after a year or so she went to bahrain and that was the last time i saw her.i later learned that she got married there and i even know the guys name.i am married now since 1996 and have a 10 year old kid.i love my wife and son that i cant even break the info to them about my previous marriage.please help me what shall i do.i got a year to settle this thing i hope it will be in that time frame.will you recommend me a lawyer i am at lost.i love my family.please what shall i do...help me

Anonymous said...

dear atty:
i was married(civil) last 2003 with my x bf without parents consent.we broke up a after a year.we don't live together since out parents isn't aware of what we have done so our relationship is still a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.my problem is our marriage is registered at NSO.last year my ex bf told me that he got married(civil) last 2006.next year im also planning to get married.is annulment the only way to void my record at the nso?pls help me.thank you

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. When exactly in 1988 did you get married? The Family Code took effect in August 3, 1988. Before the FC became effective, the marrying age under the New Civil Code was 16 for men and 14 for women. If you got married before August 3, 1988, under the NCC, the legal marrying age was 16 for men and 14 for women. This would mean that your first marriage is valid and cannot be declared null and void on the basis of non-age.

I will assume that you got married after August 3, 1988 (which means that the FC and not the New Civil Code which applies to your situation). Under the Family Code, no one can get married below 18 years of age even with parental consent. Such marriages are void. However, Article 40 of the FC states that for purposes of remarriage, a petition for declaration of nullity must be filed. Since you did not file such a petition, your second marriage (to your wife now in Canada) is considered as bigamous and void.

You should therefore file a petition for declaration of nullity of your first marriage on the basis of non-age. Once the petition is granted, the court order will be provided to the NSO which then places an annotation o your marriage certificate that the marriage has been declared null and void. However, this does not necessarily make your second marriage valid.

2. Assuming that you got married when the New Civil Code was prevailing rather than the Family Code, then your remedy is to file a petition for declaration of nullity under Article 36. You can search Google or Yahoo for lawyers who can handle your nullity case.

3. It is much better in the long run to be completely honest with your wife on this matter. The longer you delay in confessing to her your youthful mistake, the more she will be hurt and think that you have completely betrayed her. If she really loves you, she will forgive you and help you work through this problem.

If you want people to pray for you in your time of crisis, please follow this link to a prayer room for men and women:
http://womentodaymagazine.com/chat/share.html

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. The terms ‘annulment” and “declaration of nullity” are not legally the same. Annulment refers to voidable marriages while “declaration of nullity” refers to void marriages.

2. Assuming that there were no defects in your marriage (meaning all the essential requisites were complied with), then declaration of nullity under Article 36 or psychological incapacity would be the best way to remedy your situation.

Anonymous said...

atty.im the one with the wife in canada.if i get a court order nullifying my first marriage.is my second marriage valid now?if not what shall i do then?do i have to seek a court order too declaring my second marriage null and void.im just confused since i will still marry the same person.thank you malaking tulong po talaga.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You are in one big legal mess. As I said, having your first marriage declared null and void will not make your second marriage valid. This would mean that you also need to file a petition for declaring your second marriage void. That also means getting married to the same person again to make things legal all around.

There is a Makati-based law office (Guzman Acain Tanedo law office) which specializes in annulments, legal separation, etc. You can find their website by Google or Yahoo. This law office might be able to offer you another way out of your legal predicament.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the response atty.i have a follow up question.how much will it cost for the declaration of nullity?what is the first step i have to make?is it the same as the as it cost in annulment?and how long will it take?thank you so much

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Filipinos use the term "annulment" in a generic sense without knowing that there is a legal difference between annulment (voidable marriages) and “declaration of nullity” (void marriages). The legal-judicial process of terminating a marriage under Article 36 (psychological incapacity) is “declaration of nullity’ and so with a bigamous marriage. On the other hand, the process of terminating a marriage where the issue is the lack of parental consent (any or both parties were between 18 to 21) is “annulment.”

Declaration of nullity of a bigamous marriage is simply based on records and thus is relatively cheaper than a declaration of nullity based on Article 36. In Metro Manila, declaration of nullity based on Article 36 would cost around one hundred fifty thousand to two hundred thousand pesos. The major portion of the cost is for the lawyer’s professional fee.

Anonymous said...

i have a couple of questions for you. Would it be faster or better for me If I file declaration of Nullity in Canada or there in the Philippines? Also, in case I will file it here and will be granted the Decree, will the local civil registrar there recognized it right away? If no what are processes that I have to go through and how long does it usuallt takes? Thank you in advance for your reply.

Anonymous said...

good day atty, i got married last march 2005 while im still studying. i stopped for 1 sem and didnt change my status in my school documents when i got back to school.
we only live together for over a year, and seperate ways. now, i will be graduating this october and will apply for work. i was wondering if i could use my own surname (i dont want to use my ex-husband's surname). only in my marriage certificate and my son's birth certificate states that im married.
am i able to use my own surname in my curriculum vitae? i didnt have any sss, medicare, bir account yet. when i apply for one, can i state that im single but my dependent is my son?
i really appreciate your kindness. god bless.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Declaration of nullity is a judicial process filed HERE in the Philippines. Even if you are able to get a court decree (whether for divorce or annulment) in Canada, that decree will still have to be the subject of a court case (recognition of a foreign court judgment) here in the Philippines.

2. The Supreme Court Rule on Annulment / Declaration of Nullity (there is a copy in my Family Matters website) provides for procedures in registering the court decree with the NSO. The lawyer you will retain will take care of that registration as part of his or her professional services to you.

3. The process usually takes about a year.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please read my article “Miss, Ms, or Mrs? Philippine law on surnames for married women” at http://famli.blogspot.com/2008/04/miss-ms-or-mrs-philippine-law-on.html

As long as you are legally married to your husband, you are obliged to use his surname.

Anonymous said...

Atty. I have a question fo you hope you will answer me back. Me and my spouse got married under Article 34. We were led to believe by the minister who officiated our wedding that we don't need to have a marriage license for us to get married but instead just sign the affidavit of cohabitation without much elaboration. We acted in good faith and with good intention when we got married. It's registered on NSO. We complied all the formal and essential requisites of marriage except for the irregularity of affidavit of cohabitation because we really didn't leave together for 5 years. Will that affect the validity of our marriage? I'm sponsoring my spouse and immigration is questioning the validity of our marriage. Thanks.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The Family Code expressly allows marriages without a license under Article 34. Assuming therefore that all the requisites are complied with (five years cohabitation without any legal impediment), then the validity of the marriage cannot be questioned.

Dean Rufus Rodriguez in his book “Family Code of the Philippines Annotated” states however that if the affidavit of marital cohabitation under Article 34 was not true in its contents (i.e. the parties did not really live in as husband and wife for five consecutive years without legal impediment), then the marriage is void. Dean Rodriguez states that the situation is similar to that of having a marriage without a valid marriage license. Under Article 40 of the FC, however, there must be a petition to declare the marriage null and void.

You did not indicate the reason why Immigration is questioning the validity of your marriage. Based on what are contained on your marriage contract or certificate on file wit the NSO, then the validity of your marriage cannot be questioned. EXCEPT of course if the Immigration officers are personally aware that you and your husband did not really live in together as required by Article 34.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply Atty. Immigration is asking us to produce evidence that we lived together for 5 years but we can't because we really didn't lived together for that long that's why they are questioning the validity of our marriage eventhough it's registered at NSO. If we are going to remarry the same person, will that correct the mistake in our previous marriage or should we nullify first our previous marriage. Please advise us on what should we do make everything valid and legal. Thank you.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. As far as the Philippine government is concerned, your marriage is valid based on the NSO records on file and on that affidavit you submitted. In the Philippines we follow what is known as the “presumption of regularity” in official documents and in the performance of official duties.

2. Simply getting married again complicates matters since there is already a marriage certificate on file with the NSO. The NSO will always release as being official that first certificate.

3. In order to get married legally, you would have to file a petition for declaration of nullity based on Article 40 of the Family Code. But the problem is that you and your husband can possibly be charged criminally with perjury (lying under oath) when you stated in the affidavit of marital cohabitation that you had been living in as husband and wife for five consecutive years. You are in a big legal mess.

4. If you are migrating to the US, there are companies (advertised in local newspapers like Reeves.com if I remember correctly) that specialize in immigration issues. Perhaps these companies may be able to give you other options in your petition for immigration.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

For everyone:

Please take time to read my current Salt and Light blog article entitled "Lessons in love and life from Miriam Quaimbao" at http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2008/06/lessons-in-love-and-life-from-miriam.html . Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Atty. Good day to you, I would like to ask if we can still file our marriage contract after 9 months, and what should we in order to file it, we had a problem last time we were filing it because as per registry the solemnizing officer should be the one to process our license. and i would really liked to process it as soon as possible. hope you could help.Thank you.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Under the Family Code, It is the responsibility of the solemnizing officer to submit the copies of the marriage contract or certificate to the Local Civil Registrar. If the certificate is not submitted within fifteen days from the date of the marriage, the solemnizing officer is required to submit a notarized affidavit as to the reason for the late submission.

Article 23 of the Family Code states that:

It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to furnish either of the contracting parties the original of the marriage certificate referred to in Article 6 and to send the duplicate and triplicate copies of the certificate not later than fifteen days after the marriage, to the local civil registrar of the place where the marriage was solemnized. Proper receipts shall be issued by the local civil registrar to the solemnizing officer transmitting copies of the marriage certificate. The solemnizing officer shall retain in his file the quadruplicate copy of the marriage certificate, the copy of the marriage certificate, the original of the marriage license and, in proper cases, the affidavit of the contracting party regarding the solemnization of the marriage in place other than those mentioned in Article 8.

Anonymous said...

hello atty,.atty galacio, i would like to ask if is it possible for late registry of marriage?and if it is, what is the time lenght for it to be registered to be still valid? thank you hoping to get a reply from you...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The Local Civil Registrar requires the submission by the solemnizing officer of a notarized affidavit explaining the reasons for the late submission of the marriage contract or certificate. If the LCR finds the reason valid, then the certificate is registered.

Please take note however that under the FC, the marriage certificate or contract is not an essential or formal requisite of marriage. Meaning, even if the marriage certificate or contract is not found in the LCR or NSO files, it does not mean that the marriage is void. The validity of the marriage can be proven by other evidences (the application for marriage license, the marriage license, testimonies of the solemnizing officer and the witnesses, photo-video, etc).

Anonymous said...

thank you so much Atty Galacio for responding to my question.regarding the late registry of marriage. will it be valid if the reason is there is a pending paper of my fiance.the greencard was confiscated due to residency obligation to US.it was on hold,if either it will be withdrawn or just suspended.that's why i wantd for late registry of marriage while waiting for papers be process/thank you and hoping to get a responce again from you,,it was really a relief having questions answered. thank you.

Anonymous said...

in continuation for the topic late regsitry of marriage. the marriage will be just a civil weeding and not church wedding..hoping to get responce regarding this,,we wanted to get married but there is a pending paper of my fince,the greencard was confiscated due to residency obligation to US.. if it will be valid for the late registry of marriage and if possible will it not be a conflict for the pending greendcard?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Whether it is civil wedding or a church wedding, the solemnizing officer is REQUIRED to forward to the Local Civil Registrar the copies of the marriage certificate or contract. If the solemnizing officer fails to do so, then the LCR will require him to submit a notarized affidavit stating the reason for the late submission.

Anonymous said...

DearAtty. Galacio,

My fiancee and I have already applied for a marriage license July 4 2008, while we're waiting for the absolute decree of annulment from his first marriage, which will be released this July 24, 2008. Is this license valid for marriage? The LCR said we could get married already as long as we have already filed the finality and court decisions for registration. Is this correct? Thank you in advance for any advise.

Anonymous said...

dear attorney,
good day!
i just want to ask you about secret marriage,what are the requirements to apply for that because me & my bf are planning to have a secret marriage next year 2009! im only 20 & my bf is 24. do i still have to have a parents consent?where can we ask about the requirements? thank you in advance.

lady said...

Good day Atty!
I just would like to as if you could discuss about Negotiable Instruments? About Blank cheques,Promissory Note and Bill of Exchange... thanks!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Your fiancée’s lawyer will tell you that the remarriage can only be possible if there is already a Certificate of Finality issued by the court and if such certificate and the decree are registered and annotated on the records of the NSO. The release of the absolute decree of annulment by itself will not enable your fiancée to remarry legally. Please read the Supreme Court Rule on Annulment / Declaration of Nullity in the Legal Procedures section of my Family Matters website.

Section 23 of the SC Rule provides:

Registration and publication of the decree; decree as best evidence. –

(a) The prevailing party shall cause the registration of the Decree in the Civil Registry where the marriage was registered, the Civil Registry of the place where the Family Court is situated, and in the National Census and Statistics Office. He shall report to the court compliance with this requirement within thirty days from receipt of the copy of the Decree.

(b) In case service of summons was made by publication, the parties shall cause the publication of the Decree once in a newspaper of general circulation.

(c) The registered Decree shall be the best evidence to prove the declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of marriage and shall serve as notice to third persons concerning the properties of petitioner and respondent as well as the properties or presumptive legitimes delivered to their common children.


To make sure that Section 23 has been complied with, you need to get a copy from the NSO of your fiancée’s previous marriage certificate or contract and find out if there is already an annotation there of the declaration of nullity of that marriage.

2. A marriage license is valid for a period of 120 days from the date it was issued. However, in your application for a marriage license, since your fiancée is still legally married, there is a requirement under Article 13 FC that the status of the (previous) marriage be stated. If your fiancée stated that the marriage has already been declared annulled (even when there is no compliance yet with Section 23), then there is a possibility of a criminal case of perjury being filed against your fiancée.

Until and unless there is compliance with Section 23, and until you get a copy of the previous marriage certificate with the NSO annotation of the declaration of nullity of such marriage, you should not get married.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Articles 2 and 3 of the Family Code provide for the requirements for marriage (whether secret or publicly known). Since you will only be 21 next year, you will need parental ADVICE. This is provided for by Articles 15 and 16 of the Family Code. Please surf to http://www.familymatters.org.ph to read these articles.

Legalities aside, 21 is such a young age for anyone to get married. Experience has shown that a lot of marriages entered into at a young age usually end in separation years later. Moreover, successful marriages usually are those where there is active support and encouragement from the parents.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Negotiable Instruments, Blank cheques,Promissory Note and Bill of Exchange ...

I liked Commercial Law in law school, except Insurance which I could not really understand and for which I got a grade of 78 in MLQU Law School (I eventually graduated from JRC, now JRU). These topics are beyond my intentions for this blog, however.

Probably I can do a post about BP 22.

Anonymous said...

"...If your fiancée stated that the marriage has already been declared annulled (even when there is no compliance yet with Section 23), then there is a possibility of a criminal case of perjury being filed against your fiancée." -- Thank you, attorney. I need to ask one more thing please, since we've already applied for the marriage license and there's validity of 120 days, if we get married after we get the decree and the annotated (previous) marriage certificate, can we use the same marriage license or should we cancel it (the perjury case is causing me anxiety) and apply for another one? (since when we applied for the license the decree was not yet released, although there is finality already). Again, thank you.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. As a precaution, do not use the marriage license you already have right now. Let that license lapse and then apply for another license AFTER you get a copy of the marriage certificate from the NSO with the annotation that the marriage has already been declared null and void.

2. You have the steps wrong. First the court issues (or releases) its decision. If there is no appeal or motion for reconsideration filed by any party within fifteen days from receipt of the decision, then the decision becomes final. After that, the court issues upon request a Certificate of Finality.

Anonymous said...

Good day Atty. Galacio!

My girlfriend is pregnant and she will give birth in December. We opt to not get married first, but decided to live together. Now, my question is: When my girlfriend gives birth to our baby, will the baby take my surname or the surname of my girlfriend (since we are not married yet)? I have read article 176, but I just want to be sure. My girlfriend has no objection to the baby taking my surname. In fact, that is what we both want. How do we go about this? Thanks!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please read my artocle entitled "What’s in a name? Problems and issues with RA 9255 and its implementing guidelines" dated July 14, 2008.

The article has a link to the NSO guidelines on how your future child can use your surname.

That's legally speaking. Biblically speaking, I advise you and your girlfriend to get married. Show your girlfriend that you are committed to her by marrying her.

Anonymous said...

If we plan to have a secret marriage, can I still use my surname for my documents or should I change my status and use the surname of my husband?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please read my article “Miss, Ms. or Mrs? Philippine law on surnames for married women?” Look for the link in the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

dear atty g. galacio,
good day!
do you how much would be the cost in secret marriage? what would be the content of the parents consent? or can we just do the secret marriage without the consent? what would be the consequences if our parents would know about it?im only 20. do we still need to have a marriage license & where? where can we go to have a secret marriage?
thank you!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. You are only 20 years old and that means that you need parental consent (in writing) before you can legally get married. Article 14 of the Family Code states:

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.

If your parents find out that you got married without the proper consent, they can file a petition in court to have your marriage nullified.

2. You are only 20 years old and that means that you’re just about to graduate from college or only starting to work. What is your rush to get married? Most marriages at such a young age end in separation several years later because of the emotional, mental and psychological immaturity of the parties involved.

You may feel and think that you are so much in love and ready to take on the responsibilities of being a wife or husband. Believe me, you will have a different perspective about yourself, your boyfriend or girlfriend, and about getting married two or three years from now, Grow up, learn about yourself, develop your talents and skills, pursue the open avenues in terms of studies or work, become mature. Take your time, enjoy your early 20’s, establish yourself in your studies or career.

Please take time to read my Salt and Light blog article entitled “Lessons in love and life from Miriam Quiambao” dated June 22, 2008. Please follow this link:
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2008/06/lessons-in-love-and-life-from-miriam.html

3. As I discussed in this article, a married woman is required to use her husband’s surname.

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty,
I pray that you give your reply asap.. I got secretly married in September 1998 ( i was 24) and I left Philippines to go abroad on October 1998.We communicated on the 1st 3 months but lost contact afterwards and did not have anymore communication with him since then. Its been 10 years past now and i heard recently from a friend that he already moved on and actually he got married 05 years ago and had 3 children now. I myself also want to move on as I already found a man with whom i wanted to settle down (im 34 now)..My questions are ;
1) can i file for an annulment??
2) If i file for annulment, im worried that it may result of him being charged with bigomous act. i dont want to hurt his 2nd wife and 03 children now.
3) Will the annulment case will require the presence of all my family as well as his family in the court??
4) im aware that it would take at least 2 years for releasing the annulment final decision. Within these two years , how often do we need to attend the court for hearings?

Pls help me !!! im so lost..

Anonymous said...

sir,question lng po...so article 370 makes an "ok" for me to retain my maiden name sa passport? all of my office documents and legal documents are under my maiden name. i changed my passport under my husbands surname since he insist on doing that. possible could i ask for request to change it back to my maiden last name? since all of my documents,are under my maiden name? thanks so much sir! God bless!

Anonymous said...

hi atty. my ex-husband and i were separated for 2 yrs and i dont knw where he is right now. We have lots of misunderstanding before and also he is taking drugs. i remember few years ago he always hit me if hes wasted na. can i use this as a ground and if ever to revert my name to maiden name again. i don't have much money to file coz i know this is money matter for sure. thank you so much

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. “Annulment” refers to voidable marriages while “declaration of nullity” refers to void marriages. The most popular ground for declaring the nullity of a marriage here in the Philippines is Article 36 of the Family Code (psychological incapacity). Please read the FAQ section of my Family Matters website for the differences between annulment and declaration of nullity, and their grounds.

Whatever action you take, there is no guarantee that your husband’s bigamous marriage will not be discovered or taken up in the proceedings.

2. Proceedings for annulment or declaration of nullity are supposed to be confidential. The petition is primarily between the complaining spouse and the offending spouse. There is no need for your family members to be involved.

3. As the complainant, you need to be present during all the hearings. For the procedure in annulment or declaration of nullity, please surf to the Legal Procedures section of my Family Matters website.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Article 370 of the New Civil Code requires a married woman to use the surname of her husband. The said law has not been amended yet. Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago’s bill has not yet been passed by the Senate.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

In order for you to regain your maiden name, you should file a petition for either annulment or declaration of nullity. If it is granted, then you can use your maiden name again.

Your husband's drug addiction, physical violence against you, may be considered as "psychological incapacity" which is a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code.

Anonymous said...

thanks atty. One more pa po, is legal separation considered forever separation na po ba talga or i really need to file an annulment? i know my exhusband will not cooperate on this because he really wants to get me back. Do we have public atty po ba who could help on us na mura lang ang bayad. thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty,
thanks so much for yor reply on my 3 questions.. but my added question po ako sa comment ninyo na;
Quote"
Whatever action you take, there is no guarantee that your husband’s bigamous marriage will not be discovered or taken up in the proceedings.
Unquote"
1) Does this mean that he can also go to jail for a bigomous act even if i dont file a case against him?
2) Re article 36, psychological incapacity, sa kaso ko po, puwede po bang and reason for applying for annulment is non consumated marriage for 10 years coz as a married couple, we did not cohabit not even a day?
I eagerly await your quick reply.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions section of my Family Matters website on the differences among legal separation, annulment and declaration of nullity.

Even if legal separation is granted by the court, you and your spouse will still be legally married. You will still be required to use your husband’s surname.

2. If one spouse tells the Family Court judge that he or she wants to reconcile and save the marriage, the judge will exert al efforts to bring the parties together.

3. The various chapters of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) provide free legal assistance to the public. IBP chapter offices are often found in the Hall of Justice of cities or of the provincial capitol.
Free legal assistance is also provided by the Public Attorneys Office (PAO), a government agency under the Department of Justice.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Bigamy is a public crime and anyone with knowledge of the bigamous marriage can report it to the authorities.

2. Non-consummation may be difficult if not impossible to prove at this point in time. It will be just your word. You cannot prove it physically or medically, until and unless you have not had any sexual relations before and after your marriage ten years ago. Please read the FAQ section of my Family Matters section on what constitutes psychological incapacity. Please also read my article on Amy Perez in this blog.

Anonymous said...

dear atty,

thank you po sa lahat ng reply and answers nyo to my queries.. nakatulong po ito sakin ng malaki para malinawan ang mga tanong ko. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty,
If I will need a certified true copy for the registered decree of absolute nullity, do I get it from the NSO or the court that released the decree? Should my annotated marriage certificate bear the decree number that states my marriage has been declared null and void, or does it simply state the annotation NULL and VOID? Thank you so much for your help in this confusing legal matters. God bless!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The Supreme Court Rule on annulment or declaration of nullity (there is a copy in the Legal Procedures section of my Family Matters website) provides in Section 23:

Registration and publication of the decree; decree as best evidence. –

(a) The prevailing party shall cause the registration of the Decree in the Civil Registry where the marriage was registered, the Civil Registry of the place where the Family Court is situated, and in the National Census and Statistics Office. He shall report to the court compliance with this requirement within thirty days from receipt of the copy of the Decree.

(b) In case service of summons was made by publication, the parties shall cause the publication of the Decree once in a newspaper of general circulation.

(c) The registered Decree shall be the best evidence to prove the declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of marriage and shall serve as notice to third persons concerning the properties of petitioner and respondent as well as the properties or presumptive legitimes delivered to their common children.


Unless you had a different arrangement with your lawyer, Section 23 is still a part of his or her responsibilities to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Attorney,

I have a question, is it possible to get married to someone with the same surname but both you are not relatives? is there a law that prohibits that kind of arriage with the same surname?

I am living with my girl that i have met last 3 years ago during my travel in aklan, and i we were planning to get married next year, at first i was surprised that we have the same surname. Her Family was purely aklanon and mine was Samarenio and Boholano.

Hope you can give an advice.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

As you said, there is no blood relationship between you and your future spouse. The Family Code does not prohibit marriage between persons with the same surname. Articles 37 and 38 FC enumerate what the prohibited marriages are.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the advice atty. !!!!! God bless!

Anonymous said...

i badly need your help atty. Im a caregiver in canada and will soon apply for a permanent resident visa. I have two kids, both from different father, but i got married on my second one. My ex boyfriend left me before i gave birth to my first child and it's been 5 yrs. now and never heard of him. Then, i got married after i gave birth to my second child to my husband and as what i have read in your site that makes my second child an eligitimate right? Got married in 2004. I came to Canada on feb 2006. And then problems came up with me and my husband. My sister told me that he was hitting both my kids so as a result of this i asked my parents to be the guardian of my kids and from late 2006 till now my husband never gave support or bother visiting his daughter. I don't know where he is. He disappeared. Now MY QUESTION IS WILL I HAVE A PROBLEM BRINGING MY CHILD HERE IN CANADA? DO I NEED CUSTODY PAPERS? OR AUTHORIZATION? on both child?

Anonymous said...

I have a question and not sure where to turn to or who to turn to.
My boy friend is a Filipino citizen and I am a U.S. citizen. We have a new baby and living together. I just found out that he was married and had two children with the lady. When I had asked him if he was still married he said no. However, his so-called ex-wife is still using his name and of course his children carry his name.
Now my question: is there a way I am able to confirm his story about not being married? If there is and since We are not married, will I be able to access that information? If so, will it cost me and the price range? If he is married, will it create a problem in the near future for me?
PLEASE HELP ME....

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Your first child is illegitimate. Your second child is also illegitimate since you got married to the biological father after the child’s birth. You do not need any court order or documents for the custody of your children. Under Article 176 of the Family Code, parental authority (which includes custody) belongs to you.

2. The DSWD has relaxed the rules on travel clearances for minors. Since your two kids are illegitimate, there would not be much of a problem getting travel clearances for them. Please surf to the DSWD website for the amended rules on travel clearance for minors.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You can file with the National Statistics Office a request for a CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage). The NSO will check its records if there is already an existing marriage certificate in the name of that man. If none, then the NSO issues a CENOMAR. The request for a CENOMAR costs around 400 pesos the last time I checked. You can try applying for a CENOMAR through the NSO website.

Since you are not married, your child will be illegitimate. The legal wife can also possibly file civil and criminal cases against her husband and you.

Anonymous said...

dear atty,

I'm so glad i found your page.I've been wanting to help my special friend who is experiencing an emotional torture because of his marriage with a woman 5 yrs ago.But I just don;t know what to say because I have no idea about legal matters..

He & his gf got married in 2003 (civil marriage). The guy is 27 yrs old & the girl is 25 yrs old when they got married. A week after the wedding, the girl went to US. They have no communication since the girl left. In 2006 the girl returned here in the Phils to say to her husband that he got married to a US citizen. The guy upon learning about it wants to file for an annulment but the girl did not agree to share with the expenses. The girl then went back to US and to this day the guy have not heard from her since she left PHils.He can no longer contact the girl. She had changed her contact numbers even her email ad. by the way, their marriage was registered in NSO as per verification with the said agency.

Now my question is, can the absence of his wife for years be a ground for annulment? My friend wants to file an annulment because of what his wife has done to him. What can he do to make his marriage null & void? Is there a chance for him to remarry?

Thanks in aadvance for your help.

Seaman's friend

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty,

I have a question. I will get married in Jan 10, 2009, but my fiance and I plan to apply for the wedding license 3rd week of Sept. He is a foreigner and we try to avoid the rush in Dec. My question is, will my CENOMAR be affected by expiration even the wedding lincense is already issued?

Thanks a lot and more power!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Seaman’s friend,

Please read my article also in this blog entitled “If husband and wife have not seen each other for more than seven years, does it mean that their marriage is already void?”

The possible option is a petition for declaration of nullity based on Article 36 or psychological incapacity.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The CENOMAR is not an essential or a formal requisite of marriage under the Family Code. Your future spouse is probably requiring you to present to him a current CENOMAR as a precaution to ensure that you are not married. If that is the case, then you simply apply for a new CENOMAR.

daddyb said...

Dear Atty:

My anullment is already finished and I have already obtained a certificate of finality. However, upon submitting the certificate of finality to the municipal civil registrar where my marriage certificate was registered, we found out that there is a 1 digit discrepancy in the registry no compared to that of the NSO. The
register no in the municipal civil refistry is 90-1904 while in the NSO it is 90-190. There was a mistake in the NSO side because no. 4 in 1904 cant be read because of a hole punched for filing. We relied on what the NSO has given us and only 90-190 can be clearly read. What can be done? There is already finality to the case which was anulled in my favor and have already furnished the office of the solicitor general. The certificate of finality has register no 90-190 which was based on the document certified by NSO.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

daddyb,

You already have a lawyer handling your petition. It will be a violation of the ethics of the legal profession for me to counsel you on the merits of your petition.

Purely for purposes of legal information only, once a judgment has become final and executory, then that’s it. No changes can be made to the decision, except in what is called judgment NUNC PRO TUNC which your lawyer can explain to you. I doubt however if the OSG or the court itself will agree since the error in the civil registry number is substantial and the fault cannot be attributed to the court.

fea said...

Gud pm po atty
ako po ay may kasong BP22, unpong tumutulong na law firm sa akin ay napakiusapan nya na ibaba nalang ang babayaran ko.nagbigay ng 1 mo. na allowance, pero natapos na po ang 1 mo. ay hindi po ako nakaraise ng pera dahil wala na pong magpautang sa akin kya natatakot po ako..last week pom ay dumating na subpoena sa akin at kasama pati ang asawa ko. tama po ba un , na nadawit ang asawa, e hindi naman po siya nagisyu ng tseke kundi ako lang. sana po ay matulungan nyo ako. nahihiya na po kc ako magtanong doon sa tumutulong kasi nga po libre. salamat po

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You already have a lawyer handling your petition. It will be a violation of the ethics of the legal profession for me to counsel you on the merits of your petition. Even if the service is free (pro bono), your lawyer is bound to help you to the best of his or her abilities. So you can ask your lawyer whatever questions you have regarding your case.

Purely for purposes of legal information only, you did not indicate what the current status of your case is (whether it is with the fiscal for preliminary investigation, or already with the court). The subpoena you are referring to might just be a demand letter from your opposing party.

If indeed you are the only signatory to the check, then it is a mistake to charge your husband also. Your husband can ask for the dismissal of any BP 22 case filed against him.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon Atty.
Could you pls. give me some legal advice on my case.Im a Filipino citizen with a permanent residency here in Japan and was married and divorced here to a Romanian citizen.The Divorced was granted here and after that i submitted the Report of Divorced to the Phil Embassy in tokyo.I have the document stating the Report of Divorced from the embassy.This year i was married to a Romanian citizen there in the philippines.In the marriage license i stated in the status that im single because when i requested a certificate of non marriage to the NSO it turn out that im single.Now when i applied for the visa for my wife here in Japan they ask me why my legal status is single wherein it should be divorced.My question is there a legal way to amend or correct the legal status in my marriage certicate that they are questioning?thanks and god bless.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The problem is not the discrepancy in the entry for your status in the NSO records. The real problem is that as a Filipino citizen, your divorce is not recognized here in the Philippines. I am assuming that you were the one who filed the divorce against your spouse and not the other way around. So when you got married again, you committed bigamy. Please read my articles on divorce and Filipino citizens also in this blog. Look for the links in the sidebar. The articles are “Divorce obtained abroad by a Filipino not recognized here” and “The right of a divorced Filipino spouse to remarry under Article 26 of the Family Code.”

If it was your wife who filed the divorce action against you, then under Article 26 of the Family Code, you can be qualified to remarry. But submitting the Divorce Decree with the Philippine embassy in Tokyo was not enough. You should have filed a petition in court here for the recognition of that foreign divorce decree. After the court recognizes the decree, then it will order the NSO to annotate the judgment in the records.

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon Atty.
The divorce was mutually agreed.The divorce was signed by both parties and undersigned by two witnesses at the city hall.The divorce was granted by the city mayor the day it was filed.Am i still liable of bigamy even if the divorce was mutually agreed?Is it too late file a petition in court there for the recognition of my foreign divorce decree?Is there other legal procedure on my case?If i hire you to handle my case,what are the legal process?how much it will cost and how long is the duration of the process?Thanks for your response and God bless

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Article 26 of the Family Code speaks of a situation where the Filipino spouse is the innocent party, that is, he or she had no choice since the divorce action was initiated or filed by the foreigner-spouse. The Filipino is therefore allowed to remarry.

In a mutually-agreed upon divorce such as the one you had, you cannot be deemed as the innocent party. Your divorce will not therefore be recognized here in the Philippines and if you got married here again in the Philippines, you can be charged with bigamy.

You can inquire with other lawyers on this matter.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

Let me leave out the gritty details but my wife and I got married last July 28. After more than a week, we both have decided that we should not been together. We went to the judge who married us and discussed our plans to pull-out our documents. He was willing to assist us but mentioned that our papers have already been sent to NSO a day earlier, after confirming with the localy registry. Is our marriage still not valid until NSO records it officially? If yes, what immediate steps could we take -- so we don't have to go through the annulment process? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Good day Atty.,

This might be a stupid question but.. could someone re-marry the person he/she was previously annulled to?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The moment you and your wife signed the marriage contract or certificate in the presence of the judge, you became legally married, whether or not the document was submitted to the NSO or not.

The marriage certificate or contract is not an essential or formal requisite of marriage; even if it is not on file with the NSO, the validity of the marriage can still be proven by other evidences (the marriage license, testimonies of the solemnizing officer, the witnesses, photos, etc).

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. In a petition for annulment or for declaration of nullity, if one spouse manifest or tells the judge that he or she is willing to save the marriage through a reconciliation, the judge is duty-bound to exert efforts to try to reconcile the spouses.

2. The FC does not prohibit such a remarriage between spouses whose marriage had been annulled or declared null and void.

Please read my Salt and Light blog post entitled “And the two shall become one … But which one?” dated March 2, 2008. You can use this link

http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2007/12/and-two-shall-become-one.html

It tells the true story of Anne Kristin Caroll who got married at 18, got divorced at 21, remarried, and then got divorced again. She later on remarried her 2nd husband.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty..I just wanna ask of legal advice.Im maried to a foreigner this year then im processing for my papers so I get my NSO authenticated marriage license then I have found out that the NSO copy is different with my LCR copy..the signature is different were married in a church by a minister..and I have notice that the middlename of the minister is different instead of "h" ay "e" makaapekt ba yan sa para sa papers ko?need ur advice thanks

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Instead of “NSO authenticated marriage license” you must be referring to the marriage certificate or contract. The marriage license is kept by the solemnizing officer under the provisions of the Family Code.

The discrepancies that you described are clerical errors more than anything else which do not have to do with the essential and formal requisites of marriage under the Family Code. Just to be sure, however, you can ask even now the solemnizing officer to execute a notarized affidavit explaining the discrepancies.

Anonymous said...

Hi atty... here's my situation po:
I got married last March 2006 to my second cousin, I was 24 then & he was 29. He is a permanent resident in the US, and he only comes home once or 2x a year. We parted ways just this JUne 2008. I wanted to know atty if our marriage can be considered null/void? If not, what other options do I have because the decision to separate wasn't mutual. He still wants to stay in the relationship but I just felt that our long distance relationship has taken its toll. Thank you so much po.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. What the Family Code prohibits is marriage between FIRST cousins. You are second cousins and so you are allowed to marry each other.

2. In a landmark case involving declaration of nullity, the Supreme Court said that “every doubt must be resolved in favor of the validity of the marriage.” Also, if one party tells the judge that he or she is willing to reconcile and try to make the marriage work, the judge will exert all efforts to effect such a reconciliation.

3. You did not indicate what exactly the problem is between you and your husband.. Please read my Salt and Light blog post titled “Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage” at this link:
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2005/12/divorce-and-remarriage_26.html

Anonymous said...

dear atty galacio,

I am 8 months not legally separated with my husband. Iam planning to apply for work in Canada, but my friend suggested that i will indicate in my application that iam a single mom, or a separated one. I am just confused because all the documents i have with me specify that iam married. My passport for instance. My friend also suggested that i can file with an attorney of an agreement that we are separated. Is this a valid proof? The reason for this, is that, when i want to bring my kids in Canada, i would be needing my husband's consent, or otherwise, i would be including my husband in my immigrant application.
I would like to trust my husband that he will give me the full custody of my kids when i wanted to bring them in Canada. But what if he refuse to let the children go with me.
What legal action aside from legal separation or annulment do i have to process. Can i fill up application form that iam single or separated but the accompanying documents bear my husband's surname? You know i still give a 1% chance that we will be reunited even though i myself is already decided not to leave with him anymore.My father in law is a pastor, but we are not in good terms. Don't know whom to get advice. Please help me. Thanks a lot. God bless you always.

Jojo said...

Dear Atty. Galacio,

I am trying to help my kumpadre with regards to his wife who are legally married and have three kids (all boys - 2, 4 and 6 years of age). My kumpadre is the breadwinner of the family while kumadre has no means of livelihood or support at all. I am very attached to them specially the kids (most of all the 2nd in line who even considers me to be his unofficial "papa").

It appears that kumadre is being an irresponsible parent in the sense that whenever kumpare is not around because he is attending to a client in the field, kumadre would leave the kids behind at home - only leaving the eldest in the brood "stay watch" over his younger brothers. Say for example she would leave them at around 7pm and would use the excuse that she is going to go to the grocery next door only to return home at around 4am the following day oftentimes smelling of liquor. My gosh and she is a woman! My kumpare and kumadre have had numerous arguments because of this and although my kumpare is correct, kumadre would argue she is not doing anything wrong and would even threaten him that if he decides to separate that he will not see his children anymore. Although this is not my fight but I pity the children because they are the ones who are so affected - even their schooling is affected by all of this. My concern is that if the children go with the wife, they will end up probably as bums and/or street/squatterlike children because the mother has no means of livelihood/work or support on her own. It is kumpare who is the one providing for them. What makes the situation more complicated and disturbing is that we suspect that there is a third party involved with the wife - there is gossip around the local beerhouse joint where we suspect kumadre to be hanging out, that she is meeting and having an affair with an SP02 policeman. This SP02 knows that kumadre is already married with children but I do not understand why he still has to entertain the company of kumadre. We even suspect that this scalawag SP02 policeman may have a family of his own.

Months have passed and kumpare and I have tried so many methods of trying to patch their relationship up. Even to the extent of attending religious fellowships in the Divine Mercy but kumadre is so stubborn, close minded and sinful! It has come to the point that kumpare is now totally fed-up and just wants to separate/annul his marriage with her because of her covert and immoral activities. His mother in law even spoke with kumadre and for a moment we thought that everything was going to be alright because she said that she wouldn't be doing this anymore but barely after a week she would slyly "escape" the house when kumpare is out on client call and when kumpare got home she wouldn't be around anymore and would return home in the wee hours of the morning (intoxicated). We suspect that she must be seeing that policeman (or someone else) probably going to a motel or something similar like that. We plan to investigate and set a trap to catch her/them in the act so we have solid evidence of her/immoral activities. Although her going out at night and coming home in the wee hours of the morning oftentimes intoxicated because she goes to some beerhouse has already been verified and is factual.

My concern now is if kumpare separates her because of this what grounds can he use for the separation? Can it be on the grounds of being an irresponsible parent/wife and/or/also concubinage? What about the children? I would really like to see the kids specially the 2nd in line who is 4 years old and is my closest "inaanak" be in the custody of the husband. I mean the wife has no income, no work, only finished grade 4 elementary and hails from the boondocks of Negros - with her behaviour and irresponsible parenting and her immoral/questionable activites - she cannor be a role parent or can either support the children enough. Kumoare is in a better position to take care of the kids. Although I am confused because some people are saying that minor kids specially in those ages are given to the custody of the wife ... but how can this be when she isn't fit to be a good parent nor can she support them. Kumpare has been very patient, kind and understanding of the situation but he is getting fed up already and confused also what are the legal actions to take (both against his wife and that PNP officer if we prove that there is indeed an extramarital sexual relationship going on). Also, with regards to custody of the kid(s) what do we do? I would really like to see the kids custody with my kumpare even if not all of them. Kumare could have visitation rights but as long as she doesn't take them away because she isn't fit to be a role parent.

Please we need help and advise. Kumpare isn't wealthy and depends on his clients for income as he is a trained reflexologist/therapeutic masseur. I am writing this because I am emotionally affected because of my pity for the children who are my godchildren and so very close to me.

I tried to help but I safely stay away from any direct confrontation with their arguments because I am not blood-related to them. Kumpare is very broad minded and understanding but kumadre is so narrow minded and falls back often. She uses the children as her weapon against us (me). If she/he/them wants to separate then that is their decision but as a witness I can see very clearly with my own two eyes that kumpare is in a better position to take custody of the kids even if not all of them. I am not a legal person so I am in the dark and we do need all the help we can - for morality, the children involved being the victims in this case.

Thank you very much for reading my long email. Can you advise us as to what steps to take and what are our options?

Please?

Anonymous said...

ERRATUM AUGUST 28, 2008

You know i still give a 1% chance that we will be reunited even though i myself is already decided not to LIVE with him anymore.My father in law is a pastor, but we are not in good terms. Don't know whom to get advice. Please help me. Thanks a lot. God bless you always.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

In law and in fact, you are still legally married despite your separation. You will be creating a lot of complications with application for immigration if you indicate your status as “single” when your documents clearly show that you are married. You can only be “single or “married” in terms of civil status. There is no such thing as “separated” in civil status. Your friend may be sincere in wanting to help you but such sincerity will not prevent complications from arising later on.

(As to that agreement which your friend suggested, please read my article titled “Can a husband and wife in a notarized document declare that they are free to marry other persons and that they will not file charges against each other?”) Or you can download my free PDF newsletter on this topic. Follow this link:

http://www.familymatters.org.ph/PDF%20newsletters/Free%20PDF%20newsletter.htm

Please take note that under Article 210 of the Family Code, parental authority cannot be renounced, waived or transferred except as authorized by law. Your husband cannot simply say verbally or in a document that he is waiving or renouncing his parental authority over your children. Even if your marriage is declared null and void, your husband retains parental authority over your kids (although custody may be given to you by the court).

Until and unless your husband’s parental authority is terminated, you will need his consent for your children to be included in your petition for immigration.

There are companies here in Philippines which specialize in Canadian immigration. Perhaps they may be able to provide you with other viable options.

If you want people to pray for you for whatever your needs are right now, please follow this link to a prayer room for men and women:

http://womentodaymagazine.com/chat/share.html

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Please read my posts titled “Can a mother be deprived of custody of her child?” and ”Custody battles over children: what determines fitness of a parent over another?”

From my discussions in these posts and my answers to the comments of readers, you can see that even if the children are below seven years of age, if there are compelling reasons, the court can deprive the mother of custody and grant it to the husband.

2. Your kumpare can file a petition for either termination or suspension of the mother’s parental authority through the following provisions of the Family Code: Article 229 (termination of parental authority) or Article 231 (suspension of parental authority). You can find these provisions in my website www.familymatters.org.ph

Your kumpare can try to get free legal help from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your town or city, OR from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) from the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City. The chapter offices of the IBP are usually located in the Hall of Justice of cities.

Anonymous said...

Atty., valid po ba ang kasal ko kung blank ang marriage contract na pinirmahan namin? And at that time po wala pa kaming marriage license at wala ding ceremony na nangyari from a solemnizing officer, sa table lang ng secretary nya kami pumirma at hindi rin namin kaharap ang solemnizing officer. Feb. 16, 1999 po kami pumirma pero ng nakuha ko ang copy ng marriage contract ko ang naging date ng marriage namin ay March 23, 1999. Void or null po ba ang marriage ko? Please let me know kasi po 7 years na kaming separated ng husband ko and may ka live-in na po ako ngayon at may baby na kami na 3 month old. Ano po ba ang dapat kung gawin? Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

Atty, kung magpakasal sa isang consul abroad, dapat bang nasa consular office lang??kung outside sa office,void ba ang marriage???..
and lastly, pwede bang mag solemnize ang consul ang marriage in articulo mortis?? tnx po..tnx

Al said...

hello atty,

pwede po ba magpakasal ang isang pari dito sa pilipinas? kung pwede, legal po ba ito? at kung hindi pwede, sa ano pong dahilan?

maraming salamat po.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The Family Code does not prohibit priests from getting married. The prohibition comes from the rules, regulations and vows of celibacy of the Roman Catholic Church. If and when a Catholic priest gets married, the marriage is valid if all the requisites are complied with. As to whether he will be allowed by the RCC to continue being a priest, that is very doubtful.

Anonymous said...

Atty, kung magpakasal sa isang consul abroad, dapat bang nasa consular office lang??kung outside sa office,void ba ang marriage???..
and lastly, pwede bang mag solemnize ang consul ang marriage in articulo mortis?? tnx po..tnx

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. You have to find out if there really is no marriage license issued to you. From the marriage certificate or contract issued to you, you can see the details of the license (place and date of issue). Then you have to check with the Local Civil Registrar whether there really was such a license issued. If the LCR says that there is no such license in its files, then your marriage is null and void for lack of the required marriage license. However, under Article 40 of the Family Code, you cannot take the law into your own hands and declare by yourself that your marriage is void. You still need to file a petition in court for the declaration of nullity of your marriage.

HOWEVER,no marriage license is necessary if Article 34 was used (ratification of marital cohabitation). From the marriage certificate or contract that you have, please check if you can find the term "Article 34" usually found on the lower portion.

2. Separation between spouses for more than seven years is NOT a ground for the termination of a valid marriage. Please read my post in this blog titled “If husband and wife have not seen each other for more than seven years, does it mean that their marriage is already void?”

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

For the person who asked the question about the authority of a consul to solemnize a marriage:

What is the factual background of your question? Has this situation occurred or are you simply asking on a theoretical basis? I need to know the facts of the situation before I can give a proper ansewer.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty..I just would like to ask when we apply for marriage at march 18,07 ten days of waiting..However the birthdate of my husband is march 24 then our date of marriage is april 01.But in our authenticated secpa the age of my husband is 31 instead of 32.Then I have found out that the marriage license that come out from the LCR is feb29 yet it state there that my husband age is 31 and 11 months..so the church follow the age without counting it.Who is liable for this? thanks and Godbless

Anonymous said...

tnx po sa pagreply...kc atty. kasi ung long time frend and neighbor ko, nasa abroad na, one day while he and his sweetheart were walking down a stree, nasagasaan ung gurl, later nahospital xa, so g contact ng rend and neigbor ko ung consul ng philippines dun, to marry them,so kinasal din sila ng consul,and without the marriage license(kasi daw at the point of death na)..un valid po ba ang marriage??proper ba un gnawa ng consul na ikasal sila sa labas ng kanyang opisina??

Anonymous said...

tnx po sa pagreply...kc atty. kasi ung long time frend and neighbor ko, nasa abroad na, one day while he and his sweetheart were walking down a street, nasagasaan ung gurl, later nahospital xa, so g contact ng frend and neigbor ko ung consul ng philippines dun, to marry them,so kinasal din sila ng consul,and without the marriage license(kasi daw at the point of death na)..un valid po ba ang marriage??proper ba un gnawa ng consul na ikasal sila sa labas ng kanyang opisina??and tama pala atty. a week or less, namatay ung gurl..tnx po sa pagreply..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

A consul retains his official authority whether he is inside or outside of the consulate. From that, it can be argued that the consul has authority to solemnize marriages outside the consulate. However, the Department of Foreign Affairs may have internal rules or guidelines on this matter. (A similar situation is that of a judge solemnizing a marriage; the place must be his sala unless there is a written request that the wedding be held in another place within his jurisdiction.)

However it can also be argued that the consul’s jurisdiction is limited only to Philippine territory, that is within the consulate. It can be argued that the consul has no jurisdiction therefore to solemnize the marriage.

The issue of marriage in articulo mortis will depend on whether the consul has jurisdiction to solemnize marriage outside the consulate.

The best party you can inquire from on this issue is the Legal department of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You have to check with the LCR your application for marriage license. The problems may have originated from there when the LCR staff was preparing your documents.

Anonymous said...

good evening! i would like to ask something. im a student from philippines and in our school, we're informed to research about DIVORCE. we'll going to have debate by tomorrow. and i was assigned to anti-divorce. i would like to ask, what if my opponent would question me: "if a woman would like to file divorce because he is maltreated by her husband." what would be the best answer for it? and here's another one. what if my opponent will ask me" what if i'm married to the man i dont love because we were forced by our parents due to the culture we are following and i now would like to file divorce" what would be the best answer for this? im hoping for your reply. please do so. reply is really much appreciated! :)

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The problem with a debate is you are asked to defend a stand or position which you may not personally agree with. I discussed my stand on the issue of divorce and remarriage in this blog (look for the link in the sidebar) and also in my Salt and Light blog. As to the issue of divorce and spousal abuse, please read the view of Van der Lugt of Radio Bible Class ministries. He believes that spousal abuse is a valid ground for divorce. As to the loss or lack of love between the parties, that is neither a Biblical ground for divorce nor a legal basis for declaration of nullity of a marriage.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty,

Could this be grounds for Annulment, nullity of marriage or what?

Lets say, if the woman has had an ongoing affair/relationship with the same person (other than her husband-to-be), from the time she was engaged until weeks into the marriage. Is this concealment?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

Greetings!

I am currently 5 months pregnant with twins and I am not yet married.
My husband is out of the country looking for a job to support us financially.
I am scheduled to give birth on January and I would like my twins to use their father's surname.
I was informed that it is not possible because we are not married.
It is only possible if we get married or he is around to sign the birth certificate of our twins.
He cannot afford to go home yet to get married or just go home because he doesn't have a job yet.
Is there any other way for my twins to use their father's surname??

I would appreciate your response.

Thank you,
Anna

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The Family Code speaks of concealment of pregnancy (by a man other than her husband), homosexuality, lesbianism, sexually transmissible disease found to be incurable, etc. The situation you described is not one of them. Please also take note that even adultery by itself does not constitute psychological incapacity. Please read the FAQ section of www.familymatters.org.ph

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Anna,

Even if you are not married, your future children will be able to use their father’s surname under Article 176 as amended by RA 9255. If the man is able to sign the birth certificate, then automatically his surname will be used. If he is abroad, then he can execute an AUSF (Affidavit to Use Surname of the Father). He can ask the help of the Philippine embassy or consulate in the country where he is working for the AUSF. Then he can send the AUSF to you.

Anonymous said...

good day atty Gerry,my query is what will be the possible problem when the marriage is late registered?, on the part of the woman what will be the problem encounterd when marriage is late register,.same is through with the man,,what will be the possible problem. if the marriage is late registered, what will the woman use as her surname? thank you and hoping to get a respond from this,thank you so much..

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty. Galacio, i like to ask kung ano procedure ang dapat gawin para magamit ng anak ko ang last name ng bf ko, were planning to get married this year, and hes willing na ibigay ang pangalan nya sa anak ko. thanks a lot.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. It is the responsibility of the solemnizing officer to submit the copies of the marriage certificate or contract to the Local Civil Registrar within fifteen days from the date of the marriage. The LCR requires the solemnizing officer to submit a notarized explanation for the delay in the submission.

2. The marriage certificate or contract is not an essential or formal requisite of marriage under the Family Code. Thus, assuming that the marriage was legal, the woman can start using her husband’s surname at once.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Is your boyfriend the biological father of your child?

Please read my post in this blog entitled “What surname should illegitimate children use? Problems and issues with RA 9255 and its implementing guidelines” Look for the link in the sidebar.

If your boyfriend signs the child’s birth certificate or issues an AUSF (Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father), then the child will carry his surname.

OR legitimation may apply in your case if your child was conceived and born without any legal impediment (obstacle) on your part and that of your boyfriend. Please read my post on legitimation.

2. If your boyfriend is not the biological father of your child, then a petition for adoption must be filed by your boyfriend. Please read my post on the procedure for adoption (also in this blog).

anonymous said...

igot married at first when i was only 17 june 1993 but we changed my birth certificate to 18 so we can get married then he left and when he got back after 1 year we got married again using my original documents then he left again..and we only saw each other after 2 years for only 1week it was 1996 for short we never really lived together as husband and wife and that was the last time i saw him since he's from chicago,USA..and now i'm living with someone for bout 4yrs now and we have our kids already..i have been seperated from my first partner since 1996 which is already 12yrs now..i filed an annulment 4yrs ago and i just had the result this year,it was denied by the court for lack of grounds..my present partner and i wants to get married now?i believe that being seperated for 12yrs is enough ground for me to have my marriage annuled?can you please help us..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Despite the separation of 12 years between you and your husband, your marriage is still valid. Please read my post entitled “If husband and wife have not seen each other for more than seven years, does it mean that their marriage is already void?”. Look for the link in the sidebar.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Despite the separation of 12 years between you and your husband, your marriage is still valid. Please read my post entitled “If husband and wife have not seen each other for more than seven years, does it mean that their marriage is already void?”. Look for the link in the sidebar.

Anonymous said...

I married a filipina in the philippines, I am a US citizen. We both live in the US now, and my wife will soon become a US citizen. Is it possible for us to get a divorce?
Thanks

creeze said...

gud day atty., can i declare my children as my dependents while they carry their father's surname( we arent married).

Anonymous said...

my kids father was a married man, he had to furnish a fake marriage contract so the children can use his surname and so that we can show my parents that we were married,we are now separated, but my problem is i would like to declare my children as my dependents so i can avail of the tax exemptions, would there be legal impedements if i submit their birth certificates with the fake details such as the date and place of marriage of parents,by the way i declare that im single in my papers such as sss etc. thank you very much, i am really confused

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You are an American citizen. That means that even if you got married here in the Philippines under the provisions of the Family Code, American law applies to you. Meaning, even if your wife remains a Filipino citizen, you can divorce her.

Please take note however of the Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage. Follow this link: http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2005/12/divorce-and-remarriage_26.html

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

creeze,

The use of the father’s surname under Article 176 as amended by RA 9255 is meant for the benefit of the children so as to erase the stigma of illegitimacy. Despite the use of the father’s surname however, the children are still illegitimate.

What you should do is to apply with the DSWD in your town or city for a solo parent’s ID under Republic Act No. 8972 or the Solo Parents' Welfare Act of 2000. Once you have your solo parent ID, then you can use to prove that these children are your dependents. You will also be able to avail of the benefits given to single parents like the solo parent leave.

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