Sunday, December 17, 2006

Family Code of the Philippines: Primer on rights and obligations between husband and wife

The rights and obligations of husbands and wives are covered by Title III of the Family Code, specifically from Articles 68 up to 73. Please surf over to my Salt and Light blog for a primer on the rights and obligations of husbands and wives, plus a discussion on the Biblical views about the roles of men and women.

Article 68 provides that “the husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support.” The legal word for living together and enjoying the rights and privileges of marriage is “consortium” or “coverture.” The case of Ilusorio vs. Ilusorio-Bildner (G.R. No. 139789 July 19, 2001 and G.R. No. 139808 July 19, 2001) revolved around the following issue: “May a wife secure a writ of habeas corpus to compel her husband to live with her in conjugal bliss? The answer is no. Marital rights including coverture and living in conjugal dwelling may not be enforced by the extra-ordinary writ of habeas corpus.”

The decision penned by Justice Pardo states among other things that “coverture” is prompted by the spontaneous, mutual love and affection between husband and wife and cannot be enforced by any legal mandate or court order. The Court said:

“No court is empowered as a judicial authority to compel a husband to live with his wife. Coverture cannot be enforced by compulsion of a writ of habeas corpus carried out by sheriffs or by any other mesne process. That is a matter beyond judicial authority and is best left to the man and woman’s free choice.”


Anonymous said...

Hi Atty.

I have been separated with my husband for almost 3 years now due to various reasons. 1. His inability to support (financially, psychologically) a family. 2. Whenever we would have fights he would end up hurting me (slapping in the face, punching in the arm, dragging me a block away fr our house). The worst was our last fight where I struggled against him because he was supposed to hit me with a metal dumbel which weighed around 30kilos. I ended up having a dislocated wrist because of the struggle. The reason for the fight was him having another woman. 3. The only reason we got married was to save his father fr a religious obligation. Until now, I feel like I agreed on it due to influence of his relatives and the pressure of the position of his father. We have different religions. And I had to convert for us to be able to get married. We were married for 4 years. Is it possible to have my marriage annuled? On what grounds? Thanks.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. You can file a petition for declaration of nullity of your marriage on the basis of psychological incapacity (Article 36 of the Family Code). Please read the Frequently Asked Questions section of my Family Matters website for discussions of what declaration of nullity is, difference with legal separation or annulment, what psychological incapacity is, etc. Please also read the Supreme Court Rule in declaration of nullity of a marriage in the Legal Procedures section of the website.

2. Please also read the following articles:

Hope and help for the battered woman (5): Biblical response to abuse

Hope and help for the battered woman (4): Emotional abuse/psychological violence

Hope and help for the battered woman (3): RA 9262 Protection Orders

Hope and help for the battered woman (2): RA 9262 essential provisions

Hope and help for the battered woman (1): Statistics on domestic violence

Anonymous said...

hi attorney..Im arried to a foreigner this a church conducted by a minister..then when I process my papers I need to get my secpa authentication yet i have notice that the middle name of the minister in the secpa is 'h' and in the LCR is f so how it would be?im processing my papers going abroad so do you think it will bother a lot and one more thing..Please help thanks

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

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...

Thank you ATTY...This is just a follow up question atty regarding my blog last august 18 concerning the discrepancies of the solemnizing officer,yes he has done that he request a joint affidavit to explain the discrepancies..However,I forgot to explain it to you that our wedding was being solemnized by a pastor of their church who has no license yet he can initiate wedding yet the one who sign in the COM is the higher pastor who has the license of the said church.Then the one who do our papers is the wife of the said pastor who intiate our wedding,so I have found out in our SECPA from NSO that the signature of two of the witness under their names ws being sign correctly and the six who sign without their names was being forge by the wife of the said pastor(who initiate the wedding)those it affect my COM secpa since it was reg in the NSO,what sould I do? who is liable for this?Our certificate of marriage from LCR is true and correct,only the SECPA because she made another papers for the OCRG thats why she did not take any effort to let the witness to sign,but our signature is ours as well as the solemnizing officer,te two witness only the 6 signature of the witness was forge by her?..Im bothered,im worried since all my papers that I process pending and pending because of the problem!What will I do for the joint affidavit to correct my NSO SECPA,do I need to go to the NSO and pass the joint affidavit to correct the discrepancies?or just attach it to the COM NSO secpa..please help,thanks and GOdbless

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The discrepancies are in the nature of irregularities in the formal requisites of marriage which do not affect the validity of your marriage.

The Family Code however in Article 4 provides that all persons responsible for the irregularities will be charged administratively, civilly and criminally. If ever you get into legal difficulties, you yourself can file civil and/or criminal cases against these ministers and the pastor’s wife.

Even if you submit the joint affidavit with the NSO, by itself it will not make the corrections. You will be required to go to court and file a petition under Rule 108 for the correction or cancellation of entries in the civil register. If and when you file the petition, the irregularities will come up and as I said, the persons responsible can be charged administratively, civilly and criminally.

Anonymous said...

Another question atty of my last blog (sept 01)...Since the joint affidavit will not make the corrections.So I am required to file a petition for the correction or cancellation of entries? because when I process my papers In the embassy they are looking for my SECPA COM and AUTHORITY TO SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGE...I need to submit the Certificate of Authority to solemnize marriage and it contain the correct name of the minister and correct reg. license which is different frm my SECPA COM? running out of time,how many months do you think it will take to process a petition?How much do you think it will cost for the petition? because im bothered if I will not make this all correct since im processing for a residence permit into my husband..So I cant start to process my papers since my COM has a lot of error..Im very bless that I have been entered into ur blog and website to have wide knowledge about this and what should I do..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

First of all, try to submit to the embassy the affidavits/documents that you have now. If the embassy does not approve your application based on the discrepancies, then that is the time you should file for petition for correction under Rule 108.

For this petition, in Metro Manila, you should give yourself about a year for the completion of the petition. The major costs for you will be the lawyer’s professional fees and the cost of the publication of the court order setting the case for initial hearing (which must be published in a newspaper once a week for three weeks). In Metro Manila, the average professional fee of lawyers is around Php 50,000. The cost of publication will depend on what newspaper is chosen in the raffle conducted by the Office of the Clerk of Court. It could thus range from Php 10,000. for small newspapers up to Php 50,000. for major newspapers like Bulletin or Inquirer.

You should also try getting the services of companies or individuals who specialize in immigration. They might be able to offer you viable options regarding your problems.

Anonymous said...

Atty., I've been separated from my husband for almost two years now. Since he left he has only given financial support to our son twice (P3T when our son was bitten by a dog last year, and P500 last month). Whenever i try contacting him about his lack of financial support he doesn't answer any of my calls or email. I don't have the resources to file any suit in court or hire an attorney, and I can't tell my parents that I am pursuing this because they will just tell me "wag umasa". What else can I do or who can I ask help from? I am financially burdened already with so many bills, tuition fee, and other things for my son.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please download my free PDF newsletter titled Issue no. 004 July 31, 2008 "Financial support for abandoned woman and her children" from my Family Matters website.

You can use this link: newsletters/Legal issues and family matters number 004 July 31 2008.pdf

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

Anonymous said...

atty, i want to ask some info regarding adultery. my husband left me for another girl. i think its really unfair, we've been married for 3 yrs, have 2 1/2 baby girl, and im a working mom. just because he wants out of the responsibility of being a father and husband he left us. he wants to be free like a bachelor do. i think its too late. we're married in a church, and i strongly believe that we can still work it out but because he has some one on his side, he dumped jusst like that. i believe that it is really wrong and should teach them a lesson. i dont want my baby growing up in an environment where she would believe that she can have different partners as long as she wants..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Please read my post “Adultery, concubinage and psychological violence” (look for the link in the sidebar). Or you can download the free PDF newsletter on this topic from my website

As I discussed in that post, adultery is a crime committed by a wife and her paramour. Concubinage is the proper case against a husband and his mistress. But I also discussed that it is better to file a case of “psychological violence” under RA 9262 against a philandering husband.

2. In filing a case, you can ask for free legal help from the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) or from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your town or city. The IBP chapter offices are usually located in the Hall of Justice of cities. You can also try to get free legal help from the OLA (office of Legal Aid) of the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City.

The DOJ Action Center acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJFor legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your locality.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

For everyone:

Thanks for browsing this blog. I hope that I have been able to help you even in some small way. From this point on, however, please do not post your questions or comments here. Please email to me your questions or comments at

Answering e-mails is a much more straightforward and time conserving effort for me. With questions posted in this blog, I have to first open my e-mail and then copy/paste the comments or questions to Word. After composing my replies, I then have to search for the specific page where the comments are located and then use a dialog box to post my replies. It is a time-consuming process.

Again, from this point on, please e-mail your questions or comments to me.

harold32576 said...

atty, i just want to ask your professional opinion about adultery and domestic violence. im married for 6 years, have a lovely daughter 5 y/o. there are issue that i tried to discussed to her like going out with her friends outside the country without my knowledge, her so called "friend" had pictures overseas and locally which she denies. but accidentally, browsing in my pc and looking through my memory card, stumbled with pictures showing she had pictures with the guy, when i tried to confront her with the issue in a mild mannered way her response is to be abusive physically and verbal and always threatens me to leave the house with my daughter, since, in this society male is considered to be stronger figure,ashamed to be mocked by others, i kept my silence about 2 years , issue being unresolved, my wife goes home late, months we havent daughter is also affected with her abusive behaviour, sometimes when she diciplines our 5 y/o daughter, daughter acquires bruises and scratches/shes fond of using foul and abusive words in front of my child/ i tried to confront her but we endup in a quarrel/one instance i tried to confront her about the status of our married life , endup in a quarrel ,shes became very physical, i tried to call my neighbors/ landlord for help/ just to intervene/ she took a knife pointed it a my neck infront of my child, i called in my brother in law and mother in law for help/ during the incident i acquired mauling wounds in my face, neck ,arm and forearm, and big bruise in my chest, and she didnt acquired any injury in the incident/ talked to my in laws about what happened and decided to leave the house temporarily only to find out that they left the house my daughter with my things/ and tranferred my daughter in a different school within a weeks time / i felt the world fell down in front of me. this only just tip of the iceberge, atty. i was in this abusive relationship fo years..physically and your professional perpective what can i do to have my daughter in custody and how can i file charges againts my wife/ after that incident every week i bring my daughter her baon needs for school tru my inlaws/ now she sends threats/ emails/ condescending messages to me and my parents and sister / now she demands monetary compensation/ in dismay im just ignoring her messages/ im willing to provided the needs of my child ( tuition , basic needs) but not tru my wife. Badly need help

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...


I already answered your e-mail.