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Grounds for Annulment in the Philippines

since divorce is not available in the country, those who wish to dissolve their marriages resort to filing for annulments instead. When you have your marriage annulled, the court recognizes that your marriage was not valid from the beginning.

In order to have a marriage annulled, there should be a valid ground/s presented to the court. In Philippine law, a marriage can be annulled for the following grounds:

  • Either partner was 18 years but younger than 21 when the marriage took place, and it was solemnized without the consent of parents or guardian. There is a time limit for filing a petition for annulment. It should be done within five years after you reached the age of 21. This also allows your parents or guardians to file a petition anytime before turn 21.
  • Either partner was of unsound mind at the time the marriage took place. A petition can be filed anytime before your husband or wife dies.
  • The consent of either partner was obtained by fraudulent means. The petition can be filed within five years after the fraud was discovered.
  • Either partner was forced or intimidated to give his or her consent to the marriage. A “shotgun marriage” is a perfect example of this. The petition can be filed five years after the force or intimidation has disappeared.
  • Either partner was sexually impotent or physically incapable of having sex and there is no indication that the condition can be cured.
  • Either partner has a sexually-transmissible disease which is serious and incurable.

If you and your partner have already cohabited as husband and wife before filing for a petition, you should consult the opinion of a annulment lawyer to make sure if you can still use the above grounds for annulment to file a petition for annulment in the Philippines.

37 Responses to “Grounds for Annulment in the Philippines”

  1. Is there anybody who can help me about my questions?this is my case, in 2003 i had a secret marriage but we never live together, its still a bf-gf relationship…after a months, i went abroad to work as an OFW, then suddenly his behavior changed, he always threat me that he gonna kill my siblings, blah blah…(reasons: jealousy..etc..)even my personal email he hacked it…so i’ve decided to stop this relationship..from then up to now we dont have any communications at all…

    is it easy to annull this marriage?and how much would i spend, so that I can save money now..just to clear all these mess…i dont even know if he got married already, cos it was 6 years ago…i dont have any news about him…anyway nobody knows that we were married..just a 2 witnesses that time..

    how much time do i need to wait to finish this if case trial would start?

    please help..heres my email: maryanne_magallanes@yahoo.com

  2. I got married 5 years ago, and had blessed with 1 daughter, but my wife has a kid from her boyfriend and i also found out that she committed abortion on her 2nd boyfried. still I managed to take the resposibility of other people should have done., everything was okey then but when I am working as an ofw, I found out that my wife was having an affair with a guy in the philippines and she told me that i have to prove that. right now I am planning to annul the marriage that took place 5 years ago, because I am not happy anymore staying with her, we already talked about it and she agreed, now i am seeking for an legal advice and also to consider the custody of my daughter. hope you can help to which groud of annulment should i file in the court. hope you can give me a relevant answer for my queries, right now I have a girlfriend that I love so much, and we want to get married, can you help me sir with my concern ad possible what step should i do first as I am working here abroad

  3. My wife has an illegitimate son before I married her. I took them in. I never loved her but married her anyway because I got her pregnant. I had 2 sons with her. I found someone I truly love yet cannot marry her because of my present state. What can i do? Please help. Thanks.

  4. i am a battered wife for almost 5 years and haven’t blatter or have medical certificate and another 3 years received bad and harsed words from him and i cant take it anymore. now were in a battle of child custody. After a result of a custody, i will make a next move.. Am i able to file annulment or a court only grant a legal separation? But i washoping an annulment.

  5. I was married for four years now. My wife and I got married because we were pressured by both of our parents because I got my wife pregnant (We are both in legal age). Since then our marriage was rough and shaky. She had been acting insanely since then. Shouting like mad anytime and anywhere she want, getting jealous even to my 45 year old boss, & even thinking I’m having sex with my cousin. There’s lot of crazy stuff that’s running in her head. For two years now I am working here abroad. Things got uglier since I work outside the country. She had an affair with 2 different guys since then. Even her parents once told me that she needs to visit a psychologist. Do you think I have good grounds here if ever I filed an Annulment Case? Since I’m working here abroad, I only have limited time during my scheduled vacations, so how about court appearance? Hope you can guide me in this. Thanks.

  6. For Chris…

    I think it is not good for a husband to leave his family for the sake of work and money. If you really love your family you have to stay and protect them. I’m sure you can find work even if your salary is not that high. Money can’t buy the love that you let your family feel by having you around. Moreover you’ll be both saved away from temptations and affairs.

  7. And I think it’s too convenient just to work and send them money. I think your wife doesn’t feel your love for her. Have you neglected her? her feelings? Were you there to help her raise your children?

  8. helo! i got married in April 2003, my husband left for US in september 2003.But he entered in the US illegally no papers with him. In 0ctober 2005 he ask me to file a separation from the lawyer stating that he abondoned us, we have no communication, no financial support. His reason was for him to be able to file for his working visa and green card. The lawyer grant my request he gave me this separation papers. and i fax it to my husband in the US. Now, it is almost 5 years since we made that separation papers. He his planning to file an annulment because he want to marry a filipina. And He will use our separation paper as ground that we have been separated 5 years ago. We have one child. But since 2003 until now we have still communication and he still supports us. If he got married again is our separation paper valid for him to marry again? Can he file an annulment? What if i will not sign his annulment papers? OR Can I Deport him knowing that he is an illegal entry in the US?
    Please do help me! Thanks….

  9. hi, i have an affair in a 6yrs married man, but they are not living together for 5 yrs., he has a daughter to her wife, and we plan to live together, but still we think that he should annull his marriage first..please help us on what will we going to do, how much money does we need?

  10. @an on…
    teh, mag-ipon-ipon na kayo ng 150k-200k.
    at isang malaking good luck sa’yo!

  11. mura na yan ngayon at masmalaki chances ngayon na ma-grant.. unlike before, 500k at pahirapan ma-grant!

  12. Apreciate if someone share a contact information who can help me to annul my almost 4 year marriage. It is more of a shot-gun marriage. Afterwards, we did not lived together, thus, we are almost 4 years separated. Ex-wife is already living with other man.

    I am an OFW in Middle East and can only go home for a month once a year. I’ll be home on July2011 so would like to seek assistance for an immediate annulment.

  13. I was married in the Philippines and lived in US for almost 7yrs and I found out that my Marriage Certificate has descrepancy the spelling of my name is different.. Is there any way that this certificate is valid?. By the way I found out that she cheat on me can I file for annulment even my name is not correct on the marriage certificate..

    Please do help me.. thanks a lot..

  14. what should I do? help Pls….

    I was married in 2002 I was 21 years old that time and with out any parents consent or guardian on my part just an affidavit from an attorney for me to enter and sign a contract….

    On 2004 we get separated with one Daughter,now she had her own family ,3 years ago i fund my partner and i want to marry her very much cause i want that we live happily and legally together with my 5 months daughter…

    what step should i do . if i have only limited fund just enough for our daily needs…..

  15. I was married 7 yrs. ago,and i was separated with my husband for almost 2 yrs.I want to file an annulment,and i don’t know where to start,and also i have no enough money for this?what should i do?
    that’s why i want to know how much cost to get an annulment and how long does it take for an annulment…

    pls..pls…i need your reply,because i want to file an annullment as soon as possible…tnx

  16. my husband and i got married 5 years ago…after a year of marriage he went abroad to work and i used to stay at their house however he had an affair with a girl and they lived together while on the other country and i have no idea with him living with another and when they decided to come home i discovered that they already had a daughter and he let his mistress live on their house so i decided to go home together with our son to avoid any unnecessary actions be made….i let him choose between me and the girl and he chose the girl…what should i do?i know that having a second family is not a ground for annulment nor lack of financial support but is their any related grounds so i can file an annulment????….please answer….thanks….

  17. i was married last 2001 and had 1 son. After giving birth to my son, my husband and I separated for almost 10 years now, without any support from him. For that 10 years, now I found a guy which is also my first love and first boyfriend. He wants to marry me, and we love each other so much.. I want to file an annulment, but I don’t know how… and how much it may cost?? please help me..

  18. For all inquirants: First determine if your marriage complied with all requisites, as this can give you a ground for a “void” marriage. It could be 1) Consent given in front of a solemnizing officer 2.) Absence of Legal Capacity to marry (you must be 18 or above) also a marriage may be void upon “complete” absence of the essential requisites such a valid marriage license (it is no longer valid if you use it pass the 120 days expiration), solemnizing authority of the officer, a marriage ceremony where you exchange your ido’s. If none, you may invoke Art. 36 or psychological incapacity. Here you have to prove that he is psychologically incapacited to assume duties or obligations such as cohabitation etc. (psych incapactiy has no prescription, so even if you got married years before the celebration of the family code, you can invoke this ground)

    Now if you want to have your marriage annulled: the following grounds are mentioned above. But these grounds prescribe or are ratified through the ff: (meaning you can no longer invoke it as a ground)

    If you were below 18 when you got married, you freely cohabited with your husband after attaining age of 21

    In case of insanity the insane spouse after coming to reaseon cohabits with you.(Only the insane spouse can ratify)

    in case of fraud, after you knew of the facts, you freely cohabited with your husband

    In case of vitiated consent, after the cessation of the force you freely cohabited with your spouse

    Now if there was fraud in your marriage: fraud of a previouse criminal judgement, fraud regarding a pregnanct, concealing a sexually transmissible disease, concealment of alcoholism or drugaddiction or homosexuality and lesbianism, you have to take action within 5 years from your knowledge of the fraud

    for those who were forced into marriage by intimadation, 5 years after the cessation of force

    and those found out of a sexually transmitted disease in their partner or the partner is physically incapable of consummating the marriage with you, it should be acted upon, 5 years from the marriage.

    In more common case, the remedy available is LEGAL SEPARATION. which does not allow you to remarry but separates the properties and also fixes custody of children and allows you to live separately:

    you can file for legal separation if you experience repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct, or if your child or your common child experiences that under the spouse

    If there is moral pressure or physical violence to change your religion or political affiliation

    Attempt or inducement of spouse to engage you or your child or your common child to prostitution regardless of age

    A final judgement sentencing your spouse to imprisonment of more than 6 years even if pardoned

    Drug addiction or Habital alcoholism

    Lesbianism or homopsexuality

    Contracting of the spouse of a subsequrent bigamouse marriage

    Sexual infidelity or perversion (concubinage and adultery will fall upon this)

    Attempt of the spouse on your life

    Abandonment of your spouse without justifiable cause (to warrant this there must be abandonment of 3 months, and the decree will be granted after his absemce of a year)

    You must file an action for this, upon their commission of the act, and not upon you finding out, within 5 years, otherwise you can no longer invoke it

    also you must prove that you did not consent, condone or connive in any of these acts.

    For a battered wife you may file a criminal case in violence against women and children, and may file for the nullity of your marriage based on husbands psychological incapacity

    For the husband who did not get parental advice at age of 21, you don’t even need parental advice, this is only for ages IN BETWEEN 18 and 21, and further even if you didn’t and you were within the age bracket, it is a mere irregularity and it doesn’t affect the validity of your marriage.

    For those who want to remarry most you can do is check if your marriage license is valid, analyze if your spouse is psychologically incapacitated to do promises and obligations agreed upon on day of marriage, and check the grounds for annulment if your marriage falls there.

    If your husbands are philanderers, the most is sexual infidelity under legal separation. You can file a criminal case for concubinage, if you are mad at him and want retribution.

    Keep in mind the ratifying conditions and prescriptive periods.

    goodluck!

  19. The problem with the marriage certificate is a mere irregularity, it will not affect validity of marriage cert

  20. for wayne, your marriage can fall under psych incapacity and maybe void from the beginning.

  21. Hi,

    My canadian bf married a filipina 2years ago in civil.He told me that according to the judge that their marriage will not be valid unless he could show/submit his divorce papers since he left his divorce papers that time in canada.After 4mons of their marriage he found out that her wife is a lesbian and was living with her gf and was just using her for money while he was away.My concern is we are planning to marry this December of 2011. And I’m worried if their marriage is really valid since they really had a marriage ceremony with the judge.Please enlighten me and I’m asking for your advise regarding on how to go through about this.Thanks!

  22. My first marriage was in 1988 with my ex-boyfriend before he left to the U.S., but we broke up. He stay there for good and have his own family in the U.S. In 1992, I become involved with another man he asked me to marry him but I inform him that I have a previous marriage with my ex boyfriend but not sure if this real or fake since we do it secretly but I’m already 23 yrs old at that time and my ex-bf is 24. But he insisted on marrying me and wwe raised a family, now we got 3 kids. After 19 yrs of marriage and endless fights, we decided to live separately. And now I met this man, whom for the third time wants to marry me. I consulted my husband about this and he agreed to file annullment. When I checked with NSO, I found out that both marriage were registered in NSO, my marriage in 1988 and my marriage in 1992. This shows that my marriage in 1992 is null and void. But I have no contact with my ex-bf in the U.S. which I was married in 1988. What action should I take to clear myself from the two marriage. Do I need to file annullment on both marriage? Please advise.

  23. Dear Sirs,
    I got married in Davao City Philippines to an American Citizen last April 2011. After married we live together in UAE for 6months and then he went to Florida USA. Since we are far from each other i want to dissolve our marriage. Do i need to ask his consent that i want annul our marriage in Philippines? How long do i have to wait for our marriage to be annulled after filing an annulment. How much does it cost and how many hearing in court do i have to attend. Please advise me so i could start the filing process. Do you have any lawyer or legal firm you could recommend to me in Davao City where i could file the annulment. Would appreciate so much if could email me your reply.

    Thanks and best regards.

  24. sir,
    i got married in manila in 1994, we were blessed with one child but we decided to transfer to my folks in the province. my wife wanted to go back to manila because of her job, we both decided that it would be best to leave our child with my folks. it was a hard life in manila for me so i asked her if we could go back to the province were we could start a simple life with our child, she did not submit to the idea of living with us in the province. she would visit me and our child twice a year. but in 1997 she stopped seeing us and she has totally abandoned me and our child. since then we were not able to communicate anymore although i have never changed address or telephone numbers. it was only in 2007 when she started to communicate with our child but not with me. i have also found out that she already have a new child with another man.. as for me i do not have any relationship with anybody. our child is still with me. can abandonment be a ground for annulment?

  25. Dear sir:
    I married this man in 2001 but not yet annulled, birth certificate of my children where in his name from our marriage in muslim rites year 1996 , but the authenticated marriage certificate that came out is our marriage from the mayor’s office dated 2001.
    Now there are some discrepancy in the document (Birth certificate) of my children.
    In 2009, his annullment from his 1st marriage was annulled, we can now re-marry again. what shall i do?pls. help me. i am confused…

  26. Good day Sir!

    We got married here in Philippines last 2003. We have 1 child and he didnt support us.Now he’s married in Pakistan and they have child. My ex-husband (A Pakistani national) sent me Divorce Deed but then at the top of document it is written there Non-Judicial but it is under Notary Public and he said its valid already.

    Can I get my Cenomar again? Am I single again? I need guidance.

    Thank you and God bless!

  27. My husband and I got married in 1982 in the Manila City Hall. We just met a guy at the lobby of the city hall and brought us to a certain minister. We did not apply for a marriage contract. Our Marriage contract says that the marriage was held in Carmona, Cavite. We’ve been separated for 12 years now does not send support. Can i have our marriage annulled? How can i verify if the marriage license is valid? If it is not, can i still use this as ground for annulment?

    Please send me a copy of your reply to my email address. Thank you very much.

  28. Hi,

    i’ve been married(civil) for almost 2yrs now. Our relationship was a whirlwind relationship, i barely knew my husband i was forced to marry him because i got pregnant. We already broke up when I found out that i was 4months pregnant in 2010, he came back to me and faced my mother, though in his part, his family doesn’t like us to get married. we we’re 23yrs old that time. I was suffering from pre-term labor that time and advised by my physician to have a complete bed rest,the ceremony took place in my apartment at las pinas city. Due to my case, my husband resigned from his job and stayed home. It was my sister and my mother who helped us regarding financial during and after pregnancy. after my maternity leave i went back to work here in manila for me to sustain the needs of my baby while he stayed in the province where my family is residing, he got a job but it doesn’t give him enough for him to sustain the needs of our family, that’s why my mother still continues to give support. When the time passed i realized that We really don’t love each other, to the extend that my husband starts to give rumors in our place that i’m cheating on him, but he knew that i’m really not. he disrepected my family and abandoned my child. Now, he’s not even communicating either with me or to my mother. Is there any possible way for me to file for annulment? can anyone give me pieces of advice cause im totally lost right now.

    hoping for your response. thank you so much!

  29. hi im was married on april 2008 in manila city hall i was forced to marry him because i was pregnant and my employer requires that employees should be married if got pregnant or else he/she will be forced to resign..so it left me no choice but to marry him because i cant afford to loose my job because he has no work and still studying.. the cityhall faked his address so we could just sign and leave the papers.. then my life went miserable for 3 long years i was forced to work even pregnant because he cant get a job and his parent dosent supports us.. and when i go to work he always accused me of cheating on him and even humiliates me in public places.. he even accuses me that i was just having sex with my collegues at work during my night shifts even if im not.. when he already had a job i thought everything would change but i was wrong… he got worse he had an affair with someone at his work place.. he started to go home very late, go to places he never told me and going out with someone without my consent.. and now he calls me worst he calls me a bitch, that i was nothing because i lost my job and hes higher than me that he dosent deserve someone like me… i am so hurt i wanted an annulment… what grounds can i file.. when now he is treathening me that he will make me go to jail for adultery because my guy friend is helping me.. please help me i want to end my suffering and live a happy life away from him.. :’ (

  30. Good Day to all!

    We got Married in Singapore and the Solemnizing Officer is not a Filipino.
    Do I have a grounds for annulment on that?

    Thanks You

  31. Hi I got married last Jan 2007 but few months of our marriage life his true attitude come out everytime we got argue hi bit me on my head “physical abuse”or sometimes he throw the knife to me and the first is I gound out he take drugs that’s why on Nov 2007 I decide to separate with him.. Even we allready separate still many times he bit me.,and last 2008 he have record in police station “physical abuse” and now I’m working here in Kuwait and I heard that he us leaving with his GF and I’m planning to file annulment when I go philippines. Next year 2013 can I used his police records for one of my grounds in filling of annulment with him ?

  32. hi gud eve,

    i have a boyfriend now and we live together in the same house. We are so happy together with our daughter but my happiness has worries we cant marry each other bcoz his married with other girl 5years ago. he told me that he never love his ex wife he just marry her bcoz its pregnant and forced by the family of the girl. we live together for about 3yrs. ..What should we do to be legally and happy together? we really love each other..how much annulment cost

    pls help us.

    pls. we need ur reply

  33. Good day Atty!
    I had a civil marriage in 1972 when I was 17 yrs old. I was forced to marry him because I got pregnant but after marriage I lost that pregnancy. Despite the fact that our marriage life was a very miserable one, I tried to keep our family and our 2 daughters. He has the urge of having affair with different women even before our marriage took place. Many times he has sexually transmitted disease and therefore I keep on taking antibiotics to cure myself. He has been a very violent husband who never has loved and cared for his kids. He was a mere liar. We were financially unstable because he was always with another women and had forgotten his responsibilities as the man of the family. Things got worst when he had an affair with his cousin whose husband was abroad.He abandoned his real family for this woman.i tried to work hard in order to support my 2 kids. I became the father and mother of my 2 kids while he was always out drinking, gambling and having affair with different women.
    I decided to work abroad since this man was helpless and unable to do his promises and obligations for his family especially to support the children. Furthermore, he h a child with a young woman. Also he abandoned that young woman and his son to that woman.
    He married another woman in the year 1996 but got no child. While he was living together with his 2nd wife, he again had a new affair with another woman and got 3 kids up to now.
    The last and worst was when he was accused of attemted rape to a minor. He has a record at the police station.
    Shall I wait for more worst thing to happen?
    I really do need to dissolve this marriage. . . I want to remarry a real good man who really cares so I can taste the sweetness of life, PEACE and HAPPINESS.Somebody who will be my guide in the remaining years of my life.
    What ground of annulment or nullity of marriage does my case fall?
    Thank you!. . . More power!. . . God bls

  34. WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY. thank you!

  35. YOUR COLUMN WAS HELPFUL.

  36. PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY IS A GROUND FOR THE ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE.

  37. Is Denying sex ground for marriage annulment? What do I need to do? Please help. Thanks