Declaration of Nullity and Annulment of Marriage, and Legal Separation in the Philippines

Is there Divorce in the Philippines?

As a general rule, Divorce is not allowed in the Philippines. The only exception is when there is a Judicial Recognition of a Foreign Divorce–when a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to marry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have the capacity to remarry under the Philippine law

 

Is declaring the nullity of a marriage different from annulment?

Yes. A declaration of nullity of marriage applies to marriages which are void. Void Marriages are considered as having never been taken place, they are void from the very beginning. On the other hand, Annulment applies to a marriage that is valid until otherwise declared by the court annulled. 

 

What are the grounds to declare the nullity of a marriage?

  • Absence of the Essential Requisites of Marriage – Consent and Legal Capacity of the Parties
  • Bigamous Marriages
  • Incestuous Marriages
  • Psychological Incapacity

 

What is Psychological Incapacity?

Psychological Incapacity contemplates the incapacity to perform the basic marital obligations. The said incapacity must be grave enough to be the cause of the party’s inability to assume the essential obligations of marriage. This inability should not be a mere refusal, neglect, or difficulty to perform such obligations.  The root cause of the incapacity must be medically proven and must be shown to be medically or clinically incurable, such root cause must be identified as psychological illness. Each case of Psychological Incapacity is to be treated differently.

 

What are the Essential Marital Obligations?

Article 68 of the Family Code provides that the husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support.

 

What are the grounds for a marriage to be annulled?

Article 45 of the Family Code provides that a marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:

  • Lack of Parental Consent
  • Insanity
  • Consent was obtained thru Fraud
  • Consent was obtained thru Force, Intimidation, and Undue Influence
  • Impotence
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases

           

What is Legal Separation?

A decree of legal separation is nothing more than bed-and-board separation of the spouses. The marital ties are not severed; hence the parties cannot remarry.

 

What are the grounds for Legal Separation?

 

Article 55 of the Family Code provides that a petition for legal separation may be filed on any of the following grounds: 

  • Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct
  • Physical violence to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation
  • Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce to engage in prostitution
  • Imprisonment of more than six years
  • Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
  • Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent
  • Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage
  • Sexual infidelity or perversion
  • Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner
  • Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.