Tag Archives: Annulment

Annulment Divorce & Legal Separation

A decree of Legal Separation gives the spouses the right to live separately from each other, dissolves the conjugal partnership, awards the minor children to the innocent spouse and disqualifies the offending spouse from inheriting from the estate of the innocent spouse.

What is the main difference between Legal Separation and Annulment?

Once a Decree of Annulment has been issued by the court the parties may choose to remarry. A decree of Legal Separation allows the spouses to live separately but does not sever the bonds of marriage (remarriage is not allowed).


What are the grounds for legal separation?

There are ten (10) grounds on which a petition of for Legal Separation may be filed.

1 – Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner.

2 – Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation.

3 – Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement.

4 – Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, even if pardoned.

5 – Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent.

6 – Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent.

7 – Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in the Philippines or abroad.

8 – Sexual infidelity or perversion.

9. – Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner.

10. Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.

In a Petition of Legal Separation the term “child” shall include a child by nature or by adoption.

There is a six (6) month waiting period from the time of the filing of the Petition of Legal Separation and the time that the trial may start. During the waiting period it is the duty of the court to try to reconcile the spouses.

We file petitions for annulments and legal separation only in Metro Manila.


Presumption of Death and Remarriage

Many people ask us: I have not heard from my spouse in 7 years, can I remarry?

The answer is no. No matter how long spouses have been separated 2, 4, 7, 15 years or more, one can not remarry without the courts having issued a:

  • Decree of Annulment or Nullity
  • Judicial Decree of Absolute Divorce
  • Death Certificate of the Deceased Spouse

Article 41 of The Family Code of the Philippines states:

A marriage contracted by any person during the subsistence of a previous marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for four (4) consecutive years and the spouse present had a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead. In case of disappearance, where there is danger of death under the circumstances set forth in the provision of Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient.

Danger of Death pertains to:

  • A person who was on board a ship or airplane which has gone missing and who has not been heard of for 2 years
  • A person in one or the other branch of the military who has taken part in war or other military operations, and has been missing for 2 years
  • A person who has been abducted and there has been no news about them for 2 years
  • Or other situations where there is a high chance that death may have occurred within a 2 year period

Presumption of Death should not be used as a work around to be to remarry, as the law provides that if an affidavit of reappearance is recorded, the presumption of death is automatically terminated. If the presumption of death is terminated; any remarriage is immediately voided.

Annulment in the Philippines

Q: What documents do I need to give BC Philippines Lawyers to start the case for Annulment of Marriage?

A: You will have to obtain the following documents:

a) An authenticated copy of your marriage certificate; and
B) An authenticated copy of the birth certificate/s of your children (if any) from the National Statistics Office (NSO)

Q: Both my husband and I are Filipino citizens living overseas. Can we file for an annulment in the Philippines?

A: Yes, the rules of court now allow for non-resident Filipinos to file petitions of annulment of marriage in the Philippines.

Q: What is the best city in the Philippines for me to file my petition of annulment?

A: You, as the petitioner have the choice to file in the Family Court of the province or city where you or your husband/wife has been residing for at least 6 months prior to the of filing of the petition, or in the case of a non-resident respondent, where he/she may be found in the Philippines.

Q: Do we need to go back to the Philippines to proceed with an annulment of marriage case?

A: Yes, you will have to come to the Philippines. You will have to appear at least twice in court once for the Pre-trial and once to Testify. If you do not appear in court your petition will be dismissed. You can be excused from appearing at the pre-trial for valid reasons such as illness.

Some Judges allow the non- appearance of the Petitioner in cases of Annulment of Marriage where the ground cited is Bigamous Marriage under Article 35 of the Family Code of the Philippines.

Q: How long does it take to get an annulment?

A: If the proceedings go smoothly, at least 6 months but there is no guarantee to that. There are factors that need to be taken into consideration that could delay the procedure such as but not limited to court-sanctioned postponement of hearings, and justifiable absences of State Prosecutor, if any.

Marriage Annulment & Divorce in the Philippines
Presumption of Death and Remarriage

We file petitions for annulments only in Metro Manila.