So, you and your spouse “have lost that lovin’ feeling”, huh? Or maybe there’s still some feelings left but not enough to keep you in the relationship and in the same home. Since divorce is yet to be legalized in our country, you only have two options: be legally separated from your spouse, or file an annulment of your marriage.
What is the difference between legal separation and annulment of marriage?
According to Yap Kung Ching & Associates Law, legal separation means that the married couple are separated in room and board but they remain married to each other. Whereas, an annulment means that the marital ties between the husband and the wife is severed and both are free to re-marry (or marry another person).
What does annulment of marriage mean?
Annulment of marriage is a legal process done in court to invalidate the marital union between a married couple.
What is the difference between annulment of marriage and declaration of nullity of marriage?
Annulment of marriage applies when the marriage is valid until declared annulled by the court based on the grounds presented by one or both spouses who wish to get out of the marriage. A declaration of nullity of marriage applies to marriages which are void — or the types of marriages that are considered to have never taken place or void from the very beginning. This is determined based on the grounds presented by one or both spouses who wish to get out of the void marriage.
What are the grounds for Annulment of Marriage?
The following answers were lifted from the website of Guzman, Tanedo, & Acain Attorneys At Law website:
Marriages can be annulled by the court on the following grounds:
- Either party was eighteen years of age but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, or guardian. You can only file the Petition within five years after reaching the age of 21. You cannot file the Petition if you have freely cohabitated with each other as husband and wife after you reach the age of 21. Your parents or guardian may also file the Petition any time before you reach the age of 21.
- Either party was of unsound mind at the time of marriage. You may file the Petition any time before the death of your husband or wife; unless you freely cohabitated with each other and the spouse with the unsound mind came to reason, you could already be prohibited by the courts from filing the Petition.
- The consent of either party was obtained by fraud. You may file the Petition within five years after the discovery of the fraud, provided that you did not freely cohabit with your husband or wife after your full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud. In simple terms: Kung nalaman mo na niloko ka lang para magpakasal, at nag sama pa rin kayo sa isang bahay at namuhay bilang mag-asawa matapos mong malaman ang kanyang panloloko, hindi ka na maaring mag file ng Petition.
- The consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation, or undue influence or otherwise known as shotgun marriage. You can file the Petition within five years from the time the force, intimidation, or undue influence disappeared or ceased. Again, if you freely cohabitated with your husband or wife knowing that the force or intimidation had already ceased, you will be barred from filing the Petition.
- Either party was impotent or physically incapable of engaging in sexual intercourse and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable. You can file the Petition within five years after marriage.
- Either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable. You can also file the Petition within five years after marriage.
What are the grounds to declare the marriage null (and void)?
- Those contracted by any party below 18 years old even with the consent of parents or guardians.
- 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.
- Those solemnized without license unless exempted by law.
- Those bigamous or polygamous marriages.
- Those contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other.
- When you get married immediately without waiting for the issuance of the Final Decree of Annulment of your previous marriage. Your second marriage can also be voided by the Court.
- Psychological Incapacity of the husband or wife, existing at the time of marriage, which prevents him or her from complying with the essential marital obligations of marriage, even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after the solemnization of the marriage.
- Incestuous marriages (between ascendants and descendants; between brothers and sisters whether full or half-blood).
- Marriages between relatives:
- Between collateral blood relatives, whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree;
- Between step-parents and step-children;
- Between parents-in-law and children-in-law;
- Between the adopting parent and the adopted child;
- Between the surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child;
- Between the surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter;
- Between an adopted child and a legitimate child of the adopter;
- Between adopted children of the same adopter;
- Between parties where on, with the intention to marry the other, killed the other person’s spouse, or his or her own spouse.