Category: Marriages & Annulments


06 - 29 (1)

A common question we receive from readers is how to remarry without going through the process of annulment or divorce.  Of course the obvious answer to this question is there is no other way for a married person to get married again unless his or her spouse dies and makes him a widow/widower.  This answer gave birth to more questions about negligence, abandonment, and presumptive death as grounds for the other party to seek solace in another person’s company.  Questions such as: I haven’t seen or heard from my husband for five years! Can I remarry now? fill our mailboxes almost every day.

Oh love, how could you be so sweet and bitter at the same time?

To help shine some light into this madness, we are sharing the following list of legal requirements for declaration of judicial presumption of death, as lifted from the Public Attorney’s Office website.  It would be safe to assume that the absence of any of these requirements would demerit your case of tagging your spouse as “deceased” and prevent you from marrying again.  If you have further questions, you may get in touch with a lawyer who can explain this to you in detail.

Read on.

“Before a judicial declaration of presumptive death can be obtained, it must be shown that the prior spouse has been absent for four consecutive years and the present spouse has a well-founded belief that the prior spouse was already dead.  Under Article 41 of the Family Code, there are four essential requisites for the declaration of presumptive death:

  1. That the absent spouse has been missing for four consecutive years, or two consecutive years if the disappearance occurred where there is danger of death under the circumstances laid down in Article 391 of the Civil Code;
  2. That the present spouse wishes to remarry;
  3. That the present spouse has a well-founded belief that the absentee is dead; and,
  4. That the present spouse files a summary of proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee.”

While the requirements may seem lenient, we must be reminded that the court will study the present spouse’s claim closely and will check if he or she exerted effort to locate the missing spouse.  It is up to the court to decide whether these efforts meet the required degree of stringent diligence prescribed by jurisprudence.  Proofs may be gathered to support the present spouse’s claim that he or she really did try to look for the missing spouse; these could be police reports, public announcements about the missing person, and personal testimonies of people involved in the search.

If you are in a similar situation, we hope the above article helped clear some areas you may still be struggling with.  Again, your best recourse is to seek the assistance of a lawyer.

If you have questions about annulment and separation in the Philippines, drop us a line and we will do our best to search for the answer for you.

Reference: www.pao.gov.ph

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06 - 27

After your annulment has been granted by the court, you need to file the court decree at the Civil Registrar’s office.  You need to do this in order for your marriage certificate (from your previous marriage) to be annotated with the details of the approved annulment.  This will serve as proof that you are now free to marry again.

Most of the time, filing the court decree at the City Hall is included in the petitioner’s lawyer’s services; however, in cases when the petitioner is left to process the documents on his own, he or she may find the following information useful.

Read on.

Step 1:

Register the Court Decree of Annulment at the City or Municipal Civil Registrar’s (C/MCR) Office where the court is functioning.  Secure a Certified True Copy of the Court Decree from the same office.

Step 2:

Secure a copy of the Certification of Registration of the court decree from the C/MCR Office.

Step 3:

Secure Certification of Finality from the court which rendered the decree.

Step 4:

Petitioners are usually advised to allow 60 days before requesting for a copy of the annotated Marriage Certificate.  After 60 days, they may secure a Certified True Copy of the Marriage Certificate from the C/MCR Office where the marriage is registered with remarks/annotations based on the Court Decree of Annulment.

Step 5:

If the PSA does not have it on file yet, the Marriage Certificate has to be endorsed (officially transmitted) to PSA by the C/MCR Office where the marriage was registered.  The petitioner may simply visit the C/MCR and advise that his marriage certificate has to be endorsed to the PSA.

Source: www.psa.gov.ph

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04 - 19

After the wedding party is over and all the gifts have been unwrapped, the newly-wed couple settles back and realizes that life continues in a normal fashion.  Reality sets in sooner than they expect and before long, they find themselves dealing with the same matters they dealt with when they were single.

One such matter is their finances.

While most couples succeed at creating an effective financial plan for their future family, some are not as lucky and find themselves parting ways because of money matters.  One way of settling this sensitive issue between couples is by having a prenuptial agreement.

What are prenuptial agreements and is this something everybody should consider before getting married?  Why do couples frown at the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement only to regret not having one in the end?

We researched on this topic and gathered relevant information that can help soon-to-be husbands and wives appreciate the value of having a prenuptial agreement before taking the plunge.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A Prenuptial Agreement is a contract that covers the provisions on a couple’s division of property in the event of a separation (annulment, legal separation).  It sounds morbid (and oh so unromantic) but it will save you from the legal and emotional complications of separating properties in case the marriage does not work.

Why should a couple consider having a prenuptial agreement?

Contrary to popular belief, a Prenuptial Agreement is open not only to well-to-do couples and celebrities.  Even an average income earner must seriously consider signing one.  Below is a list of probable reasons to consider having a prenuptial agreement:

  1. One of you has children from a previous relationship.Your children from your previous marriage or relationship are heirs to your properties.  You can protect your children’s claims to their inheritance through a prenuptial agreement.
  2. One of you is a national of a country with a different set of rules governing property ownership.Since different countries have different laws regarding property ownership, a prenuptial agreement between you and your foreign national partner will simplify these matters.
  3. One of you is a co-owner of a business or an asset.Once you get married, your spouse automatically becomes a co-owner of a business you co-owned before the wedding.  If your business partners are not open to the idea of having an additional business partner, you may want to consider signing a prenuptial agreement.  This shall put your business partners’ qualms on shares to rest.
  4. One of you owns a considerable amount of assets.Your inheritance, savings from when you were single, or shares in a family business, are assets acquired prior to your marriage.  You have the liberty to choose to manage these assets on your own even after getting married.  To ensure your sole ownership, sign a prenuptial agreement.

In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, what governs the property relations between the spouses?

All properties acquired during the marriage shall be considered conjugal properties where husband and wife share in the property’s ownership.

For a prenuptial agreement to be legal and binding, the couple must both enter into it voluntarily.  Have the document notarized and recorded in the local civil registry.  This must be accomplished BEFORE your wedding date.

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/06/01/15/why-couples-should-consider-getting-prenup

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04 - 03

When a married couple separates, whether on their own terms or as prescribed by an annulment proceeding, child custody and support become a fundamental issue between the parties.  With whom should the children stay?  How often can their father / mother see them?  How will their basic needs be met?

In the Philippines, custody of children under seven years old is automatically granted to the mother as mandated by Article 213 of the Family Code.  This is applicable whether the child’s birthright is legitimate or illegitimate.  In the same manner, the father is expected to continue providing the needs of his children and not leave the mother to fend for the family on her own.

This arrangement is easier said than done as most post-annulment / separation issues stem from the fact that fathers fail to consistently provide for their children.  Each has his own reason for not being able to live up to what is expected of him (as the provider); others admit that they chose to discontinue financially supporting their children through the estranged wife because of trust issues.

In the midst of these marital (and extra-marital) issues are the children and their escalating living necessities.  This blog receives a lot of questions about child support and legal actions against fathers who fail to provide for their children.  We all have that one friend who is perpetually asking about means to compel her ex-husband to give and give more as the children’s basic needs rapidly become anything but basic.

We ran a research on child support, as dictated by Philippine laws, in an attempt to shed light in this touchy issue.  We hope these information help put your questions on child support to rest, or at least lead you towards the right decisions in upholding the rights of your children.

How much should a father give as financial support to his children?

According to the Family Code (Articles 194, 201, and 202):

Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade, or vocation, even beyond the age of majority.  Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.

The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.

Support in the cases referred to in the preceding article shall be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.

According to the Family Code:

  • The amount of support shall be based on the children’s needs and the father’s capacity to provide (earn).
  • The father is obligated to support his children’s education even after they have reached the age of emancipation.

Can I demand for support from my child’s father even if he is married to another woman (and my child, effectively, is illegitimate)?

Article 195 of the Family Code provides that both legitimate and illegitimate children have the right to receive financial support from their parents.  However, an illegitimate child’s right to support shall only arise if he was duly recognized by his father.

An illegitimate child may prove that he is recognized by his biological father through the following:

  1. Record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment – with the father accomplishing the Affidavit of Acknowledgment / Admission of Paternity found at the back of his birth certificate.
  2. An admission of illegitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.

If the father refuses to recognize the child, the mother may seek to the court’s assistance by filing a Petition for Compulsory Recognition and Support.  This will entail hearings and other court proceedings and the mother must be prepared to fight it out in public.

If I win the petition, can I demand the father of my child to reimburse the expenses I incurred in the years that he did not provide for my child?

No; the father’s obligation to financially support the child begins from the date of judicial demand, or once the Petition for Compulsory Recognition and Support is approved by the court.

Do I have the right to demand for financial support from my ex-husband even if he is jobless?

In cases when the children’s father is jobless and has no means of income, financial support may be derived from the separate properties.  If the father does not have a separate property to liquidate, the funds may be taken from his and the children’s mother’s conjugal properties.  It shall be treated as an advance and will be deducted from the ex-husband’s share of the estate when it is liquidated.

Can I sue my ex-husband if he continues to ignore his parental responsibilities?

Filing a case in court to compel the children’s father to continue his obligation to provide for the children should be the last resort.  Yes, a mother can seek the court’s assistance in demanding for child support.  A father’s failure to comply with his obligation despite repeated reminders is a violation of RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, or RA 9262 – Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004) and is a criminal offense.

Sources:

www.gov.ph

http://jlp-law.com

http://www.manilatimes.net

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