Tag Archive: ANNULMENT


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

Chips And Nibblers (1)

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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

Chips And Nibblers (1)

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06 - 14

Mercy is married to Joel and they have three kids, all minors.  In 2015, they separated, with Joel taking their children with him to the province where they can continue their studies while he tended the family’s farm as his means of income.  Mercy was left in Manila with her parents; she was working as a call center agent at the time of their separation.

In 2016, Joel filed for annulment.  Around the same time the papers were hand-carried by a court personnel to Mercy’s house, she was already dating a new guy from work.  Not long after, Mercy broke the news to her family that she is pregnant.

Her boyfriend, an unmarried man, is willing to acknowledge Mercy’s baby.  Their plan is to get married as soon as Mercy’s previous marriage is officially annulled; they will have their baby legitimized after they get married.

Will Mercy and Joel’s plans succeed?  Will this not cause problems or confusion on the child’s birth right?  Can the child use his biological father’s last name while his mother is still married to her previous husband?

According to the Family Code, a child born to a married woman is considered legitimate, even if the mother declares against its legitimacy, or even if she has been sentenced as an adulteress (Article 164 and Article 167).

Given these insights, Mercy’s boyfriend is not legally entitled to acknowledge the child because Mercy is still married to Joel (pending decision of filed annulment case).  Moreover, letting the child use Mercy’s boyfriend’s last name will cause further confusion in the child’s legitimacy and birth right.  To make matters worse, Mercy’s child is not qualified to be “legitimized due to subsequent marriage” because of the existence of her marriage with Joel at the time of the child’s birth.

Only if Joel, being Mercy’s legal husband at the time of the child’s birth, disputes the child’s legitimacy, will Mercy be able to declare the child as ‘illegitimate’; otherwise, her child remains ‘legitimate’ and registered as Joel’s child.

What are the provisions for remarrying after an annulment has been approved?

It would have been best for Mercy to have waited until the annulment was approved before she and her boyfriend decided to have a child.  Technically, there is even a prescriptive period of 300 days after the annulment has been handed down, before Mercy bears another child, if only to avoid any controversy on her child’s legitimacy.

Below are the specific articles from the Family Code that will help us understand this provision better:

Article 168.  If the marriage is terminated and the mother contracted another marriage within 300 days after such termination of the former marriage, these rules shall govern in the absence of proof to the contrary:

(1) A child born BEFORE 180 days after the solemnization of the subsequent marriage is considered to have been conceived during the former marriage, provided it be born within 300 hundred days after the termination of the former marriage;

(2) A child born AFTER 180 days following the celebration of the subsequent marriage is considered to have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the 300 days after the termination of the former marriage.

It is also good to note that getting married immediately after the issuance of the decree of annulment may be considered a crime of premature marriage; this is punishable under Article 351 of the Revised Penal Code.

Sources:

www.gov.ph

http://www.manilatimes.net

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05 - 24

Divorce is not honored nor practiced in the Philippines.  The only option for Filipino couples to legally separate and regain their freedom to marry another person is to get their marriage annulled.  Annulment processes are long and expensive, often ugly and traumatic especially when children are involved.  Unlike divorce where the couple need only to agree to end a legally valid marriage, annulment proceeding is done to prove that the marriage never existed at all.  And to do that, the reasons for filing an annulment case must be compelling enough to destroy the integrity of the erring couple’s union.

Something, or someone’s, gotta give.

There are two types of annulment in the Philippines:

  1. Declaration of Nullity of Marriage where the marriage is believed to be null and void from the beginning, and
  2. Annulment of Marriage is filed for valid marriages (marriage is considered valid until voided).

In case you are thinking of filing an annulment, or are just plain curious how such cases are built, this article is for you.

Valid grounds for declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, pursuant to the Family Code of the Philippines:

  1. Either party is below 18 years of age, even with the consent of parents or guardians.
  2. Marriage was solemnized by a person not legally authorized to perform marriages, unless it was contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority ot do so.
  3. Marriage was solemnized without license, except those allowed under the law.
  4. Bigamous or polygamous marriages not falling under Article 41.
  5. Marriage was contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other.
  6. Subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53.
  7. Either party was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage at the time of the celebration of the marriage.
  8. Incestuous marriages.
  9. Marriages which are void from the beginning for reasons of public policy.

Grounds for filing a petition for annulment of marriage:

  1. Either party was 18 years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of parents, guardian, or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, he/she freely cohabited with the other party;
  2. Either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
  3. Consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other;
  4. The consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other;
  5. Either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or
  6. Either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable.

Other important reminders when filing a petition for annulment:

  • You may only file a petition to nullify or annul your marriage if any of the above-mentioned grounds actually exist in your marriage.
  • Being separated from your husband or wife is not grounds for annulment, not even if you have ceased communicating with each other for considerable length of time.
  • Infidelity is not grounds for annulment in the Philippines.
  • The petition must be filed before the Regional Trial Court where the petitioner or the respondent resides.
  • Upon granting of annulment petition, the absolute community of property or conjugal partnership established between the spouses during the marriage shall be dissolved and liquidated.
  • Any property acquired by either party after the annulment has been granted shall be an individual property of the party who purchased it.
  • And lastly, the entire annulment procedure is not only physically, emotionally, and psychologically taxing, it can also place a dent in your finances.

We hope you found these information helpful.  You can shoot us your questions about marriages and separations and we will do our best to find the answers for you.

Sources:

http://www.gov.ph

http://www.manilatimes.net

Chips And Nibblers (1)

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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

Chips And Nibblers (1)

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31

Parents who have children born before they were married can have their children legitimized by executing an Affidavit of Legitimation.  This must be submitted to the Office of the Civil Registrar of the child’s birthplace.  Court decrees, on the other hand, are legal instruments concerning the status of a person such as Admission of Paternity, Legitimation, Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF), and the like.

Registration of court decrees as well as requests for CTCs of annulment, adoption, correction of entry, change of name, presumptive death, and the like are handled at Counter 7 of the Quezon City Hall.  On the other hand, Court Decrees with finality and annotation as well as Legitimation papers must be submitted to Counter 15.

The following are the requirements when filing for Legitimation at the Quezon City Hall as well as the fees to be paid for other cases such as annulment of marriage, adoption, etc.

Requirements for Legitimation:

  1. Joint Affidavit of Legitimation signed by both parents.
  2. Certified True Copy of Marriage Contract
  3. Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate
  4. Admission of Paternity/Acknowledgment of Father
  5. Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) from NSO.

Other requirements will be on a case-to-case basis.  Allow two to four working days as processing time; you will be given a claim stub for your filed request.

Registration Fees:

  1. Annulment of marriage – PHP 500.00
  2. Correction of entry or change of name – PHP 400.00
  3. Per registration of supplementary reports or documents as additional data – PHP 100.00
  4. Legalization of Aliens – PHP 500.00
  5. Local Adoption – PHP 1,000.00
  6. Legitimation – PHP 400.00
  7. Foundling – PHP 500.00
  8. Naturalization – PHP 1,000.00
  9. Foreign Adoption – PHP 1,000.00
  10. Repatriation – PHP 1,000.00
  11. Presumptive Death – PHP 1,000.00
  12. Per registration of other documents – PHP 300.00

Source: http://quezoncity.gov.ph/index.php/qc-services/requirements-a-procedures/261-civilregguide

Chips And Nibblers (1)

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09-27

We receive a lot of inquiries about the annotation of marriage certificates after the annulment has been handed down by the court.  Most couples think that the moment they receive the finality of the annulment, they are free to get married anytime.  They would soon realize that the process of annotating the marriage certificate and the CENOMAR of annulled couples take longer than most of us think.

So we conducted some research on this subject to find out what happens after the court has declared a marriage null and void.  How long do the parties need to wait before they can re-marry?

Find out here:

  1. Once the decision of nullity of marriage is received, the opponent/adverse counsel is given fifteen (15) days to file an appeal.  The fifteen (15) days is counted from the time the Decision is received by the Office of the Solicitor General.
  2. If no appeal is received, the Clerk of Court will issue a Certificate of Finality within three months from the date the decision was received by the Solicitor General.
  3. The Certificate of Finality and the Certified True Copies of the Decision of Nullity shall be forwarded to the Local Civil Registrar.  The LCR will issue an endorsement to the Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA (formerly NSO).
  4. The parties may request for the first annotated copies of their Marriage Certificate and CENOMAR from the PSA after one to two months from the time the papers were endorsed.

That is the reason why when you request for a copy of your MC or CENOMAR a few days or weeks after your annulment has been granted, you receive the old copy without any markings that your previous marriage has been annulled already.  Also, clarify with your lawyer if their services already include the facilitation of the annulment documents with the LCR.  Some firms do not include this in their services and the client is left wondering why their annulment papers never reached the LCR or the PSA.

Source: http://bit.ly/2dfiKXv

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Philandering Husband

Have these things been happening in your home lately?

  • Husband taking his mobile phone everywhere he goes, even in the shower.
  • Credit card charges made at restaurants you know you’ve never visited with your spouse ever.
  • Frequent “company trips” to romantic places like Tagaytay, Baguio, and Palawan.  And no, wives and kids are not invited.
  • A new perfume, watch, or expensive shirt you know your husband won’t buy for himself even if his life depended on it.

Different people may have different means to crack a ‘philandering husband’ or ‘cheating wife’ code, but all would probably have the same agenda: to snatch the unfaithful partner away from the interloper and save the marriage.  In extreme cases though, the discovery of a spouse’s unfaithfulness often result to separation.  And since the cost of annulment in the Philippines is prohibitive, the ex-couple would resort to living apart while they try to ‘move on’ and make sense of their complicated situation.

Philippine laws do not simply shrug off infidelity.  The aggrieved wife may file criminal charges against a philandering husband and his mistress.  In the same manner, a husband whose wife has had extramarital affairs with another man can slap her with adultery, also a criminal offense.

To help you understand how grave a transgression it is to cheat on your spouse or be the ‘third party’ in an otherwise blissful marriage, read the following:

  1. A man and his mistress can be charged with concubinage under any of the following circumstances:
    • The husband allows the mistress to live in the house he shares with his legal wife;
    • The husband buys or rents a house for him and his mistress;
    • Practices scandalous intimate acts with the mistress.
  2. A wife and her lover may be charged with adultery.
  3. Any person proven to have committed concubinage or adultery is criminally liable and may be imprisoned.  If the cheating spouse and his/her lover get married while one or both of them are still legally married to their rightful partners, they can be charged with bigamy, also a criminal offense.
  4. The charges shall be applied to both the cheating spouse and the mistress or lover; the law does not select only one of the two (as you cannot be adulterous all on your own and a woman becomes a concubine only when a married man woos her to be one).
  5. In the legal proceedings, the aggrieved party must not be proven to have consented the ‘affair’ or have forgiven or condoned the cheating spouse and the ‘third party’.  An example of ‘consent’ is if the legal (aggrieved) spouse agrees to share the marital bed with the cheating spouse even after he/she has proven that the other is already having extramarital affairs.

The Philippines, being a predominantly Christian nation, does not support divorce.  The society frowns upon infidelity and illicit relationships especially when children get dragged into the ugly picture of scandal and separation.  The law protects the victims of such scandalous affairs and upholds the rights of the aggrieved parties.  If you feel you need to take the high road to secure your family’s rights against the indiscretion of brazen individuals, seek the assistance of a lawyer.

Source: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/520678/opinion/commentary-can-a-mistress-be-held-liable-under-the-law

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Child Support.jpg

While it is true that the Philippines is a Christian nation (predominantly Catholic), it cannot be denied that cases of parents separating and fathers abandoning their families have increased over the years too. Take a trip to a small urban village in Metro Manila and you will be surprised to find out that a lot of the residents are single mothers or married women who have sought annulment of their marriages (for various reasons). In most cases, the children are left under the care of their mothers; in the Philippines, the law dictates that children below 7 years old must be in the custody of his mother in case his parents separate.

This leaves Pinays with the burden of raising their children on their own. Even if the mother is gainfully employed, it is not a secret that sending your kids to school until they graduate from college, providing for all of their basic needs, and performing the role of both a father and a mother is a herculean task. Of course this is not limited to the female parent only as there are also cases where the father is left to take care of the children’s needs on his own.

So how does a single mom (single dad) demand for child support from their respective ex-spouses or partners?

Here are some guidelines when filing for child support in the Philippines:

  1. The parent seeking child support may opt to seek legal assistance from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO). Other government agencies that cater to these cases are the Department of Justice and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
  2. If there is physical violence involved in the case and there is evidence that the family’s safety is in jeopardy, a Protection Order is issued. The children will be in the custody of their mother with an entitlement of support.
  3. Child support cases (and other related cases) shall be filed in the Regional Trial Courts which will serve as the Family Courts for hearing cases.
  4. Support applies for both legitimate and illegitimate children. This includes food, clothing, education, and transportation according to the capacity and resources of the father.
  5. The father’s support for his family is compulsory whether he is married to the children’s mother or not. He hands over the monetary support to the children’s mother if the children live with their mother; otherwise, the father must be able to take the children under his care.

Minors are automatically entitled for support from both parents.

The most important documents you need to have on hand when filing such claims are the PSA Birth Certificates of your children and your PSA Marriage Certificate if you are married to your children’s father or mother. Make sure that all entries in these documents are correct to avoid any technicalities in your case.

Cenomar After Annulment

Bonjour!  Mabuhay!

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding CENOMAR (or Certificate of No Marriage or Certificate of Singleness) is:  What appears on the CENOMAR if the owner has had his previous marriage annulled?

Let us find out.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a CENOMAR is a certificate issued by the NSO stating that a person HAS NOT contracted any marriage.  It is also referred to as Certificate of No Record of Marriage or Certificate of Singleness.

Ang taong hindi pa nakasal kahit kalian ay mabibigyan ng CENOMAR at doon makikita na sya nga ay single pa.  Ito ang proof na hindi pa sya nakasal.  Para sa mga nakasal na, ang details ng kanilang kasal ay makikita din sa kanilang CENOMAR – katunayan na hindi na sila “single”.

Hindi naman kasama ang CENOMAR sa mga documentary requirements ng pagkuha ng marriage license o sa pagpapakasal.  However, meron nang mga ilang LCR offices na nanghihingi ng kopya nito bago ma-process ang application for marriage license ng mga gustong magpakasal; ganun din ang mga parish kung saan balak magpakasal ng mga applicant.

According to www.verifiedph.com, kung annulled ang previous marriage, ang lalabas sa CENOMAR later on would be the details of his previous marriage (including the name of the spouse and the date of marriage).  Kung annulled na ang nasabing kasal, magkakaroon din ng annotation sa kopya ng CENOMAR pertaining to the annulment.

Ang hindi mangyayari ay ang makakuha pang muli ang taong ito ng malinis na CENOMAR na magsasabing hindi pa sya nakasal.

If you have a previous marriage and have gotten it annulled and are now planning on settling down with a different person, mabuting mag request ka na ng kopya ng CENOMAR mo six months before your planned wedding.  Pwede kang mag order online through www.nsohelpline.com or call (02) 737-1111 and have a copy delivered to you.  Kahit hindi ito required, mas mabuting sigurado ka na tama at accurate ang mga details and annotations na nakalagay sa iyong CENOMAR.  Do not wait until the last minute to fix any oversights or have the CENOMAR updated.

I hope these information helped.  Sharing is caring!

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