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-lawyers to all cases of annulment proceedings. But legally speaking, annulment cases are only those petitions with grounds falling under Article 45 of the Family Code. The other process is a Petition to declare absolute nullity of marriage or simply a petition for nullity of marriage which can be found under Article 35 (Absence of Formal and Essential Requisites of Marriage), Article 36 (Psychological Incapacity) Article 37 (Incestuous Marriages) and Article 38 (Void by reason of Public Policy) of the Family Code. Q. What is Annulment of Marriage? GTALAW: Annulment of Marriage is a Court process in order to annul the marital union between a husband and wife. Annulment of marriage presupposes that the marriage was valid from the beginning and remains valid until annulled by the Court. Q. What are the grounds for annulment? Is there a time limit for this? GTALAW: Marriages can be annulled by the court on the following grounds: 1. Either party was eighteen (18) years of age but below twenty-one (21), and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party. You can only file the Petition WITHIN five (5) years AFTER reaching the age of twenty-one. But you cannot anymore file the Petition if you have freely cohabited with each other as husband and wife after you reach the age of twenty-one. Your parent/s or guardian can also file the Petition anytime before you reach the age of twenty-one. 2. Either party was of unsound mind at the time of marriage. You may file the Petition ANYTIME BEFORE the death of your husband or wife. But for instance, you freely cohabited with each after he/she came to reason, under this circumstance, you are already precluded by law from filing the Petition. 3. The consent of either party was obtained by fraud. You can 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. Sounds tricky? 4. 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. However, you are already barred from filing the Petition if you have freely cohabited with your husband or wife knowing that the force or intimidation had already ceased.
5. Either party was a sexual 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 (5) years AFTER marriage. 6. 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 (5) years after marriage. Q. What are the kinds of fraud which constitute the ground for annulment? GTALAW: The kinds of fraud that will give ground for annulment are as follows: 1. Non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude; 2. Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband; 3. Concealment of sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or 4. Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage. Q. My wife fooled me into marrying her. Prior to our marriage, she told me that she is a doctor and no sexual experience After our marriage, I found out the truth that she is not what she claims to be. Can I file a Petition for annulment on the ground of fraud? GTALAW: We truly understand your feelings but misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity do not constitute fraud as ground for annulment. Perhaps, you can explore the possibility to declare your marriage void on other grounds such as the psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. Q. Where can I file the Petition for Annulment? GTALAW: You can only file the Petition for Annulment in the place of your residence or the place of residence of your husband or wife. Q. I would like to file the Petition in Cebu but I do not have residence there yet. My husband is not also living there. But I will be accepting a job as call center manager in Cebu a month from now. Can I file the Petition in Cebu? GTALAW: Yes, you can file the Petition in Cebu but you have to establish residence in Cebu for a period of at least six (6) months prior to the filing of the Petition. This can be arranged because you will be relocating there for your new job assignment.
LESSON II: DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE A petition to declare the marriage void presupposes that the marriage was void or invalid from the beginning. Legally, it can be said that the marriage did not even exist. But there are so many questions about this issue like, do you need to file the Petition if your marriage did not even exist from the beginning? The answers that you have been looking for can be found below. Q. What are the grounds to declare the marriage void? GTALAW: The grounds to declare the marriage void are as follows: 1. Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians; 2. 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; 3. Those solemnized without license unless exempted by law. 4. Those bigamous or polygamous marriages. 5. Those contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other; 6. Assuming that you caused the annulment of your first marriage. However, you get married immediately without waiting for issuance of the Final Decree of Annulment. Your second marriage can also be voided by the Court. 7. 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. 8. Incestuous Marriages (between ascendants and descendants; between brothers and sisters whether full or half blood). 9. Marriages between relatives: a. between collateral blood relatives, whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree; b. between step-parents and step-children; c. between parents-in-law and children-in-law;
d. between the adopting parent and the adopted child; e. between the surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child; f. between the surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter; g. between an adopted child and a legitimate child of the adopter; h. between adopted children of the same adopter; i. between parties where one, with the intention to marry the other, killed the other person’s spouse, or his or her own spouse. Q. I just found out that my husband was married before and I have obtained a marriage contract from the NSO to prove this. It was also confirmed when I confronted my husband about this. Do I still have to file a Petition? Can I also file a criminal case against my husband? Can his exwife file a criminal case against me? What is my defense, if any? GTALAW: Although your marriage was void from beginning, the law still requires you to obtain a declaration of absolute nullity of your marriage by filing a petition in court. Yes, you can also file a criminal case for Bigamy against your husband. Yes, his ex-wife may file a criminal case for bigamy against you and your husband. But your defense is lack or absence of knowledge regarding his prior marriage or absence of criminal intent. Q. What happens if I will get married without having my first marriage declared void? GTALAW: Your second marriage will be invalid for being bigamous. The sad thing is, you will be facing another criminal case for bigamy in so far as your second marriage is concerned. Q. Is there a time limit for me to file a Petition to declare the marriage void? GTALAW: The action to declare the marriage void shall not prescribe. Meaning, you can file the petition anytime during your lifetime. Q. My lawyer told me that my second marriage was void from the beginning. I totally disagreed because the Court has already issued a
Decision declaring my first marriage void from the beginning. I also showed him the Court Decision and an Entry of Judgment from the same Court. But my lawyer still insists that my second marriage was void because I failed to obtain a Final Decree of Annulment from the Court? Is my lawyer correct? GTALAW: Yes, your lawyer is correct. It appears to us that you have not completed the process before you can validly contract a second marriage. You should have brought the Court Decision and Entry of Judgment for recording at the Local Civil Registrar where your first marriage was recorded. After the recording, you should have gone back to the Court to show proof that the Court documents were already recorded in the Local Civil Registrar. The Court will then issue a Final Decree of Annulment. Since you failed to follow this process, your second marriage is void. LESSON III: ISSUES ABOUT MARRIAGE LICENSE Q. My girlfriend and I are planning to get married this June. But we have been living together as husband and wife for almost six (6) years now. Both of us are still single. I have heard that we do not need to apply for a marriage license. Is this correct? GTALAW: Yes, you are correct. No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. But you and your girlfriend are required to execute an affidavit stating the fact of your situation and submit it to the local civil registrar. Q. I already had a falling out with my husband. Our marriage contract so states that we were issued a marriage license. I know for a fact that we did not apply for a marriage license. I also verified the marriage license number at the Local Civil Registrar of Manila if it was issued to us. But the local civil registrar of Manila told me that there is no such thing. Can I file Petition to declare my marriage void on this ground alone? GTALAW: Yes, lack or absence of a marriage license is ground to declare the marriage void. You can request the Local Civil Registrar of Manila for the issuance of a Certification that you have not been issued a marriage license. You will need this document in Court as your evidence. LESSON IV: ISSUES ABOUT PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY Article 36 of the Family Code states that “A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.” This means that the husband or the wife is psychologically incapable of complying with the essential marital obligations, which will render the marriage void from the beginning. It is important that this incapacity was already present during the
celebration of marriage. Q. I have been hearing about the term psychological incapacity. Please explain to me what is “psychological incapacity” as a ground to declare the marriage void? GTALAW: " Simply put, psychological incapacity" is a serious psychological disorder, but not necessarily insanity, that causes a spouse or both spouses to be truly incapable of complying with the essential marital obligations. This psychological condition must already exist at the time the marriage is celebrated. Q. What are these essential marital obligations? GTALAW: These are the obligations of the husband and wife (1) to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support; (2) to procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage; (3) to jointly support the family (Art. 70), for the spouses are joint administrators in the partnership; and (4) not to commit acts which will bring danger, dishonor or injury to each other or to the family (Art. 72), for the safety and security of the family at all times is a primordial duty of the spouses Q. Can you tell me in simple terms what are the manifestations of psychological incapacity? GTALAW: The following are some of the manifestations of psychological incapacity or narcissistic, anti-social personality disorder, to name a few: 1. By the refusal of one spouse to live, dwell and cohabit with the other after marriage, without any fault at all from the aggrieved spouse. 2. By the deliberate refusal to give support to the other spouse, or their common children 3. When marriage is unbearable due to the compulsive gambling, alcoholism, drug addiction or violent tantrums and jealousy leading to physical abuse towards the other and of the children of the respondent spouse Q. My wife has a serious sexual libido or promiscuity problem. To my knowledge, she had slept with three men other than me during our marriage. I have almost killed a guy because of her sexual escapades. But despite this, I still accepted her due to my love and desire to keep the marriage intact. But it came to a point that I cannot take her philandering anymore. Please help me file a Petition to annul our marriage preferably due to her own psychological incapacity. GTALAW: We truly understand and sympathize with your feelings regarding your situation. However, sexual promiscuity or sexual infidelity
of the spouse is not an example of psychological incapacity contemplated by law. The Supreme Court has recently decided a case about this issue (Please see decision Dedel vs. CA January 29, 2005). We suggest that you submit yourself for psychological examination. Based on the information that you will supply to the Psychologist, there may be some other grounds that can be used to declare your marriage void. LESSON V: COURT PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE TO PROVE PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY March 15, 2003 is the date of effectivity of the New Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages promulgated by the Supreme Court. Thereafter, we wrote an article simplifying this Rule for easy understanding to laymen (Please step-by-step procedure here). We received numerous feedback from our web audience that the article was very useful and informative to them. But education is a continuing process, so is our passion and commitment to translate the law in layman’s term. Q. Do I need a psychological report before I could file a petition for annulment? GTALAW: No. Generally, a psychological report is not required before you could file the petition to declare your marriage void. It is also specified under the New Rule that an expert opinion is not required to be alleged in the Petition. Q. But does your Firm require your clients to submit to a psychological evaluation before filing the Petition? GTALAW: Yes. The psychological report is the very foundation of your petition. It is like going to battle fully prepared. In this case, it would be easier for us to allege the manifestations of psychological incapacities because these facts are already stated in the psychological Report. Q. If I am the one filing the Petition, do I still need to take a psychological test? GTALAW: Yes, you have to take the test because the psychological report is the very foundation of your Petition. In the psychological test, our resident psychologist will determine the psychological incapacities of your husband or even your own incapacities. We usually recommend that you take the test prior to the filing of the Petition. Q. I am planning to file an annulment case on the ground of the psychological incapacity of my husband. The lawyer that I have contacted over there told me that I can already receive the decision after five (5) to eight (8) months. But I don’t remember him mentioning about psychological report. Do I have reason to be suspicious?
GTALAW: Every lawyer has its own style in handling the case. We are not at liberty to comment about it. But for your information, the Supreme Court has already set guidelines in proving a case for a petition for nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity. We would like our web audience to be informed about these guidelines which are as follows: 1. The burden of proof to show nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff and any doubt must be resolved in favor of the existence of marriage and against its nullity. 2. The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be: a. medically or clinically identified; b. alleged in the complaint; c. sufficiently proven by experts; and d. clearly explained in the decision 3. Incapacity must be proven to be existing at “the time of the celebration” of the marriage, although the manifestation need not be perceivable at such time. 4. Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable, although the incurability may be relative only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily absolute against everyone of the same sex. Furthermore, the incapacity must be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations, not to those not related to marriage like the exercise of profession or employment in a job. 5. Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage. 6. The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as Articles 220, 221, and 225 of the same code in regards to parents and their children. Such noncompliance must also be stated in the petition, proven by evidence, and included in the text of the decision. 7. Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be given great respect by our courts. 8. The trial court must order the fiscal and the Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall be handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a certification, which will be quoted in the decision, briefly stating therein his reasons for his agreement or opposition, as the case may be, to the petition. The Solicitor General, along with the prosecuting attorney, shall submit to the court such certification within fifteen (15) days from the date the case is deemed
submitted for resolution of the court. Obviously, an annulment case cannot be concluded in the five (5) to eight (8) months and without the psychological report if Courts will follow the guidelines. Q. I was informed that my annulment case would take longer if the Solicitor General’s Office will appeal the RTC Court decision to the Court of Appeals. How true is this? GTALAW: Yes, your annulment case would take longer than what is expected. The good news is, appeal by the Solicitor General to the Court of Appeals is not anymore mandatory under the New Rule. But sometimes, the Solicitor General would make an Appeal to the Court of Appeals if it feels that the proceedings in the RTC Court was patently erroneous. We would like to take this opportunity to express our opinion that an annulment case is not a walk in the park. We already heard so many nightmare stories about Petitions being denied by the Court of Appeals. We would like to tell litigants to concentrate on strengthening their cases rather than entertaining any idea of approaching the prosecutors or judges to expedite the process of their annulment. Q. How long does it take to get my marriage annulled? GTALAW: For uncontested petitions, the estimated processing time of the annulment petition is one year and six months to two years depending on the availability of witnesses and the court’s trial dates. The case would take longer if the Petition is contested – meaning the other spouse is interposing an opposition. Custody of children and property issues are also known factors that cause delay. There are also factors outside of our control that cause delay like unexpected postponements of trial due to sickness of thejudge or the prosecutor; retirement of the judge or postponements due to inclement weather. Q. Am I required to appear in every Court hearing? GTALAW: No, you are not. As petitioner, you are only required to appear during the pre-trial conference and during your scheduled testimony in Court. Q. How many witnesses do we need to present in Court in order to prove my case? GTALAW: We need to present you as our principal witness, the psychologist/psychiatrist as expert witness to prove the psychological incapacity; one or two more witnesses who have personal knowledge of your marital relations and who can affirm your story. Q. My husband and I are planning to file the petition jointly. Will this help expedite my case? GTALAW: Your case will be dismissed by the Court. The New Rule says that the
petition can only be filed solely by the husband or the wife. Besides, this is a clear evidence of “collusion” oragreement of the spouses to annul their marriage, which is a ground to dismiss the petition. Q. The public prosecutor summoned me to appear for investigation regarding the annulment case which I filed earlier? What is this investigation all about? Can I just send my lawyer instead? GTALAW: This investigation is usually conducted by the prosecutor to find out if there was an agreement or “collusion” between the spouses to annul their marriage. This happens especially in uncontested petitions when the respondent spouse did not submit his/her Answer to the petition despite receipt of the Court Summons. If you are in the country, I suggest that you attend the investigation together with your lawyer. During our early years of practicing Family Law, we have had an experience that the prosecutor submitted a Certification of the Presence of Collusion between the parties because our client, the petitioner, failed to attend in the investigation. The Certification was only withdrawn by the public prosecutor when our client appeared. However, prosecutors are very considerate if you can give a valid excuse for not attending the investigation. LESSON VI: SOLUTIONS FOR PETITIONERS WORKING OVERSEAS For a start, we suggest that you read our article regarding the step-by-step procedure for annulment of marriage. We are sure you will find this very useful and informative. Please see the article here. Q. I am planning to file an annulment case but I would like to know if my marriage was recorded. How will I do this? GTALAW: You can check with the Local Civil Registrar of the place where where your marriage was solemnized. You can also go directly to the NSO at East Avenue, Quezon City. You can also request for a copy of your marriage contract on-line through NSO website here. Q. Can I file the Petition for Annulment of Marriage even if I am working or residing overseas? GTALAW: Yes. The New Rule allows a Petitioner who is currently residing overseas to file the Petition in the Philippines. Q. If this is so, how do I file the Petition? GTALAW: As your lawyer in the Philippines, we will send you a copy of the Petition by e-mail. You can download the Petition in word format and print copies and sign it afterwards. After signing the Petition, you have to have this notarized and authenticated at the nearest Philippine Embassy in your area. After the Petition has
been authenticated, send it back to us preferably by courier for filing with the court. Q. Where do we file the Petition? GTALAW: The petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where you or your spouse has been residing for at least six (6) months prior to the date of filing of the Petition, or in the case of a non-resident respondent-spouse, where he/she may be found in the Philippines. But you still have the option to file it at the place of your residence. Q. What if my husband is outside the country or cannot be found in the Philippines. How do we go about it? GTALAW: Your Petition needs to be published in the newspaper of general circulation once a week for three consecutives weeks. This is necessary so that the Court can acquire jurisdiction over the person of your husband and the petition can proceed even in his absence. Q. Do I need to come home to attend the trial? GTALAW: Yes, you have to come home to attend the trial especially during the pre-trial conference. Your Petition will be dismissed if you fail to attend the pre-trial conference. However, your non-appearance during pre-trial conference will be excused if you can give a valid reason like sickness. Q. What are the stages of the trial where my presence in Court is necessary? GTALAW: Your presence in court is absolutely necessary during pre-trial conference and during the time when you have to give your oral testimony. So it appears that you have to appear in Court at least twice. Q. It is very difficult for me to leave my work, not to mention that it is also too expensive to come home just to attend the hearing on my Petition. Is there a way for me not to attend the trial? GTALAW: None. You have to attend the trial. But we can try to schedule your testimony immediately after the pre-trial conference. This will minimize your travel expenses because you only have to come to the Philippines at least once. Q. If I am the one filing the Petition, do I still need to take a psychological test? GTALAW: Yes, you have to take the test because the psychological report is the very foundation of your Petition. In the psychological test, our resident psychologist will determine the psychological incapacities of your husband or as the case may be, your psychological incapacities. We usually recommend that you take the test prior to the filing of the Petition.
Q. Do I need to come home just to take the psychological test? GTALAW: No.You need not come home to take the test. For purpose of filing the Petition, our resident psychologist will take your psychological testing on-line or through the internet. You will undergo a confirmatory test when you are already here. Q. Is there a guarantee that my marriage will be annulled if I file the Petition? GTALAW: No, there is no guarantee. The success of your Petition will always depend on the strength of evidence that we will present in Court. Q. How do I track down the status of my case once it is already filed? GTALAW: Our Firm has an on-line client extranet.We shall create an on-line database of your case once you become a client of our Firm. You can track down the status of your case at our secured extranet anytime, anywhere using your username and password. You can also download filed copies of your Petition and other court documents in our database. Q. Are there any other concerns that I have to consider? GTALAW: You have to further consider the custody and support of your children and separation of your absolute community properties, if any. Q. Can I file a divorce case here in the U.S.? GTALAW: Yes, you can but it will not be valid here in the Philippines. Our laws do not recognize foreign divorce instituted by Filipino citizens. You still have to file an annulment case before Philippine courts to annul your marriage. Q. I am an American citizen. I have an existing marriage with a Filipina in the Philippines. I wanted to end the marriage already. Do I need to file a Petition for Annulment before Philippine Courts? GTALAW: No need to file the case. You can file a Divorce in the U.S. instead. The Divorce decree will also be recognized in the Philippines allowing your Filipina wife to re-marry. The pertinent law is Article 26 of the Family Code. LESSON VII: ISSUES AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF ANNULMENT DECISION Q. Am I allowed to get married immediately after issuance of the Court Decision on my annulment case? GTALAW: Not too fast. The Law says that you have to wait for the issuance of the Decree of Annulment. Otherwise, your second married is also invalid.
Q. The Court has already issued a Finality of Judgment on my Annulment case. Apparently, the Solicitor General did not file an Appeal to the Court of Appeals anymore. Can I get married already? How do I get the Decree of Annulment? GTALAW: Not yet. The New Rule says that you have to register the Entry of Judgment in the Local Civil Registrar of the place where your marriage was solemnized and in the Local Civil Registrar of the Place where the RTC Court which issued the Entry of Judgment is located. If you can show proof to the RTC Court the that registration of the Entry of Judgment in the Local Civil Registrar has been done, it will issue you a Decree of Annulment. Q. My lawyer told me that before I can get married again, I also need to show proof to the RTC Court that our common properties mentioned in the Decision have been transferred in the name of our children. Is this true? GTALAW: Yes, your lawyer is correct. The law says that partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and the delivery of the children's presumptive legitimes shall be recorded in the appropriate civil registry and registries of property. Otherwise, your second marriage is also void. Q. What are the effects of the annulment of my marriage in so far as our common properties, inheritance, and children are concerned? GTALAW: The effects are as follows: 1. Children conceived or born before the issuance of the Entry of Judgment shall be considered legitimate. 2. The spouse who contracted the marriage in bad faith, his or her share of the net profits of the community property or conjugal partnership property shall be forfeited in favor: a. of the common children; or b. if there are none, the children of the guilty spouse by a previous marriage; c. in default of children, the innocent spouse; 3. The innocent spouse may revoke the designation of the other spouse who acted in bad faith as beneficiary in any insurance policy, even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable; and 3. The spouse who contracted the subsequent marriage in bad faith shall be disqualified to inherit from the innocent spouse.
LESSON VIII: ABROAD
Q. I am a former Filipino citizen. I got married, also to a Filipino Citizen, in a church wedding in Manila on April 09, 1995. I migrated to the United States sometime in October 1996. I became a naturalized American citizen in 2004. I divorced my Filipina wife after I became a U.S. citizen. Do I still need to file a Petition for Annulment of Marriage before Philippine Courts? GTALAW: No. There is no need to file the Petition. The Divorce that you obtained in America was valid and recognized in Philippine jurisdiction. This is so because you are no longer a Filipino citizen when the Divorce Decree was issued. This issue was already settled by the Supreme Court in LLORENTE versus Court of Appeals G.R. No. 124371. November 23, 2000. This will also entitle your ex-wife to marry again. Q. I am a former Filipino citizen married to a Filipino citizen. I have recently obtained a Decree of Absolute Divorce of my marriage in the Philippines from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago Illinois. Do I still need to file an Annulment Petition in the Philippines? GTALAW: No. There is no need for you to file another Petition for Annulment in the Philippines. The Decree of Absolute Divorce can be recognized in the Philippines because you are no longer a Filipino citizen when you obtained the Decree from the Circuit Court in Cook County in Chicago, Illinois. Please see case of LLORENTE versus Court of Appeals G.R. No. 124371. November 23, 2000. Q. Recently, I went to the local Civil Registrar in Quezon City to record in my Marriage Contract, the Decree of Absolute Divorce which I obtained from Baltimore County Circuit Court in the United States. I told them that I am no longer a Filipino citizen when I obtained the Decree of Absolute Divorce. But the Local Civil Registrar refused to record my Divorce without a Court Order from the Philippine Courts. What should I do? GTALAW: The Local Civil Registrar correctly refused to annotate your Divorce Decree in your marriage Contract. You have to file a Petition for the Recognition of a Foreign Judgment of Divorce at the Regional Trial Court. You will need an experienced lawyer to do this because there are intricate legal procedures involved in this process. Q: What if my ex-wife, who is a Filipina, was the one who a obtained a Divorce before American Courts. Is the Divorce valid? Is she entitled to remarry under Philippine Law? GTALAW: No. The Divorce obtained by your Filipina wife is not valid. She is not entitled to remarry because the Divorce which was obtained by her before American Courts is not recognized under Philippine Law. As a Filipino citizen, the Family Code of the Philippines should be followed on how her marriage will be dissolved.
Q: My husband is a legal permanent resident in California U.S.A. Just recently, he obtained a Divorce in America. Is the Divorce valid under Philippine Law? GTALAW: No. The Divorce is not valid under Philippine Law. Your husband is still a Filipino citizen even though he has a legal permanent status in the U.S. As a Filipino citizen, the Family Code of the Philippines should be followed on how your marriage will be dissolved.
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