- June 30, 2009
- Posted by: Atty. James Biron
- Category: Civil, Persons and Family Relations
Stories of some celebrities or prominent personalities obtaining annulment of marriage are increasingly becoming more common. This trend is observable not only among famous persons but also among ordinary couples.
The increasing incident of annulment should not however lead you to believe that getting this decree from the court is an easy task. On the contrary, obtaining annulment from one’s spouse is not an easy move. Before resorting to this action, you must first contemplate of the consequences, propriety and procedure of getting an annulment.
The following discussion will try to help you understand more about this legal remedy under Philippine law.
What is Annulment of Marriage?
Annulment of marriage is a decree from the Court wherein a marriage is terminated for reasons indicated in Article 45 of the Family Code. Unlike a declaration of nullity of marriage, in annulment, the marriage is considered valid until terminated by a Court decree.
What are these grounds for annulment?
Article 45 of the Family Code lists down the reasons or grounds for the annulment of marriage. I will paraphrase these grounds provided by law to make it understandable to everyone who reads this. The reasons are:
- The person asking for annulment is 18-21 years old, the marriage was celebrated without the consent of parent, guardian or person with substitute parental authority, unless after reaching the age of 21 the parties lived together as husband and wife.
- Either party was of unsound mind, unless that person after coming to reason freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.
- Consent of either party was obtained through fraud, unless after learning of such fraud, cohabited with the other as husband and wife.
- Consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having stopped, that party cohabited with the other as husband and wife.
- Physical incapacity of either party in consummating the marriage and the incapacity continues and appears to be incurable.
- Either party was afflicted with STD found to be serious and appears to be incurable.
What circumstances constitute fraud as referred to under Number 3 of Article 45?
Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud as mentioned under Number 3 of Article 45:
- Non-disclosure of previous conviction by final judgment by the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude.
- Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of marriage she was pregnant by a man other than her husband.
- Concealment of STD, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of marriage.
- Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of marriage.
What if my husband misrepresented to me that he is of good character, but he is actually immoral, can I obtain an annulment decree?
No. Misrepresentation or deceit as to character shall not be considered as “fraud” that would give you a ground to seek annulment.
I married my husband because he told me that he is a millionaire, he owns several cars and that he is a CEO of a large multinational firm, but the truth is that he doesn’t have money nor cars and doesn’t have a job, can I obtain an annulment for these?
No. Misrepresentation or deceit as to rank or fortune is also not deemed as “fraud” that will give you ground for the annulment of marriage.
What if my wife told me that she’s a virgin but it turns out that she had past sexual encounters with several men, can I get an annulment?
Again, the answer is no. Misrepresentation as to chastity is not a ground to obtain annulment.