Annulment in the Philippines: Questions and Answers (Part 5): Overseas Filipinos Edition

We already have four installments on this topic (refer to Part I, Part II, Part III , Part IV), as well as related posts on annulment, legal separation, declaration of nullity and divorce. We’re trying to cope with the numerous questions raised, but with our schedules, it’s impractical to answer the questions one by one. This is the reason why we summarize the questions so that similar ones would be answered in one go. Again, browse through the existing related articles to see if your questions are covered by existing discussions.

Annulment, Divorce and Legal Separation Q&A 5 (Overseas Filipinos Edition)

In this series, we’ll centralize the questions relevant to Overseas Filipinos and OFWs. This will be a continuing discussion:

Divorce is allowed in the country where I’m located. Can I get a divorce here and would this be recognized in the Philippines?

Some countries allow the filing of divorce by Filipinos within their jurisdiction. The problem, however, is a divorce obtained by a Filipino abroad is not recognized in the Philippines (but the rule is different if the other spouse is a foreigner). It’s a useless exercise as far as Philippine law is concerned.

If a divorce secured by my foreign spouse is recognized in the Philippines, what should I do?

You need to file a petition for recognition of a foreign divorce decree with the appropriate court in the Philippines. Ask your lawyer to prepare the petition for you. See Judicial Recognition of Foreign Divorce Decree. Other related questions on foreign divorce decrees are discussed in that article.

Would it make any difference if I marry abroad (where divorce is allowed) so I could get a divorce later on in that place?

No. Filipinos are covered by the prohibition against divorce, regardless of wherever they get married (and regardless where they get a decree of divorce). This is based on the “nationality principle” which basically provides that Philippine laws affecting their status follow them wherever they may be.

Would it make any difference if I later become a citizen of the other country? For instance, I was married in the Philippines and secured a divorce in the United States. Both of us are Filipinos and my spouse voluntarily signed the divorce papers. After the divorce, I married another guy, a former Filipino who had acquired U.S. citizenship. I am still a Filipino citizen. Is my previous marriage still valid in the Phils.?

Yes, the first marriage is still considered valid in the Philippines because divorce between Filipinos, wherever secured and even if with the consent of both spouses, is not recognized under Philippine laws. In other words, as far as the Philippines is concerned, the second marriage is null and void.

What if I’m naturalized in another country and subsequently secures a divorce?

Naturalization in a foreign country is one of the ways to lose Filipino citizenship. A Filipino who loses his citizenship through naturalization  may secure a divorce decree abroad and have the valid divorce decree recognized in the Philippines through the proper process in court. [See also Summary on Recognition of Foreign Divorce Decree in the Philippines.]

If divorce is not allowed in the Philippines, does this mean that spouses have no remedy in getting out of a problematic marriage?

While divorce is against public policy and is prohibited by law, the Family Code provides for certain grounds to annul a marriage or declare it as null and void.

Why not allow divorce in the Philippines?

Good question. But this is properly addressed to your representatives in the House and your Senators. As members of the legislative department, they have the power to make laws and change existing laws.

Can I file the petition for annulment or declaration of nullity even if I’m abroad?

Yes. You could prepare and file the petition for annulment or declaration of nullity even if you’re abroad. You could sign the document abroad and have it authenticated at the nearest Philippine embassy. You could then transmit the documents for filing here in the Philippines. Your lawyer should be able to guide you every step of the way, including the preparation and filing of the petition. [See also Filing an Annulment Case even While Abroad]


81 thoughts on “Annulment in the Philippines: Questions and Answers (Part 5): Overseas Filipinos Edition

  1. AvatarMrsP

    My husband told me that he has a colleague that has filed an annulment against the wife without her knowledge and been granted. When the legal wife checked her marriage cert on NSO, their marriage has been nulled and void. Is that possible?

    Can my husband do the same with me?

    Please advise. Thanks.

  2. Avatarkroephek

    Just a question… I’m a Dutch citizen and got married in Philippines last january 2004. My question is i registered my marriage here in Holland but unlucky me our relationship/marriage didnt went well, so i filled for divorece here in Holland and its granted, we are divorced here, and we dont see or talk to each other anymore for almost 7 years how will i get annulment from Philippines, does my divorce here in Holland can be applied in I still need to pay for annulment? pls kindly answer my question.. thank you..


    1. AvatarAnnie

      In my own opinion, since you are a dutch citizen and if ur country allows such divorce, you need not file an annulment but only a judicial recognition of that divorce.

  3. Avatarfilipina25

    I was married in Philippines and its been 6yrs now that me and my spouse have not seen each other since he left to Europe. What is the best advice to have my marriage annull or void in order to marry a US citizen?

  4. Avatarkylemich28

    This is the story of my mother, when she was 16 years old in August 1969 she was married. and after 3 years after having 2 child they separated their ways. That time my mother met my father and they lived as husband and wife without marriage, I was born and also my my brother, in 1980 and 1983 respectively. In the year August 2000 when I was 20 years old my father decided to marry my mother because my mother dont have any contact with his previous husband.

    without our knowledge in the year November 2002 my father married another girl. and now my father died of lung cancer. He is a commission officer of a government service and also his 2nd wife is a commission officer.

    My question is, do my mother have the right to claim my fathers benefits? Is she the legal wife…and also do we have any rights , my brother and me,,,Im 30 yrs old and married and my brother is 26 single.

    Thank you very much! hope you can help us.

  5. Avatareden

    Good day!

    This is not regarding with the annulment..I wanted to post some issue regarding my situation but cannot find the post page…My story goes like this…

    My officemate known for lending some money but as representative only which means she finds borrowers or financers for borrowers…It happened that she approached me referring these borrowers she mentioned who wants to borrow an amount of money…these three person i really did not personally talked to…just officemate told me that they want to borrow i gave my officemate the money in favor of these three borrowers…but later on i found out that borrower a who wants to borrow 20000 pesos really did not borrow that full amount but only 6000 pesos and another borrower, borrower B borrowed 20000 pesos again as declared to me by my officemate really did not intend to borrow 20000 but instead she only borrowed 10000 pesos and the borrower c in which my officemate told me to borrow 35000 pesos really that not borrow that amount. so the remaining amount of that two borrowers and the third borrower was in the hands of my officemate used for whatever purpose she used it. I only find this out when i personally approached these borrowers to make sure if they really borrowed the declared amount. and there is another 70000 i gave to my officemate in favor of the borrower d in which personality i did not know and the address…i assume that this borrower d did not really exist…I felt so deceived by my officemate..i dunno what to do. i wanted to sue her but where to start what to sue…can you help me? i need some legal assistance on this matter i hope even just an advice will be of great help…

    you can email me at

    i will really appreciate it..thanks

  6. Avatarsamanthafeb8

    please hear me out, atty.. Before i met my husband i was so unhappy- i had been to a bad relationship. and, when i met my husband- we had a beautiful relationship . he told me life with him would be different. After years of being on steady, we decided to get married. I was pregnant with our eldest son- he was still loving then, until a situation happened. He met a friend that told him that he knew my past boyfriend. Of course, i did not tell him a lie about my previous relationship. In fact, he told me with him- life would be better. After meeting this friend of his, everything changed. He changed- he hits me, yells at me, insults me- “I should never have married you” and tells me he would never spend another year with me. Then, he would threaten to leave me and our son. I got busy with a small business and this helped me and my sons ‘daily needs. My husband does not give me a single cent and tells me that i should find a job abroad so i can a bigger income. As years passed, our situation grew worse. He spends most of his time with friends and spend so much of his money with friends, too. But, when i get sick he would say- “what is this drama all about”.. but i love my children so much that i continued to live with him even when everyday was like living in hell. I was deeply frustrated with our marriage and so many times i planned on ending my life. Now, i found a good job at the government- earned a stable income enough to raise my kids.. still, he would insult me of my funny income- “you are going nowhere with that job”, he would say. Then, many times, with our very rocky relationship, i tried so hard to understand his mood swings. I believe he is incapable of making a good and sound decision. He thinks deeply of what others would think or say.. he solicits much idea from friends and relatives and for some years now- from a lawyer friend. This lawyer had been a great influence in him- from choosing friends down to where he hangs out- caffes and other silly places. Once, the idea of separation popped from his mouth. He told me- if seek for a legal separation would you sign the documents? Then, he would ask me- will you nt make a scene if you find me with another girl? Of course, i felt bad inside.. i was so betrayed. I did not know how on earth i would react.. what would happen to me and my kids? Will i be able to raise them well? My son is still young- who will be his papa? Once, this lawyer told me” are you aware that you own half of what your husband owns?” and i said “nope” believe me, i have never asked anything (money or clothes, jewelry) from him because i said it was enough that he provides for our family. But then, just last year he told me.. his relative has finally got his marriage annulled. He even asked how much have you spent for it? I have never told my parents of my situation- i am afraid that if they knew they would never be able to understand me.. I was so devastated that he has these plans and i do not know if i deserved any of these.. still, he yells at me, continues to nag me, hit me and even my children too.. I pitied my kids because i said i would take anything just so our family would be intact. But, i am in the midst of anger and disbelief.. its like- i am the last person who wants to be tied on to this marriage. I prayed to God for peace and guidance, humility and hope.. but now, he has moved to another house near to where we are living. And, i was stold that he has brought a woman there.. i was really shocked.. what should i do? I am desperate.. i want to run away.. i am humiliated in this manner and my kids are aware of these, i told him, send me the annulment papers and i will sign it. Tell me, which is more advantageous for my children- a legal separation or an annulment? Which would make him provide for my children’s needs and education? I am not looking at the idea of marrying again, so, which is better for me? I don’t want to get back with him, i cant take his sudden mood swings, unpredictable behaviour and perverted ideas.. please help me.. pls reply to m email..

  7. AvatarMaita

    I need help..
    I am staying abroad for less than 10 yrs. now. I am married but i have already a boyfried here in abroad and we are leaving together for less that 6 yrs. I told my husband about my situation and am asking for annullment. Is this possible that my ground is under physcological incapacitated because i just got married coz i am pregnant then after I left them after 2 yrs to work abroad.

    Now i met my partners here in abroad and i dont like be unfair with my husband. And we talk about it he have any question about it. I need to move on my life..pls. help me what to do….

  8. Avatartin

    i need some partner were separated to his wife for 12 yrs.
    His wife got pregnant to other man after 5 years of their separation. Is it possible that he can file for annulment? and how about if he will find that the child of her wife from other man is under by his name, can he file a legal action against it. please help me to solve this problem.

    thank you.

  9. Avatardxzr

    I just want to be enlightened with the issue on “child support”. Since my husband is working abroad,and the marriage is not working anymore, he threatens me that if ever we pursue going separate ways, I’d be left alone rearing our 2 kids. Which makes it difficult for me to decide since I may be that able to raise and provide for them, but I don’t want to sacrifice the quality of living I might be giving them should I decide to stick to the marriage, with their father. Can he do that to us?I mean,does he have a choice not to give any financial support for the kids?If so,can I demand for a monthly allowance?How can I do that?What are the proper ways/processes to ask without begging? Please advise. I really need your response on these queries.Thank you.


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