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]

Atty.Fred

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

  1. Avatarmelanie24

    hi i need some advice about my fiancee situation.my fiancee is norwegian and he is married to pilipina before in philippines but not in norway but their get divorced in norway,is there anyproblems if we getting married here in philippines about his divorced certificate?? please help us…

    thank you

    Reply
  2. Avatarappl3

    I need some help and advice regarding my annulment case. Defendant neglected his child, not give any support and custody of the child since we are separated, and according to my lawyer before i can filled a case to defendant abandonment of the child.
    I was filled my annulment since 2006 and it will take so long and delayed because the defendant filled contest. And after proper hearing in the court last year i received the decision the court granting my petition and declared my marriage null and void.
    My husband appeal in the court and filled a motion of reconsideration for the evidence last year that i born a baby with other man.
    I have already a lawyer handling my case but at this time i never heard my lawyer.
    Can i filled to defendant abandonment of the child?
    How long it will takes appealing in the court this motion of reconsideration?
    Can defendant filled me adultery?

    Reply
  3. Avataralexandra

    Hello Atty,

    I would like to ask if there is possibility of filing annulment against my wife whom I haven’t seen for the last 7years. I am a Filipino and a US immigrant. I came across this website of yours and I would like to take this opportunity to get an advice from you. I married my wife at the time that I was seeking for a wife and did not even know her personally. I just married her because I just need a wife. I only knew her for 1 week then we get married without her family’s knowledge (we went home separately to our own homes.) After a week I left for US again. When I tried to contact my wife she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore without any explanation. Then later I found out that she wants to back out from the marriage because she couldn’t do it. She said she’s sorry but she couldn’t be with someone she doesn’t love, she thought she could do it but she couldn’t. She said she was depressed with her life because the love of her life left her and for 3 years she couldnt work and doesnt know what to do with her life. She thought she could marry me for green card only to run away from her miseries but couldn’t do it anyway. Now I’m thinking to make my our lives right because I’m not getting any younger anymore that’s why I need your advice if there is possibility of annulment in this case.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Avatarjoytoy12

    i need some advice..I would like to ask if there is possibility of filling annulment against my wife,we are separated for almost 7 years now,we only talk in regards with our son,in the 2nd day of our separation,she went to our barangay hall to file a complaint against me and she wants full custody of our son,i agreed on her demands just to settle and finish the issue,which i still regret til now..i dont have any rights to be with my son alone and i just have visiting rights and if i want to bring my son out,she has to be with us,

    I decided to leave my my for the reason of disrespecting me and my mother,my mom lives with us that time,she most of a time humiliates me in front of my relatives and friends and the last time that we had an argument,i have dicided to leave her.that is the time she had a fight with my mom and she told my mother to leave our house who has no other place to go too. which made me really upset.i have told her before in the early times of our relationship that never humiliate and disrespect me specially my mother but shes always doing it,i have tried reconciling with her after 2 or 3 years but we cant agree on things that we wanted.we can no longer reconcile,also i dont feel any love for her..can i use these reasons to file for annulment against my wife?

    im working abroad for almost 2 years now and i found someone to spend the rest of my life with,can you help me and give me a advise,,

    thank you

    Reply
  5. Avatarjoytoy12

    i need some advice..I would like to ask if there is possibility of filling annulment against my wife,we are separated for almost 7 years now,we only talk in regards with our son,in the 2nd day of our separation,she went to our barangay hall to file a complaint against me and she wants full custody of our son,i agreed on her demands just to settle and finish the issue,which i still regret til now..i dont have any rights to be with my son alone and i just have visiting rights and if i want to bring my son out,she has to be with us,

    I decided to leave my wife for the reason of disrespecting me and my mother,my mom lives with us that time,she most of a time humiliates me in front of my relatives and friends and the last time that we had an argument,i have dicided to leave her.that is the time she had a fight with my mom and she told my mother to leave our house who has no other place to go too. which made me really upset.i have told her before in the early times of our relationship that never humiliate and disrespect me specially my mother but shes always doing it,i have tried reconciling with her after 2 or 3 years but we cant agree on things that we wanted.we can no longer reconcile,also i dont feel any love for her..can i use these reasons to file for annulment against my wife?

    im working abroad for almost 2 years now and i found someone to spend the rest of my life with,can you help me and give me a advise,,

    thank you

    Reply
  6. Avatarprettygurll2000

    i need an advice..
    we are separated for 6years with out any communication and abandon the children but he is working outside the Philippine which is Saudi.

    1. can p.o.e.a help me esp not supporting the children?
    2.he fraud his status in p.o.e.a can i appeal case and at the same time the management/gove’t?
    3. i caught him that he married right now but where not yet annulled, what are the the thing i gonna do? do i need to go to p.o.e.a to report so that he gonna be pending going back in Riyadh?

    please help me give an advice what to do. because he is here in the Philippine ‘vacation’ and i want an action, its either i have aright to pending his document not to goin back unless he clear all his mistake..

    Reply
  7. Avatarche1234

    Hi attorneys..
    I just need a help with my situation. I am previously a Filipina but I was naturalized as an American Citizen year 2007. So basically I am now an American citizen. My ex-husband(an American) and I were married in the Philippines 9 years back. Due to personal differences I decided to file a divorce And yah we are already divorce one year now. Now I am planning to file an annulment in the Philippines since I am already divorce here in US. Will I have the capacity to remarry again? cause I have a boyfriend who is a Filipino I wanna sponsor him on a Fiancee Visa..I wanna marry him. please help us with our case we really love each other. Thanks alot.

    Reply
  8. Avatarzikelie

    hi sir i need help… i got married last september 12, 1999 i was 16 yrs old that time for some reason the family of my husband tampered my birth certificate to make me 18yrs.. and now were 6 yrs off cause he is a drug addict and he got TULO thats the reason i decided to get separated with him.. atty. pls.. i need your advice

    Reply
  9. AvatarRosas

    atty,

    greetings!!! my spouse work in UAE since 2009, And now I found out that she’s not “MINE” anymore and she is with ‘someone’ else. I already accepted that we won’t be together again due to my health condition. TO make things legal, can we use this as a ‘ground’ for legal separation?

    just some advise from atty? thanks and God bless…

    ROSAS (“,)

    Reply
  10. Avatarahrmieshann

    My bf and her ex-wife were married in Philippines and USA both US Citizens and both born in RP but rise in US, they got divorce 10years ago coz his ex-wife has another guy(already remarried @ this time).I just wanna ask is theirs marriage is still valid here in the Philippines, were planning to get married is that possible?? Is my Bf need to file an annulment or he just going to file a petition for recognition of a foreign divorce decree. Pls. Help me

    Reply

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