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. AvatarBiBi

    Dear Sir,
    I have been married for almost 23 yrs. 2009 when my marriage seems falling apart. I want to file an annulment against my husband. year 2000 I found nude picture of men in his computer, when I confronted him about it, he just denied it and told me it’s not for him but for his gay office mate, I believed him. then another time I found a letter he had written for his friend way back in Saudi saying that he misses him so much and he even got emotional when writing the letter for him. I even found out that he kept his picture in his wallet instead of mine..I ignored all of that before even the time that the guy paid him a visit here(we’re working abroad,)2009 when we stop talking to each other.Dec. 2010 I found out AGAIN.. emails in his computer everything were there His past relationships even before we got married and men he met thru internet i have read emails that a wife couldn’t take..He admitted to me that he’s GAY, I told him I want our marriage to be annulled at first he agreed but now he twisted things around to make himself the victim. because I’m into a relationship with someone.
    I have the copy of those letters, is it enough to use for filing an annulment? how much it will cost me to do so
    please I need your advice.
    Thank You and more power!

    Reply
  2. AvatarMedar

    I have credit card problem in dubai, uae. jobless for almost 3 years i cant pay my credit card so i have decided to approach the bank to file a case against me at uae court. no action was taken against me till i left the country for good and manage to exit without any problem. now here comes the debt outsource agent harassing me and keep on calling threatening, and badmouthing me that will file a criminal case against me in phil.court to that effect. i am jobless at this moment. my question is…what are the jurisdiction of phil. court over that matter? I send an email to that debt collection office to furnish me my statement of account duly certified by bank in dubai, but they still insist i have to pay. claiming they will use the documents i signed (in dubai) and that blank cheque i have posted as security cheque at the bank. please help me.thanks

    Reply
  3. Avatarjanicemary

    hi! please help me, this is problem of my sister. she got married two years ago and no kids, at bago palang silang hiwalay ng husband niya. one question lang po, pwede ba siyang humingi ng sustento sa kanyang husband kahit wala silang anak? thank you so much

    Reply
  4. Avatarpinkmom

    Atty. i was separated for 5 yrs now( not legally) we have kids and i got married when i was only 16 to 17 yrs of age.it means that they( his relatives)falsified my birth certificate, and i get pregnant only thats why my parents wanted me to get married, from then on i dint have a choice but to lived with him and had kids.Is this a ground for annulment? what if my ex hubby dint comply on this matter? thanks to you… please send me a message on my email..thanks God bless!

    Reply
  5. Avatarpinkmom

    Atty. i was separated for 5 yrs now( not legally) we have kids and i got married when i was only 16 to 17 yrs of age.it means that they( his relatives)falsified my birth certificate, and i get pregnant only thats why my parents wanted me to get married, from then on i dint have a choice but to lived with him and had kids.I decided to leave him becoz he is into drugs also and alot of bad habits that causes me and my kids into embarassment that lead us of having psychological effects and low self esteem especialy my kids..are this matter enough grounds for annulment? what if my ex hubby dint comply on this matter? thanks to you… please send me a message on my email..thanks God bless!

    Reply
  6. Avatarcecile18

    I asked for an annulment from my husband in the Philippines,I am currently living in Canada as an immigrant. he was here with me but decided to go back in the Philippines. We both want our marriage to be annulled,what should be our grounds for annulment and do I have to show up in the Philippines? And if my husband will be the one to file for annulment and the ground is insanity in his part and not me is it acceptable?
    Hope to hear from you soon, thank you in advance.

    Reply
  7. Avatark.walker

    Hi! Atty,
    I wonder if you could help me with my questions.
    1994 I was married to a guy who forced me by saying he is not going to let me leave the country without marrying him. We have 2 kids and he is a drug addict shabu user until now, so I am afraid when he said he will kill my kids if I don’t marry him before leaving the country. So I did! just to make sure I can scape from him and I endorsed my kids to my parents. Supported the kids financially every month. While working abroad I met my new husband the following year and we are now married for 16 years with 2 children as well!

    Now the question is my first husband is not after me but my mother and my siblings are black mailing me! I am now living in US and has green card. Is there’s a chance my mother and siblings can just create trouble for me while I am abroad? Please let me know as they are really nasty influential people! I have invested a lot in Philippines and end up nothing they took it all and leave my kids without. Please help me answer this question! Thanks a lot in advance!

    Reply
  8. Avatardrizzle

    Atty. Fred

    How much i will pay for the lawyer in filling my annulment or legal separation?

    Can you refer me to one of your lawyers, I’m working abroad i don’t know any lawyers in phil.
    if I’m legally separated can I remarry?

    Thanks for helping me.

    drizzle

    Reply
  9. Avatarangel_jasmine

    Hello Atty. Fred

    Pls. help. We have been GF-BF since 1996 then got married May 2003 and left for US in Sept 2003. We were 22y/o then and acquired my signed parents advice through a fax machine since they were abroad. We do not have any kids. We only got in touch for about a year. I’ve acquired a divorce decree in 2005 (which i think is useless since I wasn’t a US citizen when I got it). Now, he’s living together with another woman with two kids and I have one kid with my partner. No one re-married.

    He said he’s going to file for annulment of our marriage and I agreed to cooperate. The only thing is I can’t do court appearance. I think he’s planning to use psychological incapacity as grounds but I’m afraid it will not prosper.

    Questions:

    1) Can we use the separation and non-communication for almost 9 years as abandonment and grounds for annulment?

    2) Can a fraudulent signed parent advice enough to make our marriage null and void?

    3) Once I naturalize as a US citizen and obtain another divorce decree, do I still need a court appearance to pursue an authentication of the divorce case? How long will the case be? Once it’s proven to be authentic, is our marriage considered annulled?

    4) Do you think there are other grounds on our case?

    5) Can you tell me how much it will cost an annulment case based on psychological incapacity and the length of time it will consume?

    PLEASE HELP. Thanks!

    Reply

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