Category Archives: Family Law

Summary on Recognition of Foreign Divorce Decree (Including a Divorce Decree Secured by the Filipino Spouse) in the Philippines

“Is my divorce valid in the Philippines?” In reply to this common query, we usually point to the previous articles in this Forum or politely state that we can only give legal information, as legal advice is for clients only. However, given the changing jurisprudence on the matter, we find it helpful to summarize the evolution of the rules regarding the recognition of a foreign divorce decree in the Philippines. Continue reading

Allowing Illegitimate Children to Use the Surname of Father (Administrative Order No. 1, Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9255)

[Prior to the enactment of Republic Act No. 9255, an illegitimate child, or a child born outside of a valid wedlock, may ONLY use the surname of the mother and, regardless of any circumstances, is prohibited from using the father’s surname. Before the amendment, Article 176 of the Family Code provides that: “Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code.” As the law now stands, there is an OPTION to use the surname of the mother or, if the required documents are submitted, the surname of the father. The details are found in the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Administrative Order No. 1; full text below.] Continue reading

The “Relaxation” of Rules in Declaration of Nullity of Marriage Based on Psychological Incapacity

“SC relaxes rules on psychological incapacity as ground to annul marriages,” says the news title in a popular newspaper. While the news article does not mention the title of the case, it’s clearly abundant that it refers to the 2015 case of Valerio E. Kalaw vs. Ma. Elena Fernandez (G.R. No. 166357, 14 January 2015). Did the Supreme Court, in the case of Kalaw, “relax” the rules on petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage based on psychological incapacity? Let’s discuss this question and, at the same time, highlight ten matters that may be of interest to those seeking answers.   Continue reading

Valerio E. Kalaw vs. Ma. Elena Fernandez (G.R. No. 166357, 14 January 2015)

[This is the full text of the Supreme Court’s Resolution in the case of Valerio E. Kalaw vs. Ma. Elena Fernandez, G.R. No. 166357, 14 January 2015, with Justice Bersamin as ponente. This is reproduced for academic reasons, for those who seek a more thorough understanding of the case. See also: The “Relaxation” of Rules in Declaration of Nullity of Marriage Based on Psychological Incapacity.] Continue reading

Rule on Violence Against Women and their Children (A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC)


A.M. No. 04-10-11-SC



Acting on the report of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court submitting for this Court’s consideration and approval the Proposed Rule on Violence Against Women and Their Children, the Court Resolved to APPROVE the same. Continue reading

Prescription of Actions for Annulment in the Philippines (and Who may File Action)

A petition for annulment may be denied for a number of reasons. We’ve already discussed certain defenses, one of which is the expiration of the prescriptive period within which the petition should have been filed. A prescriptive period simply means that the petition based on a particular ground can no longer be filed beyond a given period. Of course, an action based on certain grounds, such as psychological incapacity, minority or other grounds for declaration of nullity, does not prescribe (see difference between annulment and declaration of nullity). Here are the prescriptive periods for each ground, as well as the person who is entitled to file the petition, as provided under Article 47 of the Family Code: Continue reading

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.

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