Essential and Formal Requisites of Marriage

Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by the Family Code.

The Family Code specifies the essential and formal requisites of marriage. The essential requisites (Article 2, Family Code) are:

  • 2. Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. 

The formal requisites of marriage (Article 3, Family Code) are:

  • 3. A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age. 

The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio [see Grounds for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage]. A defect in any of the essential requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable. [Article 4, Family Code]

P&L Law

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