How Many Years Before a Marriage becomes Void in the Philippines?

There are a number of articles in this Forum discussing the legal reality that a marriage, no matter how may years the spouses are apart or separated, remains valid under the laws of the Philippines. The questions, however, keep pouring in. After how many years of separation is a marriage annulled? If married but separated for 10 years, is the marriage void? Does the marriage become invalid after 7 years of separation? Can I remarry if my husband abandoned us?

How Many Years Before Marriage Becomes Void in the Philippines

A marriage, as soon as the spouses sign the marriage contract during the wedding, becomes effective and remains valid. Marriage has no expiration date, which is probably the reason why there was a proposed law, called the Marriage Renewal Bill, imposing a ten-year effectivity for marriage contracts. In other words, under the proposed law, a marriage expires after 10 years, unless the spouses renew their vows. The proposal was shot down in Congress.

As Philippine laws currently stand, there are only give (5) ways to end a marriage:

  • 1. Death of either spouses. Incidentally, the crime of killing a spouse is called parricide (same designation for killing one’s father, mother, child, ascendant, or descendants), punishable by reclusion perpetua to death.
  • 4. A court declaration of presumptive death of a spouse. The declaration of presumptive death under the Civil Code requires the filing of the proper petition in court. [See Declaration of Presumptive Death]

Separation of the spouses, whether de facto separation or legal separation, does not affect the marital bond (see Can a Legally Separated Person Remarry in the Philippines). Abandonment does not nullify the marriage (see Can Someone Remarry without Going to Court due to Absence or Separation). Non-payment of support and physical violence against the spouse do not render the marriage void. Divorce in the Philippines is not yet allowed.


4 thoughts on “How Many Years Before a Marriage becomes Void in the Philippines?

  1. Sean

    If a marriage was solemnized by a Pastor who at the time had an expired License as a Pastor which means they are not legally authorized to solemnize any marriages, does this make the marriage nulled from the beginning?

  2. Shiela

    Good day sir, I have a question about the foregoing annulment of my partner it has been denied the last year at the RTC. We met a year after he separated from his wife while the annulment was on going then I got pregnant a year after we’ve been together so now we live together with our child born out of wedlock for 3 years still out of no luck his marriage hasn’t been nulled and waiting on the court of appeals. I am worried that his wife will find out about us and she might file a case against us. They actually been married for 6 years until the husband filed the annulment last 2016 and up to now. They’ve been separated already for almost 5 years now. What shall we do in this case? How are we going to fight the case if the offended spouse will pursue us?

  3. Geraldine

    Good day! I’ve been separated for almost 5 years no but not legally. My ex-husband tried to rape my two sisters 6 years ago and probably the reason why i left him. He’s living with his new gf with his 2 year old baby girl but he didn’t let the baby use his surname in afraid of me. Now, i am applying on a public school and i think i am pregnant of my boyfriend. Is it a ground for teaching ? Is there a tendency that i might not be accepted?


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