Lack of parental consent or parental advice: Effect on validity of marriage

I was 20 years old when I got married, but my parents didn’t know that I was married. Is my marriage valid? A number of discussions, through the comments in various posts, center on the validity of marriage without the knowledge or consent of parents. Let’s have a general discussion on this one.

Can I use “parental consent” and “parental advice” interchangeably? What are the differences?

No, “parental consent” and “parental advice” CANNOT be used interchangeably. Parental consent is required when either or both of the contracting parties are between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21). Parental advice, on the other hand, is required if either or both of the contracting parties is/are between the age of twenty-one (21) and twenty-five (25). The “parental consent” or “parental advice”, as the case may be, is required during the application for a marriage license. Similarities and other differences are discussed below.

What happens if parental consent is required, but not secured or given?

The marriage is voidable, subject to the filing of a petition for annulment. In other words, the marriage is valid until annulled. There are two limitations:

  1. It could be filed only on behalf of the party who is between 18 and 21 at the time of marriage.
  2. The petition could no longer be filed after the concerned party reaches 21 and freely cohabited with the other, and both lived together as husband and wife. The marriage is considered ratified if no petition is timely filed.

Could the parents give their consent to the marriage of their child who is below 18 years old?

The marriage of a person below 18 years of age, even with the consent of the parents, are void ab initio (void from the very beginning). Capacity to marry of both parties is an essential requisite of marriage, the absence of which renders the marriage null and void.

What happens if parental advice is required, but not secured or given?

The validity of the marriage is not affected. If the parties do not obtain such advice, or if it be unfavorable, the marriage license shall not be issued till after three (3) months following the completion of the publication of the application. If the marriage license is issued before the lapse of this period, then the responsible parties shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

How is the parental consent given?

The applicants shall exhibit to the local civil registrar, during the application for a marriage license, the consent to their marriage by their father, mother, surviving parent or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them, in the order mentioned. The consent may be: (1) manifested in writing by the interested party, who personally appears before the proper local civil registrar; or (2) in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official authorized by law to administer oaths.

How is parental advice submitted during the application for marriage license?

A sworn statement by the contracting parties to the effect that such advice has been sought, together with the written advice given, if any, shall be attached to the application for marriage license. Should the parents or guardian refuse to give any advice, this fact shall be stated in the sworn statement.

The local registrar didn’t issue a marriage license for lack of parental consent, but we found someone who could marry us without a license. Our parents later learned of the marriage and gave their consent. Is our marriage valid?

No. A marriage solemnized without a valid marriage license is void from the beginning (unless it falls under the exceptions). It doesn’t matter if the parents gave their consent.


If you can’t find the answers here, please refer to Part I, Part II, Part III or other related posts. You can check the Related Posts at the bottom of each post. You can also use the Search function (also in the right sidebar).

52 thoughts on “Lack of parental consent or parental advice: Effect on validity of marriage

  1. Shira

    Dear Atty,

    I married at 25 while my exhusband is on his 24 when we got into civil marriage. Is our marriage valid if the affixed parental advice is not his biological parents and just asked for his uncle and aunt to sign it since his parents do not agree with our marriage?

    Also we are now separated for 4.5 years without any knowledge of his whereabouts. Can i file an annulment now or is it automatic annulment since both of us never attempted to contact each other ever since?

  2. Ma Mecadesa

    Good day atty, I got marriage at the age 16 years old, January 8 1988 date of our marriage, my husband and i are separated 14years ago, both of as have own family now, can I file void marriage? ‘coz I’m under age that time

  3. Sharina Mae

    I am 23 years old,I’m planning to get married on april or may this year,, I learned that i have to ask my parents for a parent advice, they are both aware on my plan and they are not against with problem now is my father cannot provide me such for he is in abroad and too far from the embassy. what can you suggest for alternative? can my mother provide me advice alone?

  4. Aelah Marie

    hello, what if one of my parents could not attend because she is working abroad. May we be able to proceed our civil wedding?


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