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 (see Grounds for Annulment of Marriage). 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:


This covers anyone who was eighteen (18) or over, but below twenty-one (21) at the time of marriage, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party.

Who may file the actionTime frame
The spouse whose parent or guardian did not give his or her consent.Within five years after attaining the age of twenty one (21).
The parent or guardian or person having legal charge of the minor.At any time before his/her child reaches the age of twenty one (21).


This means either party was of unsound mind, unless such party, after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.

Who may fileTime frame
The sane spouse who had no knowledge of the other’s insanity; by any relative, guardian or person having legal charge of the insane.Any time before the death of either party.
The insane spouse.During a lucid interval or after regaining sanity.


The consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.

Who may fileTime frame
The injured party.Within five (5 )years after the discovery of the fraud.


This covers a marriage where consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.

Who can fileTime frame
The injured party.Within five (5) years from the time of the force, intimidation or undue influence disappeared or ceased.


This is a situation wherein either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable.

Who can fileTime frame
The injured party (the one who is not impotent).Within five (5) years after the marriage.


Either party was afflicted with a sexually transmissible disease (STD) found to be serious and appears to be incurable.

Who can fileTime frame
The injured party.Within five (5) years after the marriage.


Browse through the comments below to check if your questions are similar to that of others. Other common issues are consolidated in Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Costs in seeking an Annulment, and other related posts. You can check the Related Posts at the bottom of each post.

P&L Law

51 thoughts on “Prescription of Actions for Annulment in the Philippines (and Who may File Action)

  1. AvatarGio28

    I am married to my wife for 7yrs now.and im currently resides here in the states, Virginia.she has a daughter which is not mine.we got married on Mar.25,2004 after she gave birth.but her daughter is under her name not my family name..i haven’t seen her for a long period of time because im on and off for work.i dont a stable job.Now things have changed i dont have this feelings anymore for her.i called her and i say i want to file for annulment and we both agree with this situation..i just need to know that do i have to go back to Philippines to file for annulment? or either way i can file annulment here in the U.S? how long is processing? and what are the fees? atty fees? I am hoping to hear some expertly adviced and answers regarding this matter. thank you!

    fr.Alexandria VA.

    1. Avatarpaul

      it must be filed her in the philippines. however if the ground of annulment is fraud (by concealing that she was preganant at the time of your marriage to another man or that the pregnancy is not evident, however if the pregnancy is evident at the time of marriage, it is not actionable since you have the knowledge of such fact) it must be filed within 5 years from discovery. if it is beyond 5 years now from discovery, you loss the opportunity to file annulment case with your wife.

  2. AvatarKay

    HI.I’m married for 12 years. But my marriage wasn’t a successful one and now I want to get annulled with my partner. 3 years ago, I verified the validity of my marriage license in Imus Cavite and found out that the license# written in my marriage certificate has no record on file according to the staff in charge.
    Does this mean that I have a valid ground for annulment of my marriage? If so, could you please give me the steps on how i will file the case and for the child custody, I want to know where they will go after the marriage has been annulled.

    1. AvatarNica

      Absence of formal requisites is VOID AB initio – Marriage License is one of the formal requisites.
      You may file for petition on declaration of nullity, secure from Imus Cavite a certification of no ML record.

  3. Avatarsaf31 married for 7 years ..but my marriage is not succesful also..and now i want to annulled it. we have daughter shes going to be 7 yrs old now she lived with me cos he never want to support our daughter we almost separated fr 4 yrs already…he have a new livein partner and i dont mind about it thats hes life..i want to know if how much its cost fee to annul my marriage?and how long?i talk with some attorney here they said not more than 6 months but its very expensive…and dont know if they a good attorney too so still im looking for an attorney that can help me…tnx i really need your answer

    1. AvatarNica

      Annulment case takes a long time to be processed – you need to have grounds to annul it which can be:
      1. aged 18 – less 21, w/o the parent’s consent
      2. Insanity
      3. Fraud
      4. Vitiated consent (force, intimidation, or undue influence)
      5. Physical incapacity to consummate marriage
      6. STD

      And there are prescription – 5 years from discovery / or when situation ceases.
      There are cases that grounds presented are for legal separation only. It would be better if you do some research as well , to guide you in looking for best actions to take.

  4. Avatarjedai0620

    Good Day Atty.

    tatanong ko lang po kung pde mawalan ng bisa yung marriage namin nung ex ko.. kasi we were 20 that time kaya we decided to make arrangements. kumausap kami ng mga ndi namin kilala na tao to pretend that they were our parents to be present during our civil wed. now, hiwalay na kami and we are living separately. ano po kaya ang pde namin gawin para mapawalang bisa yung contract namin? thanks. i appreciate po kung email nyo po ko directly to thanks..

  5. Avataryoumi

    Dear Attorney,
    I am a filipino who’ve been working abroad for many years, and I was married to a Filipina woman and we got 2kids but because life in abroad is not that easy as we thought. I do my duties as a father, I sustained their needs financially. I became an OFW since 1999, I returned back home year 2001(just vacation).
    That year I got rumors from my neighbors when I was in that they saw my wife having affairs with someone else and I my-self reads many text messages when she forgotten her phone at home. Still I don’t believe my neighborhood as I don’t see the real happenings by my eyes it’s only a text messages. When I returned back abroad I called my housemaid at home to check the situation of my kids as I have deep doubts, but she mentioned first that my wife is having someone else at home and she don’t give attention to our children! I have decided to have separation with her since that time (2002), the year 2003 I went back home to close my relation and affair as her husband.
    My kids are with her now but I am not sure if those are mine because I discovered that before I got married to her she has child from someone else which I never knew before marrying her but I don’t want to go back to her past. I am eight years now separated from her and I am now married to a girl from Europe without kids yet and my new marriage was in Islam and it was in Philippine as well, we both embraced Islam before the marriage.
    Attorney, I applied a family reunification visa to my new wife but I got denied as my previous marriage shows on record. I am confused now as I do not know which of my marriage is valid and how can I be with my new wife. I can’t live without my new loving wife I love her so so much. I really need your opinion and advice attorney, please help us….

    I will be much thankful for your kind and soonest response.


  6. Avatarbewitched

    good day atty,

    I was married Nov.2000 left to work abroad Jan.2001.Unfortunately on may of the same year my hub found another woman when I was away and married her under Islam rite. What must I file?I want to remarry,we both have lives of our own but I want to get married in church.please help. thanks a million

  7. Avatarjeniffer

    Dear Attorney,

    Good day!

    I just want to ask, I have a boyfriend kc whose 5years separated from from his wife. They are already planning to file it in court for legality. The children are all living with the mother, but with the financial assistance of their father, my boyfriend. I am just bothered, is it possible for them to be annulled? Me and my boyfriend are already planning to settle down, the same way with his wife and with her new boyfriend. If possible, how long will it take, and more or less how much will it cost?
    Hope you can help me, I am really bothered because I am single, and I want to our marriage become possible.
    Thank you.


  8. Avatarbelre

    Dear Attorney,

    i am 33 yr old of age, male, was married at my age of 20,in that case i need a parents’ consent for me to be married…that time my father did not attend the wedding in some reason, so we planned to put someone that will act and signs the documents needed in replacement to my father…that was 1991….as of now my wife and i are separated 12 yrs now we have a legal one daughter 13 yrs of age. and she has a baby boy to the other guy,….we both agree to this and no problems on both sides……… my concern is i want to me annulled and she wants also both side will be cooperate as process….now my question is..How much is the cost, and what grounds can we use to proceed the case…and we have a very limited budget…or do you have any advice so that we can proceed? And I am bothered that maybe my wife will ask an amount and saying that the annulment is on process but not…and at the end she will just say its been denied…please advise me for any suggestion ..partialy she is asking me 50k and as she told me the total cost will be 150k..

    Thank you.

  9. AvatarHazel

    Dear Atty,

    I am seeking for a legal advise. I’m married to a jobless husband for 18 years now. He has been in and out of the jail for cases of drugs for 10 years. No support for my kids for 12 years now. He is threatening us verbally. Please help me on how I can start to file annulment case for him, in what grounds?

  10. AvatarAnn

    Dear Atty,


    I am 26 years old, a single mother. I am seeking for advise about the situation of the father of my daughter. He’s married to a Brazilian woman here in the Philippines (civil wedding), unfortunately their marriage was not successful. The woman leave him and live with other man. She has a child with the other man. Unfortunately, the same happened with us he got a child from me.

    Now, they agreed to file for annulment, what are their grounds to proceed? How much it cost? How long will it takes?

    Hope you can help me, Atty., because we also planned to settle down, I love him and he love me, too. We have our daughter already. We want a church wedding someday and have a blessed family.

    Thank you so much, Atty. I am hoping for your legal advises.
    God bless!



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