Chapter 1. Requisites of Marriage
Article 1. 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 this Code. (52a)
Art. 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. (53a)
Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:
(1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;
(2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title; and
(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. (53a, 55a)
Art. 4. The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35 (2).
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. (n)
Art. 5. Any male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38, may contract marriage. (54a)
Art. 6. No prescribed form or religious rite for the solemnization of the marriage is required. It shall be necessary, however, for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife. This declaration shall be contained in the marriage certificate which shall be signed by the contracting parties and their witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer.
In case of a marriage in articulo mortis, when the party at the point of death is unable to sign the marriage certificate, it shall be sufficient for one of the witnesses to the marriage to write the name of said party, which fact shall be attested by the solemnizing officer. (55a)
Art. 7. Marriage may be solemnized by:
(1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction;
(2) Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer’s church or religious sect;
(3) Any ship captain or airplane chief only in the case mentioned in Article 31;
(4) Any military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the absence of the latter, during a military operation, likewise only in the cases mentioned in Article 32;
(5) Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul in the case provided in Article 10. (56a)
Article. 8. The marriage shall be solemnized publicly in the chambers of the judge or in open court, in the church, chapel or temple, or in the office the consul-general, consul or vice-consul, as the case may be, and not elsewhere, except in cases of marriages contracted on the point of death or in remote places in accordance with Article 29 of this Code, or where both of the parties request the solemnizing officer in writing in which case the marriage may be solemnized at a house or place designated by them in a sworn statement to that effect. (57a)
Art. 9. A marriage license shall be issued by the local civil registrar of the city or municipality where either contracting party habitually resides, except in marriages where no license is required in accordance with Chapter 2 of this Title. (58a)
Art. 10. Marriages between Filipino citizens abroad may be solemnized by a consul-general, consul or vice-consul of the Republic of the Philippines. The issuance of the marriage license and the duties of the local civil registrar and of the solemnizing officer with regard to the celebration of marriage shall be performed by said consular official. (75a)
Art. 11. Where a marriage license is required, each of the contracting parties shall file separately a sworn application for such license with the proper local civil registrar which shall specify the following:
(1) Full name of the contracting party;
(2) Place of birth;
(3) Age and date of birth;
(4) Civil status;
(5) If previously married, how, when and where the previous marriage was dissolved or annulled;
(6) Present residence and citizenship;
(7) Degree of relationship of the contracting parties;
(8) Full name, residence and citizenship of the father;
(9) Full name, residence and citizenship of the mother; and
(10) Full name, residence and citizenship of the guardian or person having charge, in case the contracting party has neither father nor mother and is under the age of twenty-one years.
The applicants, their parents or guardians shall not be required to exhibit their residence certificates in any formality in connection with the securing of the marriage license. (59a)
Art. 12. The local civil registrar, upon receiving such application, shall require the presentation of the original birth certificates or, in default thereof, the baptismal certificates of the contracting parties or copies of such documents duly attested by the persons having custody of the originals. These certificates or certified copies of the documents by this Article need not be sworn to and shall be exempt from the documentary stamp tax. The signature and official title of the person issuing the certificate shall be sufficient proof of its authenticity.
If either of the contracting parties is unable to produce his birth or baptismal certificate or a certified copy of either because of the destruction or loss of the original or if it is shown by an affidavit of such party or of any other person that such birth or baptismal certificate has not yet been received though the same has been required of the person having custody thereof at least fifteen days prior to the date of the application, such party may furnish in lieu thereof his current residence certificate or an instrument drawn up and sworn to before the local civil registrar concerned or any public official authorized to administer oaths. Such instrument shall contain the sworn declaration of two witnesses of lawful age, setting forth the full name, residence and citizenship of such contracting party and of his or her parents, if known, and the place and date of birth of such party. The nearest of kin of the contracting parties shall be preferred as witnesses, or, in their default, persons of good reputation in the province or the locality.
The presentation of birth or baptismal certificate shall not be required if the parents of the contracting parties appear personally before the local civil registrar concerned and swear to the correctness of the lawful age of said parties, as stated in the application, or when the local civil registrar shall, by merely looking at the applicants upon their personally appearing before him, be convinced that either or both of them have the required age. (60a)
Art. 13. In case either of the contracting parties has been previously married, the applicant shall be required to furnish, instead of the birth or baptismal certificate required in the last preceding article, the death certificate of the deceased spouse or the judicial decree of the absolute divorce, or the judicial decree of annulment or declaration of nullity of his or her previous marriage.
In case the death certificate cannot be secured, the party shall make an affidavit setting forth this circumstance and his or her actual civil status and the name and date of death of the deceased spouse. (61a)
Art. 14. In case either or both of the contracting parties, not having been emancipated by a previous marriage, are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, they shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding articles, exhibit to the local civil registrar, the consent to their marriage of their father, mother, surviving parent or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them, in the order mentioned. Such consent shall be manifested in writing by the interested party, who personally appears before the proper local civil registrar, or in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official authorized by law to administer oaths. The personal manifestation shall be recorded in both applications for marriage license, and the affidavit, if one is executed instead, shall be attached to said applications. (61a)
Art. 15. Any contracting party between the age of twenty-one and twenty-five shall be obliged to ask their parents or guardian for advice upon the intended marriage. If they do not obtain such advice, or if it be unfavorable, the marriage license shall not be issued till after three months following the completion of the publication of the application therefor. 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. (62a)
Art. 16. In the cases where parental consent or parental advice is needed, the party or parties concerned shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding articles, attach a certificate issued by a priest, imam or minister authorized to solemnize marriage under Article 7 of this Code or a marriage counselor duly accredited by the proper government agency to the effect that the contracting parties have undergone marriage counseling. Failure to attach said certificates of marriage counseling shall suspend the issuance of the marriage license for a period of three months from the completion of the publication of the application. Issuance of the marriage license within the prohibited period shall subject the issuing officer to administrative sanctions but shall not affect the validity of the marriage.
Should only one of the contracting parties need parental consent or parental advice, the other party must be present at the counseling referred to in the preceding paragraph. (n)
Art. 17. The local civil registrar shall prepare a notice which shall contain the full names and residences of the applicants for a marriage license and other data given in the applications. The notice shall be posted for ten consecutive days on a bulletin board outside the office of the local civil registrar located in a conspicuous place within the building and accessible to the general public. This notice shall request all persons having knowledge of any impediment to the marriage to advise the local civil registrar thereof. The marriage license shall be issued after the completion of the period of publication. (63a)
Art. 18. In case of any impediment known to the local civil registrar or brought to his attention, he shall note down the particulars thereof and his findings thereon in the application for marriage license, but shall nonetheless issue said license after the completion of the period of publication, unless ordered otherwise by a competent court at his own instance or that of any interest party. No filing fee shall be charged for the petition nor a corresponding bond required for the issuances of the order. (64a)
Art. 19. The local civil registrar shall require the payment of the fees prescribed by law or regulations before the issuance of the marriage license. No other sum shall be collected in the nature of a fee or tax of any kind for the issuance of said license. It shall, however, be issued free of charge to indigent parties, that is those who have no visible means of income or whose income is insufficient for their subsistence a fact established by their affidavit, or by their oath before the local civil registrar. (65a)
Art. 20. The license shall be valid in any part of the Philippines for a period of one hundred twenty days from the date of issue, and shall be deemed automatically canceled at the expiration of the said period if the contracting parties have not made use of it. The expiry date shall be stamped in bold characters on the face of every license issued. (65a)
Art. 21. When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials.
Stateless persons or refugees from other countries shall, in lieu of the certificate of legal capacity herein required, submit an affidavit stating the circumstances showing such capacity to contract marriage. (66a)
Art. 22. The marriage certificate, in which the parties shall declare that they take each other as husband and wife, shall also state:
(1) The full name, sex and age of each contracting party;
(2) Their citizenship, religion and habitual residence;
(3) The date and precise time of the celebration of the marriage;
(4) That the proper marriage license has been issued according to law, except in marriage provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title;
(5) That either or both of the contracting parties have secured the parental consent in appropriate cases;
(6) That either or both of the contracting parties have complied with the legal requirement regarding parental advice in appropriate cases; and
(7) That the parties have entered into marriage settlement, if any, attaching a copy thereof. (67a)
Art. 23. It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to furnish either of the contracting parties the original of the marriage certificate referred to in Article 6 and to send the duplicate and triplicate copies of the certificate not later than fifteen days after the marriage, to the local civil registrar of the place where the marriage was solemnized. Proper receipts shall be issued by the local civil registrar to the solemnizing officer transmitting copies of the marriage certificate. The solemnizing officer shall retain in his file the quadruplicate copy of the marriage certificate, the copy of the marriage certificate, the original of the marriage license and, in proper cases, the affidavit of the contracting party regarding the solemnization of the marriage in place other than those mentioned in Article 8. (68a)
Art. 24. It shall be the duty of the local civil registrar to prepare the documents required by this Title, and to administer oaths to all interested parties without any charge in both cases. The documents and affidavits filed in connection with applications for marriage licenses shall be exempt from documentary stamp tax. (n)
Art. 25. The local civil registrar concerned shall enter all applications for marriage licenses filed with him in a registry book strictly in the order in which the same are received. He shall record in said book the names of the applicants, the date on which the marriage license was issued, and such other data as may be necessary. (n)
Art. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4), (5) and (6), 3637 and 38. (17a)
Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law. (As amended by Executive Order 227)
Chapter 2. Marriages Exempted from License Requirement
Art. 27. In case either or both of the contracting parties are at the point of death, the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license and shall remain valid even if the ailing party subsequently survives. (72a)
Art. 28. If the residence of either party is so located that there is no means of transportation to enable such party to appear personally before the local civil registrar, the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license. (72a)
Art. 29. In the cases provided for in the two preceding articles, the solemnizing officer shall state in an affidavit executed before the local civil registrar or any other person legally authorized to administer oaths that the marriage was performed in articulo mortis or that the residence of either party, specifying the barrio or barangay, is so located that there is no means of transportation to enable such party to appear personally before the local civil registrar and that the officer took the necessary steps to ascertain the ages and relationship of the contracting parties and the absence of legal impediment to the marriage. (72a)
Art. 30. The original of the affidavit required in the last preceding article, together with the legible copy of the marriage contract, shall be sent by the person solemnizing the marriage to the local civil registrar of the municipality where it was performed within the period of thirty days after the performance of the marriage. (75a)
Art. 31. A marriage in articulo mortis between passengers or crew members may also be solemnized by a ship captain or by an airplane pilot not only while the ship is at sea or the plane is in flight, but also during stopovers at ports of call. (74a)
Art. 32. A military commander of a unit, who is a commissioned officer, shall likewise have authority to solemnize marriages in articulo mortis between persons within the zone of military operation, whether members of the armed forces or civilians. (74a)
Art. 33. Marriages among Muslims or among members of the ethnic cultural communities may be performed validly without the necessity of marriage license, provided they are solemnized in accordance with their customs, rites or practices. (78a)
Art. 34. No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties are found no legal impediment to the marriage. (76a)
Chapter 3. Void and Voidable Marriages
Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:
(1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians;
(2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;
(3) Those solemnized without license, except those covered the preceding Chapter;
(4) Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not failing under Article 41;
(5) Those contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other; and
(6) Those subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53.
Art. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization. (As amended by Executive Order 227)
Art. 37. Marriages between the following are incestuous and void from the beginning, whether relationship between the parties be legitimate or illegitimate:
(1) Between ascendants and descendants of any degree; and
(2) Between brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half blood. (81a)
Art. 38. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning for reasons of public policy:
(1) Between collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree;
(2) Between step-parents and step-children;
(3) Between parents-in-law and children-in-law;
(4) Between the adopting parent and the adopted child;
(5) Between the surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child;
(6) Between the surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter;
(7) Between an adopted child and a legitimate child of the adopter;
(8) Between adopted children of the same adopter; and
(9) Between parties where one, with the intention to marry the other, killed that other person’s spouse, or his or her own spouse. (82)
Art. 39. The action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage shall not prescribe. (As amended by Executive Order 227 and Republic Act No. 8533; The phrase “However, in case of marriage celebrated before the effectivity of this Code and falling under Article 36, such action or defense shall prescribe in ten years after this Code shall taken effect” has been deleted by Republic Act No. 8533 [Approved February 23, 1998]).
Art. 40. The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void. (n)
Art. 41. A marriage contracted by any person during subsistence of a previous marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years and the spouse present has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead. In case of disappearance where there is danger of death under the circumstances set forth in the provisions of Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient.
For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse. (83a)
Art. 42. The subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding Article shall be automatically terminated by the recording of the affidavit of reappearance of the absent spouse, unless there is a judgment annulling the previous marriage or declaring it void ab initio.
A sworn statement of the fact and circumstances of reappearance shall be recorded in the civil registry of the residence of the parties to the subsequent marriage at the instance of any interested person, with due notice to the spouses of the subsequent marriage and without prejudice to the fact of reappearance being judicially determined in case such fact is disputed. (n)
Art. 43. The termination of the subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding Article shall produce the following effects:
(1) The children of the subsequent marriage conceived prior to its termination shall be considered legitimate;
(2) The absolute community of property or the conjugal partnership, as the case may be, shall be dissolved and liquidated, but if either spouse contracted said marriage in bad faith, his or her share of the net profits of the community property or conjugal partnership property shall be forfeited in favor of the common children or, if there are none, the children of the guilty spouse by a previous marriage or in default of children, the innocent spouse;
(3) Donations by reason of marriage shall remain valid, except that if the donee contracted the marriage in bad faith, such donations made to said donee are revoked by operation of law;
(4) The innocent spouse may revoke the designation of the other spouse who acted in bad faith as beneficiary in any insurance policy, even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable; and
(5) The spouse who contracted the subsequent marriage in bad faith shall be disqualified to inherit from the innocent spouse by testate and intestate succession. (n)
Art. 44. If both spouses of the subsequent marriage acted in bad faith, said marriage shall be void ab initio and all donations by reason of marriage and testamentary dispositions made by one in favor of the other are revoked by operation of law. (n)
Art. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
(1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;
(2) That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
(3) That 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;
(4) That the 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;
(5) That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or
(6) That either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable. (85a)
Art. 46. Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in Number 3 of the preceding Article:
(1) Non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude;
(2) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband;
(3) Concealment of sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or
(4) Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage.
No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage. (86a)
Art. 47. The action for annulment of marriage must be filed by the following persons and within the periods indicated herein:
(1) For causes mentioned in number 1 of Article 45 by the party whose parent or guardian did not give his or her consent, within five years after attaining the age of twenty-one, or by the parent or guardian or person having legal charge of the minor, at any time before such party has reached the age of twenty-one;
(2) For causes mentioned in number 2 of Article 45, by the same spouse, who had no knowledge of the other’s insanity; or by any relative or guardian or person having legal charge of the insane, at any time before the death of either party, or by the insane spouse during a lucid interval or after regaining sanity;
(3) For causes mentioned in number 3 of Article 45, by the injured party, within five years after the discovery of the fraud;
(4) For causes mentioned in number 4 of Article 45, by the injured party, within five years from the time the force, intimidation or undue influence disappeared or ceased;
(5) For causes mentioned in number 5 and 6 of Article 45, by the injured party, within five years after the marriage. (87a)
Art. 48. In all cases of annulment or declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, the Court shall order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal assigned to it to appear on behalf of the State to take steps to prevent collusion between the parties and to take care that evidence is not fabricated or suppressed.
In the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, no judgment shall be based upon a stipulation of facts or confession of judgment. (88a)
Art. 49. During the pendency of the action and in the absence of adequate provisions in a written agreement between the spouses, the Court shall provide for the support of the spouses and the custody and support of their common children. The Court shall give paramount consideration to the moral and material welfare of said children and their choice of the parent with whom they wish to remain as provided to in Title IX. It shall also provide for appropriate visitation rights of the other parent. (n)
Art. 50. The effects provided for by paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5) of Article 43 and by Article 44 shall also apply in the proper cases to marriages which are declared ab initio or annulled by final judgment under Articles 40 and 45.
The final judgment in such cases shall provide for the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, the custody and support of the common children, and the delivery of third presumptive legitimes, unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings.
All creditors of the spouses as well as of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be notified of the proceedings for liquidation.
In the partition, the conjugal dwelling and the lot on which it is situated, shall be adjudicated in accordance with the provisions of Articles 102 and 129.
Art. 51. In said partition, the value of the presumptive legitimes of all common children, computed as of the date of the final judgment of the trial court, shall be delivered in cash, property or sound securities, unless the parties, by mutual agreement judicially approved, had already provided for such matters.
The children or their guardian or the trustee of their property may ask for the enforcement of the judgment.
The delivery of the presumptive legitimes herein prescribed shall in no way prejudice the ultimate successional rights of the children accruing upon the death of either of both of the parents; but the value of the properties already received under the decree of annulment or absolute nullity shall be considered as advances on their legitime. (n)
Art. 52. The judgment of annulment or of absolute nullity of the marriage, the partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and the delivery of the children’s presumptive legitimes shall be recorded in the appropriate civil registry and registries of property; otherwise, the same shall not affect third persons. (n)
Art. 53. Either of the former spouses may marry again after compliance with the requirements of the immediately preceding Article; otherwise, the subsequent marriage shall be null and void.
Art. 54. Children conceived or born before the judgment of annulment or absolute nullity of the marriage under Article 36 has become final and executory shall be considered legitimate. Children conceived or born of the subsequent marriage under Article 53 shall likewise be legitimate.