Venue of Petitions for Annulment or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage

One of the recurring issues in this forum, perhaps primarily because of the apparent increase in interest of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in annulment, is the proper venue of petitions for annulment or declaration of nullity. To address this issue, let’s consider the following provisions of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages

Venue of Petitions for Annulment and Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in the Philippines

Sec. 4. Venue. – The petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing, or in the case of a non-resident respondent, where he may be found in the Philippines, at the election of the petitioner.

Sec. 5. Contents and form of petition. – xxx

If the petitioner is in a foreign country, the verification and certification against forum shopping shall be authenticated by the duly authorized officer of the Philippine embassy or legation, consul general, consul or vice-consul or consular agent in said country.

[See also: Residence: Guidelines to Validate Compliance with Jurisdictional Requirement (Annulment, Declaration of Nullity, Legal Separation)]

Residence connotes “actual residence” as distinguished from “legal residence or domicile.” It is the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode that signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In other words, the possible venues for filing the petition for annulment or declaration of nullity are the following, at the option of the petitioner:

  • 1. The province or city where the PETITIONER has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing.
  • 2. The province or city where the RESPONDENT has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing.
  • 3. In the case of a non-resident RESPONDENT, the province or city where he may be found in the Philippines.

Now, here’s the fun part — since this is a forum and discussions are most welcome in order to dissect points of law, let’s tackle the venue in the case of a Filipino staying abroad, even if on a non-permanent basis. Would that Filipino be considered as a non-resident, and, if so, is he/she left with the sole option of filing the petition for annulment or declaration of nullity at the province or city where the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing? Let’s complicate matters — what if the spouses have long been separated and each has no idea as to the actual residence of his/her spouse? Where, then, should the OFW file the petition? Let’s hear what students of law (and I use this term loosely to refer to law students and lawyers) have to say.


24 thoughts on “Venue of Petitions for Annulment or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage

  1. AvatarCastle

    Dear Atty;

    I have sent you an email before asking for your contact details or email address.

    I want to file an annulment and I need a lawyer.

    Please reply, i need your assistance.

    Thank you


    hi i want to ask what i can do so that the husband of my cousin be punished in UAE.his husband has affair to the secretary of his boss who is a Filipina also.Can my cousin ask the employer of her husband to send back or unemploy his husband and his GF there?

  3. Avatarmariarobles

    Hello Atty.

    I live here in Europe and my non-filipino husband filed for nullity of marriage in the Philippines. We never had any communication after our marriage. We are separated for 6 years and he has his own family now. We don’t have any child nor properties. He is the petitioner and I am the respondent. The ground is lack of marriage license because the marriage license number we have he said were not in our name. I want to give his freedom and also of course we want our liberty…

    My question is… I live in France, what will I do? I cannot come to Philippines just for this, I am too busy for my work. Should I bring the Summon to the Philippine Embassy of France and have it signed to the Notary? Or I just sign it personally and send it back to the Philippines? I want our marriage to end in black and white without any hassles on my side afterward because I am also planning to get married later with my french boyfriend.

    Your fast response will help alot. I really need your advice. Thank you so much and God Bless!

  4. Avatarmarys

    Dear mr lawyer,
    My concern is regarding my cousins problem,
    Shes like 37 now and shes living in japan for like 10 yrs now.
    She was married to her filipino bf 18 yrs ago, and after a year found out that the guy was already married to someone else, And also she found out that the guy used a false name when he married her. it was my cousins 1st marriage and the guys second.. My cosuin went to japan and eventually found a japanese bf and they got married, she got all the necessary docs from the phil to be married in japan..And got married in phil too.. They got 2 kids and stayed together for 15 yrs, bt unfortunately they divorced.. Few yrs later she fell in love to an american guy and they are planning to get married now.. But to her surprise when she requested a cenomar from phil. the cenomar says she was still married to the filipino guy.. She was so shocked bcos for so long she thougt the marriage wasnt registered and it was void and null.
    Mr attorney what do u think she should do now? Why is it that her marriage to the japanese guy was even permitted in the first place..she is really confused now. I hope u can give us an advice.
    Thank u so much!

  5. Avatarshygirl

    Hi po i got married in 1998 and just found out in 2007 that in my BC,i am illigitimate and my father was not registered as my father and only my mother has signed the acknowledgement. When I tried to take the LET exam, I was not allowed till i declared myself single bearing my mother’s surname. My father has been dead for years before the discovery, and I was not registered as his daughter in the church I allegedly baptized only my siblings.So I changed all my documents from married to single to be able to take the exam, in accordance to my BC and had passed. I am now seperated (not legal) for 2 and half years, can I file for nullity of marriage under the ground of mistaken identity? If ever, what are the steps? how much will it cost? Pls help me po. Thanks and God bless.

  6. Avatarkitikiti

    Dear atty,

    I got married 2010, a month after my civil wedding I came to work here in KSA. I have been working here for almost three years now just to be informed that my ex wife is living in with another man. I met someone and we are planning to settle down. I know that processing of annulment back home is hard and it takes a lot of patience and time before I could have the results. Is there a link you could give me where I could read all the informations I need for the annulment of my marriage?. Thank you so much.
    God bless and more power to your page.

  7. Avatarmrs.boss

    Hi, I am married with 2 kids 5 and 3 yrs old. Nag abroad husband ko 2010, within 4 months nambabae na sya sa isang indonesian. Within the time na nasa malaysia siya patuloy ang panloloko nya. Ginawan nya ko ng issue about money kaya daw nagawa nya mambabae. Until I found out may nangyayari sa kanila. Ang masakit pa nagawa pa nya isama sa family tour nila ng mga kapatid nya ang babae. And nung umuwi ng indonesia babae patuloy pa din communication nila at nagpapadala pa pera ang husband ko. Ang babae may 2 anak din sa ibang babae. Umuwi sya this year doon lang na reveal lahat dahil nabuking ko sya. Ngayon nagtatago at di na nagbibigay sustento sa mga anak nya. Pati pamilya nya tinatago sya sa amin ng mga bata. Gusto ko lang magkausap kami para sa mga anak ko. Ngayon parang iniinsulto pa ko ng pamilya nya gawa ng pagkakahiwalay namin. Naging mabuti ako asawa at ina. Dahil kahit na anong pahirap gawin nila di ako bumitiw sa husband ko. Ngayon lang po ako nagising na dapat na idaan sa legal na paraan. Tanong ko po, pwede po ba ko mag file ng case sa kanila ng kabit nya kahit nasa indonesia na babae, ang mga email lang po nila evidence ko at ang pag amin sa akin ng asawa ko. Ano po ba maganda ko gawin? Kasi gusto ko po kasuhan ang babae.

  8. AvatarNumeriano


    I would like to establish my petition in this forum because I’ve been searching and searching how to avail nullity of marriage. Just last week I found a website of GTALAW office and sent my request of petition form but did not answered. I tried to make follow-up yesterday, Thursday but until today friday 20th day of November 2015 still no response.

    My question is.., Can I go directly to Philippine Embassy to seek for help from the Consule General regarding to my petition?

    Thank You for prompt reply.


    Numeriano Dolino
    El-Khayyat Red Bricks, Bahra, Jeddah, KSA

  9. AvatarWilfredo G.

    I am from Lipa City, Batangas; I was married last June 2000 and we got separated December of the same year. After that we still meet for 2 years and later on I got no news from her whatsoever up until now. I found out from NSO that she got married before we got married and consulted an attorney and advised me to file for Certificate of Nullity of Marriage for 80 thousand pesos. Since I dont have that such amount of money, I am asking if you could help me.


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