MYTHS, MISCONCEPTIONS, AND LIES ABOUT ANNULMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES
7 TOP MYTHS ABOUT ANNULMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES:
MYTH NO. 1: The only one who can file a petition for annulment is the one who is not psychologically incapacitated.
THE LAW: The law actually allows either party to file petition, so the person who is deemed to be psychologically incapacitated can likewise file the petition.
MYTH NO. 2: The petition must be filed where the marriage took place or was registered.
THE LAW: The law gives the petitioner the option to file the petition where she or the other party has been residing at least six (6) months before filing the petition.
MYTH NO. 3: If the other party does not sign the Petition, it will not be accepted by the court.
THE LAW: Only one party can sign the petition. If both parties sign the petition, it will be dismissed because of collusion.
MYTH NO. 4: Since the legal ground is termed psychological incapacity, it means that the annulment can be granted only if the other party is insane or of unsound mind.
THE LAW: Psychological incapacity has been given a wide meaning by the courts. It could manifest itself in many forms from failure to support, infidelity, gambling, alcoholism , to actual insanity. The totality of the personality or behavior of the other spouse will be considered by the judge in determining the existence of psychological incapacity.
MYTH NO. 5: An annulment process is filled with drama and the children will be dragged to court crying and kicking as they choose with which parent they would want to stay with.
THE LAW: While this scenario can possibly happen in real life, it happens more in the movies . In the majority of cases, there is no opposition filed anymore because the other party is also no longer interested to continue the marriage especially when the parties have been separated for a long period of time.
MYTH NO. 6: You can file the petition for annulment only if you are in the Philippines. If you are an OFW, you have to go to the Philippines yourself to file the petition.
THE LAW: The petition can be signed before the consulate or embassy nearest to where the petitioner resides. It is then sent back to the Philippines to be filed in court.
MYTH NO. 7: I can already remarry after years of no communication with my spouse.
THE LAW: You need to have your spouse declared by a court to be presumptively dead if you have not seen nor heard from him/her for four (4) years and there are reasons to believe that he/ she is already dead (2 years under exceptional circumstances). You cannot by yourself presume that your spouse is already deceased, and happily run away with your next victim—-or rather, your next partner. Warning though, if your spouse reappears in the flesh (not as a ghost), a subsequent remarriage becomes null and void. Courts traditionally are very skeptical about claims of presumptive death and may require evidence why you believe your spouse is already dead. So while your spouse may already be dead in your heart and soul, the court may very well require something more tangible than your emotional scars.
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