WHAT IS ANNULMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES?
An annulment in the Philippines is one of two ways to end a marriage. The other being a declaration of nullity of marriage. Currently, there is no divorce law in the Philippines except among Muslims or when the husband alone is a Muslim and the marriage was under Muslim rites.
In an annulment, the marriage is valid in the beginning but there is a defect in how the consent to the marriage was obtained ( fraud, lack of parental consent if the parties are between 18 and 21 years of age, one party is of unsound mind) or the other party would not have consented to the marriage had he or she known about something which was discovered after the marriage about the other spouse (impotence or failure to consummate the marriage, or an incurable sexually-transmitted disease).
Living together can cure a voidable marriage. The exceptions are the grounds of impotence and having a sexually transmitted disease.
Children of a voidable marriage are legitimate.
Generally, either spouse may file a petition for annulment within five years from discovery of the ground.
In a declaration of nullity, on the other hand, the marriage is defective from the very start. Examples are being under 18 years of age, lack of a marriage license, and psychological incapacity.
Living together cannot cure a void marriage.
Generally, children of a void marriage are illegitimate. Since the marriage is void from the very start, filing a petition for declaration of nullity does not prescribe and can be filed anytime.
ANNULMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES: COMPARING VOID AND VOIDABLE MARRIAGES
|No validity from the time of performance (No effect or void from the very beginning-void ab initio)
|Valid until annulled
|Can be ratified
|Cannot be ratified
|PROPERTY RELATIONS BETWEEN SPOUSES
|Co-ownership only even if there was a marriage settlement.
|Absolute Community of Property or any other regime based on the marriage settlement
|STATUS OF CHILDREN
|Illegitimate as a general rule except when based either on the ground of psychological incapacity (Art. 36 of the Family Code) or subsequent marriages which are void for failure to register the presumptive legitimes of children; the judgment of nullity; or the partition and distribution of the assets of the marriage
|Legitimate as a rule when conceived or born before the decree of annulment
|HOW VALIDITY OF MARRIAGE IS DISPUTED
|Directly or indirectly but a judgment of nullity is required. The validity of the marriage can even be attacked after the death of either or both parties.
|Can be disputed only directly by filing a petition for annulment. The validity of the marriage cannot be raised after the death of either or both of the parties.
|WHO MAY CHALLENGE THE VALIDITY OF THE MARRIAGE
|Parties or non-parties to the marriage
|Only one of the spouses can attack the validity of the marriage
|PRESCRIPTIBILITY OF THE ACTION TO QUESTION THE VALIDITY OF THE MARRIAGE
|No prescription. Can be filed anytime.