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Bigamy and Annulment of Marriage

What happens if you get married without annulation of your previous marriage?

In the Philippines, getting married without obtaining an annulment or declaration of nullity for a previous marriage is considered illegal and can have legal consequences.

The Family Code of the Philippines explicitly states that a marriage celebrated without the necessary legal requirements is void from the beginning.

If an individual enters into a subsequent marriage without obtaining the proper annulment or declaration of nullity for a previous marriage, both marriages are considered void. This means that legally, neither marriage is recognized by the law, and the parties involved are considered as if they were never married.

Consequences of entering into a subsequent marriage without annulment can include:

  1. Bigamy: Bigamy is a criminal offense in the Philippines, punishable under the Revised Penal Code. If a person knowingly contracts a second marriage without obtaining an annulment of their first marriage, they can be held liable for bigamy. The penalties for bigamy include imprisonment and fines.

  2. Invalidity of Property Rights: Since the subsequent marriage is considered void, any property acquired during the second marriage may not have legal protection or be subject to division in case of separation or divorce. This can result in complications regarding property rights, inheritance, and financial matters.

  3. Issues with Children: In cases where children are born from a subsequent marriage that is considered void, their legitimacy may be questioned. This can lead to difficulties in establishing parental rights, custody, and support.

It is important to note that the annulment process in the Philippines can be complex, time-consuming, and costly. It requires filing a petition in court and proving specific grounds for annulment, such as lack of consent, psychological incapacity, or fraud, among others.

What is the annulment process?

The case for nullity of marriage must be filed with the Family Court of the province or city where you or your spouse resided at least six months prior. The courts are quite strict about this residency requirement so that failing to file the case at the proper venue would result in the dismissal of the case.

In preparing for the case, there are basic steps you can take.

First among them is gathering the evidence that will be needed.

These include obtaining an Advisory on Marriages from the Philippine Statistics Authority. (This is the equivalent for married persons of the Certificate of No Marriage of single persons.)

You should, of course, obtain a certified copy of the marriage certificates of the people involved from the PSA and the civil registrars.

Other evidence, such as photographs, letters, and related documents proving the identities and relationships of the spouses should also be gathered.

All these will need to be presented in court together with witnesses to testify to them and the circumstances of the marriages.

If the court rules favorably, its decision will declare the nullity of the marriage. The spouses will be officially unmarried and, by law, will have never been married.

Their conjugal property will be divided between them, and matters such as custody of the children will have been resolved in the same decision.

If the court rules for the nullity of the marriage and the decision becomes final, this will have to be registered in the Philippine civil registry system. The registration of the final court decree is itself a requirement for the validity of the subsequent marriage.

Source: Ziggurat Real Estate

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