Marriage is an important event that marks the beginning of a new chapter in life for couples. In the Philippines, getting married is not just a religious or romantic ceremony but also a legal process that requires couples to follow certain procedures.
Understanding these procedures is crucial to ensure that the marriage is legally valid and recognized by the government. In this blog, we will discuss the legal procedures for getting married in the Philippines, including obtaining a marriage license, the waiting period, the wedding ceremony, and the registration of the marriage.
Obtaining a marriage license
Before couples can tie the knot in the Philippines, they must first obtain a marriage license from the local civil registrar. The couple needs to appear in person and bring the following documents:
Original copies of their birth certificates
Valid identification cards
Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) The couple should also be prepared to pay a fee for the marriage license.
The process of obtaining a marriage license involves filling out an application form, submitting the required documents, and attending a pre-marriage counseling or seminar. Once the application is processed, the couple will receive their marriage license, which is valid for 120 days.
Legal Age to Get Married in the Philippines
In the Philippines, the legal age to get married is 18 years old. This is in accordance with the Family Code of the Philippines, which states that a person must be of legal age to enter into a valid marriage.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. The law allows individuals who are 18 years old but below 21 years old to get married with the consent of their parents or legal guardians. The consent must be given in writing and must be obtained prior to the marriage ceremony.
Meanwhile, individuals who are 21 years old and above do not need to seek the consent of their parents or legal guardians to get married. They are considered of legal age and can enter into a valid marriage without any restrictions.
It is important to note that getting married before reaching the legal age or without the proper consent can result in a voidable marriage. This means that the marriage can be annulled by either party, or by their legal representatives, within a certain period of time.
Furthermore, marrying a minor who is below 18 years old, even with the consent of their parents or legal guardians, is considered a criminal offense in the Philippines. The law prohibits child marriage and imposes penalties on those who violate the law.
After obtaining the marriage license, there is a mandatory 10-day waiting period before the wedding ceremony can take place. During this time, the local civil registrar will post a notice of the upcoming marriage in a public place, inviting anyone who has a legal objection to the union to come forward. The waiting period is meant to allow sufficient time for any objections to be raised and addressed.
Once the 10-day waiting period has elapsed, the couple can schedule their wedding with the civil registrar or judge who will solemnize the marriage. The ceremony can take place in the civil registrar's office or in a location of the couple's choice, as long as it is within the jurisdiction of the registrar or judge. The couple needs to have two witnesses present during the ceremony who will also sign the marriage certificate.
Registering the marriage
After the wedding ceremony, the marriage certificate will be signed by the couple, witnesses, and the solemnizing officer. The couple must then register their marriage with the local civil registrar within 30 days from the date of the wedding ceremony. The couple should bring the original copy of the marriage certificate and pay the necessary registration fee. Failure to register the marriage within the required timeframe may result in penalties and difficulties in obtaining legal documents in the future.
Additional requirements and procedures for foreigners
If either of the couple is a foreigner, there may be additional requirements and procedures to follow. Foreigners need to obtain a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage from their respective embassies or consulates in the Philippines. They may also need to undergo additional steps, such as translation of documents or obtaining clearance from their home country's embassy.
Getting married is a significant event that requires careful planning and preparation. It is important for couples to understand the legal procedures for getting married in the Philippines to ensure that their marriage is legally valid and recognized by the government. By obtaining a marriage license, observing the waiting period, having a solemnizing officer, and registering the marriage, couples can make their union official and enjoy the rights and benefits of a legally recognized marriage. For foreigners, seeking legal advice or consulting with the Philippine embassy or consulate can help navigate the additional requirements and procedures.
Source: Pinoy Attorney