Is there Divorce in the Philippines?
As a general rule, Divorce is not allowed in the Philippines. The only exception is when there is a Judicial Recognition of a Foreign Divorce–when a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by either the alien spouse or the Filipino spouse.
Is declaring the nullity of a marriage different from annulment?
Yes. A declaration of nullity of marriage applies to marriages which are void. Void Marriages are considered as having never been taken place, they are void from the very beginning.
On the other hand, Annulment applies to a marriage that is valid until otherwise declared by the court annulled.
Who may file for nullity of marriage?
Only the husband or the wife can file for nullity of marriage.
What are the grounds to declare the nullity of a marriage?
· Absence of the Essential Requisites of Marriage – Consent and Legal Capacity of
· Psychological Incapacity
NOTE: Psychological Incapacity is the ground commonly used, but also the most complicated.
What is Psychological Incapacity?
Psychological incapacity is not a medical but a legal concept. It refers to a personal condition that prevents a spouse to comply with fundamental marital obligations only in relation to a specific partner that may exist at the time of the marriage but may have revealed through behavior subsequent to the ceremonies. It need not be a mental or personality disorder. It need not be a permanent and incurable condition.
Therefore, the testimony of psychologist or psychiatrist is not mandatory in all cases. The totality of the evidence must show clear and convincing evidence to cause the declaration of nullity of marriage. (Tan-Andal v. Andal, G.R. No. 196359, 11 May 2021)
What are the Essential Marital Obligations?
Article 68 of the Family Code provides that the husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support. What is the effect of nullity of marriage of the spouses?
1. PROPERTY RELATIONS
The absolute community of property (“ACP”) or the conjugal partnership (“CP”), as the case may be, shall be dissolved and liquidated.
2. STATUS OF CHILDREN BORN/CONCEIVED BEFORE THE DECLARATION OF NULLITY
The children are deemed illegitimate, except when the ground for the declaration of nullity is psychological incapacity or a void subsequent marriage under Article 53 of the Family Code.
3. CUSTODY OF CHILDREN
During the pendency of the petition (pendente lite), the custody of children will be governed either by a written agreement or by court order, based on the best interest of the child. The court will apply the following order of preference, both parents jointly: (a) either parent (may consider the choice of child over 7 years, (b) unless such parent is considered unfit), (c) surviving grandparent (if several, then the choice of child over 7 years, unless grandparent chosen is unfit/disqualified), (d) eldest brother/sister over 21 unless unfit/disqualified, or (e) any other person deemed suitable by the court.
After the decree, the court shall award custody to the innocent spouse, but no child under 7 years shall be separated from the mother unless there are compelling reasons.
4. CHILD SUPPORT
Pendente lite, child support will be governed by either written agreement, or in the absence thereof, from properties of the ACP or CP. After decree, either parent or both may be ordered by the court to give an amount necessary for support in proportion to resources/means of giver and necessities of the recipient.
What are the grounds for a marriage to be annulled?
Article 45 of the Family Code provides that a marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
· Lack of Parental Consent
· Consent was obtained through Fraud
· Consent was obtained through Force, Intimidation, and Undue Influence
· Sexually Transmitted Diseases
What is the effect of the annulment of marriage?
Unlike nullity of marriage, when a decree of annulment is rendered, the property of the spouses shall be liquidated and distributed in accordance with their property relations during their marriage, thus, it is either absolute community of property or conjugal property.
As to the status of the children, the children of the marriage are still deemed legitimate despite the annulment of the marriage.
Pending litigation, the spousal support, support and custody of children are just the same as the nullity of marriage as mentioned above.
What is Legal Separation?
A decree of legal separation is nothing more than bed-and-board separation of the spouses. The marital ties are not severed; hence the parties cannot remarry.
What are the grounds for Legal Separation?
Article 55 of the Family Code provides that a petition for legal separation may be filed on any of the following grounds:
· Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct
· Physical violence to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation
· Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce to engage in prostitution
· Imprisonment of more than six years
· Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent
· Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent
· Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage
· Sexual infidelity or perversion
· Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner
· Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year
Who may file for Legal Separation?
Only the husband or the wife can file for legal separation.
Effect of Legal Separation?
1. Separation. Legal Separation will not the dissolve the marriage. Hence, the parties are still legally married, and they cannot remarry. Moreover, the effects and status of a valid marriage are still subsisting.
The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the marriage bonds shall not be severed.
2. Property Relations. The absolute community of property (ACP) or the conjugal partnership of gains (CPG), as the case may be, shall be dissolved and liquidated. The court, in the absence of a written agreement between the spouses, shall designate either of them or a third person to administer the absolute community or conjugal partnership property. The administrator appointed by the court shall have the same powers and duties as those of a guardian.
3. Custody of Children. The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse, but no child under 7 years shall be separated from the mother unless there are compelling reasons.
4. Support. During the pendency of the action, child and spousal support will be governed by either written agreement, or in the absence thereof, from the ACP/CPG. After the decree, either parent or both may be ordered by the court to give an amount necessary for support in proportion to resources/means of giver and necessities of the recipient. Spousal support is considered as an advance to be deducted from the share of the spouse supported during liquidation.
5. Succession. The offending spouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spouse by intestate succession. Moreover, provisions in favor of the offending spouse made in the will of the innocent spouse shall be revoked by operation of law.
We learned about the law firm online and Attorney Mary Ann Juco’s credentials are excellent and impressive! She is a great lawyer, very professional, always calm and prepared. She was very accommodating during the entire tenacious legal process that we went through. We also appreciate her polite and respectful attitude inside and outside the courtroom. We are also grateful for her kind and honest way of dealing with us. We highly recommend this law firm and we will not hesitate to seek representation from them again.
Thank you to this law firm for the services rendered to me for annulment. They impressed me as being a trusted professional. If I, my friends and relatives encounter legal matters that requires their services, I will surely ask their assistance again.
I was about to give up on finding the best honest Attorney for my marriage annulment when finally I met Attorney Mary Ann T. Juco. She got me through a rough time in my Court Annulment of Marriage proceedings. I felt very comfortable with her and my doubts were always reassured. Attorney Mary Ann Juco was very responsive, she kept well informed throughout the process as I was also always out of the country a lot of times. It was scary and very emotional process of annulment, but Attorney calmed my nerves by keeping me updated and well informed, she fought hard for me and really went above and beyond to ensure that we will have a great outcome and yes we did! I can not find better words to thank you and your Law firm Attorney Mary Ann Juco.
The firm is reliable! With a positive marriage annulment outcome!
Ako po ay Lubos na nagpapasalamat kay Attorney Mary Ann dahil siya po ang naging Attorney ko sa aking Annulment. Napakabuti at napakagaling niya pong Attorney. Napakaswerte ko po dahil tama po na napili ko siya bilang Attorney ko. Kahit anong oras ko siyang tawagan at lagi po siyang nagrereply sa akin kahit hindi po tungkol sa Marriage Annulment. Kahit anumang katanungan ko po ay lagi nya po akong pinapayuhan ng legal advice at personal advice. Sa iba trabaho lang. Kaya po maswerte ako dahil napili ko siya. Itinuring nya po akong kaibigan at hindi lamang kliyente nya. Granted ang annulment ko at kahit tapos na po yun ay nag uusap pa rin kami. Salamat po talaga sa pagpahalaga nyo sa akin. Kaya nga po inirerekomenda ko siya dahil alam ko po na napakagaling nya po at mapagkakatiwalaan pa. Marami pa po siyang matutulungang tao dahil THE BEST po siya. Thumbs up po ako at excellent po siya at God bless po Attorney Mary Ann.
Thank you for your highly professional service coupled with extra-human compassion. I will certainly refer this law firm to anyone needing a lawyer or any legal service.
I am really very grateful to Attorney Mary Ann Juco for helping me to enjoy life in my old age. I am now happily married because of the annulment.
Lanie & I entered into an agreement with the Law Firm of Jorge M. Juco for Court Annulment. We did so because after meeting and talking with Attorney Mary Ann, she seemed to be Honest, Trustworthy and Very Nice lawyer.
This is a Long Process so you will need to be very Patient. We were told more or less 16 months to complete this process, but it took a little longer (22 months) before we received the ﬁnal documents needed for Lanie’s Visa. This was due to the court system delays. Totally out of the control of Mary Ann.
I would recommend her law firm as I felt conﬁdent and at ease with Mary Ann throughout the process. They also kept us informed and were always available for us when we had question.
It has been a tough journey for me to be battling my court annulment with my ex-husband, with whom I was married to for more than 20 plus years already. Having Atty. Mary Ann Juco as my counsel was the best choice I made, since she does all the work for me, very friendly, persistent, professional, I wouldn't want it any other way.
First of all, I would like to thank Atty. Juco for helping in my court annulment process until the end of processing. She was very helpful and always updating me regarding my annulment status. I appreciate that a lot. I would recommend this firm to my friends and colleagues for legal assistance. If anyone will ask me, I will definitely recommend this office. Thank you so much for all the help. I wish them all the best!!
I am very satisfied with the service of Atty. Mary Ann Tolete-Juco. My court annulment process was completed and granted within the target timeline. Atty. Mary Ann is very professional and kept me updated during the whole process. All the services as stated on the contract were delivered and even exceeded my expectation. She is even providing me with some legal advice even my contract with her has ended.
Ako po si Juanito. Ako ay pasamantalang nakatira at nagtatrabaho na OFW sa ROME, ITALY. Ako ay clienti ni Atty. Mary Ann Juco. Ang masasabi ko po sa kanyang serbisyo o trabaho sa annulment ay mayos at masipag kahit malayo po ako sa Pinas ay lagi po siya naka update sa akin kaya wala akong masasabi sa kayang trabaho. Mabait na magalang pa at sanapo ay marami pa syang matungan god bless you.
My fiancé (who is now my wife) was looking was looking for an annulment from a previous marriage (over 20 years ago) . Because of the stress it was causing her, we decided to try the Law Firm of Jorge M. Juco. We were both very pleased with the trouble free service we were given. The service was as efficient as it possibly could be, given the complexity of our annulment case. We were both happy that no matter what happened, the service would be the best available and the case would be professionally handled. It was completed as quickly as possible given the nature of such a case. I was very impressed. Not long after the case was completed, we were married. Thank you so much! It was a pleasure working with you on this!
I contacted Mary Ann, feeling helpless with my court annulment situation back in 2015. After the first conversation, Mary Ann explained the process in a way that I can understand; I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The whole process was very lengthy, taking almost 4 years because the judge changed 3 times. Mary Ann’s service never deteriorated in those years. I thank her for the freedom I am enjoying now.
I am an Irish citizen and have been dealing with Mary Ann and her great team of lawyers since early 2016. We had an extremely challenging case on our hands due to my wife leaving me and going back to the Philippines with our daughter. My wife changed our daughter’s identity by using a false birth certificate and obtaining a new Philippine passport under a new name. My wife character assassinated me in court and tried to steal my daughter from me. Luckily for me, I had a wonderful lawyer and attorney in Mary Ann, who worked extremely hard to win every point of our case. In May 2017, my daughter left the Philippines and now lives with me in Ireland. We are extremely grateful to Mary Ann and her team, as without their integrity and hard work, we would have had a serious battle on our hands that we could have lost. I cannot recommend Mary Ann and her firm highly enough. She changed my life and my daughter’s life.
I just want to express my deepest gratitude for the legal services and the professional advice you have imparted to me throughout my entire marriage nullification journey. Choosing the ideal law firm to handle my case was something I prayed for. You could say that I took a chance in you, not having any idea of how our engagement will turn out. I just resorted to Google to choose a law firm to handle my case since I had no experience on this. But I praise God that you and your law firm have been an answered prayer.
You had been very patient with me during the entire process, addressing my inquiries and concerns, and extending help when needed. What struck me more was that you were not just after closing a contract with me, but you wanted to ensure that I was firm with my decision to file a petition for nullification. Otherwise, you would not have agreed to offer your services. Our relationship over time, had also become more personal as I witnessed your genuine concern for my well-being, especially when I got sick during the entire process.
Thank you again to you and your team; for your sound legal advice, and your professionalism. God bless you as you continue to serve others.
My fiancé and I decided to get the service of Atty. Mary Ann Juco. She was very flexible, friendly and very professional. Atty. Juco never disappointed us. She was very helpful. She did tons of extra miles for us especially when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and affected our case. She still managed to do everything. She even cheered me up most of the time. She’s not just a lawyer but a friend you can rely on. It is very hard to find a lawyer these days that have a character like someone you can TRUST and depend on. But, then again, all I can say is it was all WORTH IT! More power to you Atty. Mary Ann Juco.
Before I began to look for a lawyer to handle my annulment case, I have heard a lot of negative experiences from other people who went through this process. I have heard that they have spent so much money and still waiting (for 5 years and some, more) for the final decision. I feel lucky that of all the referrals and search results, I have chosen Atty. Mary Ann T. Juco and Juco Law Firm to represent me. Atty. Mary Ann T. Juco is very helpful and supportive during the process of my annulment case. Her work reflects a high level of professionalism and experienced competence in this field. She gives very supportive advice and recommendations that make the annulment process less strenuous. Access to updates and progress of the case was also very easy because Atty. Mary Ann T. Juco and her associates frequently, send email updates and replies to your queries in no time.
This review is long overdue, nevertheless, I highly recommend Atty. Mary Ann T. Juco because she is very professional to deal with, very accommodating, helpful, and highly intellectual. She explained to me the details of my case and helped me each step of the way. Like what everyone else is saying, she is indeed straightforward and makes it very efficient. By far this must be the best law firm in the Philippines. They were very professional. Thank you so much and I would always recommend your service to anyone who needs it.
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