Discover the requirements for annulment in the Philippines and whether infidelity alone can serve as a ground for annulment. While annulment considers the marriage valid until it is annulled, specific grounds must be established at the time of marriage. Let's explore the grounds for annulment and the role of infidelity in this legal process.
Is Infidelity a Ground for Annulment?
Moira asks: My husband went to a massage parlor and engaged in an extramarital affair with his therapist. Can I file for annulment based on infidelity alone?
Lawyers Online PH answers: NO, infidelity or extramarital affairs alone are not recognized as grounds for annulment under the Family Code of the Philippines. To pursue annulment, it is necessary to establish one of the specific grounds enumerated in Article 45 of the Family Code, such as lack of parental consent, insanity, fraud, duress, impotence, or serious and incurable sexually transmissible disease.
Grounds for Annulment in the Philippines
Explore the specific grounds recognized for annulment under Article 45 of the Family Code:
Lack of Parental Consent in Certain Cases: If a party is between 18 and 21 years old and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents or guardian, the marriage may be annulled. However, if the spouses freely cohabited and lived together as husband and wife upon reaching 21, the marriage is considered validated.
Insanity: A marriage may be annulled if, at the time of marriage, either party was of unsound mind, unless they freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife after regaining sanity.
Fraud: Annulment can be sought if the consent of either party was obtained through fraud. This includes non-disclosure of a previous conviction involving moral turpitude, concealment of pregnancy by another man, concealment of sexually transmissible disease (STD), or concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, or homosexuality at the time of marriage. Other misrepresentations or deceit do not constitute fraud for annulment purposes.
Force, Intimidation, or Undue Influence: If the consent of either party was obtained through force, intimidation, or undue influence, annulment may be sought. However, if the force, intimidation, or undue influence has disappeared or ceased, and the complaining party freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife, the marriage is considered validated.
Impotence: Annulment can be pursued if, at the time of marriage, either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable. It is important to note that impotence refers to the inability to engage in sexual intercourse, not infertility.
Serious and Incurable Sexually Transmissible Disease (STD): If, at the time of marriage, either party was afflicted with a serious and incurable STD, annulment may be sought. If the STD is not serious or is curable, it may still constitute fraud for annulment purposes.
Legal Process and Considerations
Obtaining an annulment in the Philippines involves a legal process that requires filing a petition and presenting evidence to support the grounds for annulment. It is crucial to seek guidance from a family law attorney experienced in annulment cases to navigate the legal complexities and ensure compliance with the provisions of the Family Code.
While infidelity can cause significant distress in a marriage, it is not recognized as a standalone ground for annulment in the Philippines. Annulment requires the establishment of specific grounds outlined in the Family Code. As a referral service dedicated to connecting clients with legal experts, Lawyers Online PH can assist you in navigating the process of annulment. Reach out to us for professional guidance and support.
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