Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

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Legal Separation vs. Annulment in the Philippines: What's the Difference?

Marriage is considered a sacred institution, but unfortunately, not all marriages last forever. In the Philippines, there are two legal concepts that individuals can consider when seeking to dissolve their marriage: legal separation and annulment. Although both options involve the termination of marital ties, they have distinct differences in their definition, effect on marriage status, grounds, process, and remarriage implications. Understanding these differences is crucial for anyone considering either legal separation or annulment as a way to dissolve their marriage.

In the Philippines, legal separation and annulment are two distinct legal concepts related to the dissolution of marriage. Legal separation is a process that allows married couples to live separately and manage their affairs independently, but it does not terminate the marriage. On the other hand, annulment is a legal process that declares a marriage null and void, as if it never took place, due to specific grounds or reasons. It is important to understand the key differences between legal separation and annulment to make an informed decision.

Definition and Effect on Marriage Status

Legal separation does not terminate the marriage bond. Parties who undergo legal separation are still considered legally married but are no longer obliged to live together. They are also not free to remarry unless they obtain a divorce in a foreign country, if applicable. On the other hand, an annulment declares the marriage null and void, and parties are considered as if they were never married in the first place. This means that after the annulment, parties are considered unmarried and are free to remarry after the annulment is granted.

Grounds for Legal Separation and Annulment

Both legal separation and annulment have specific grounds or reasons that must be proven in court. The grounds for legal separation in the Philippines include repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct, religious or political pressure, attempted murder, drug addiction or habitual alcoholism, lesbianism or homosexuality, bigamous marriage, and sexual infidelity or perversion. On the other hand, the specific grounds for annulment in the Philippines include lack of parental consent for underage marriages, mental incapacity, fraud, force, impotence, sexually transmitted disease, and incest. It's important to note that the grounds for annulment are more limited and specific compared to the grounds for legal separation.

Process for Legal Separation and Annulment

The process for legal separation in the Philippines typically involves filing a petition with the court, and it may also require mediation or counseling, depending on the circumstances. The court will then evaluate the evidence and make a decision on the legal separation. On the other hand, the process for annulment is more stringent. It requires filing a petition with the court and providing evidence for the specific grounds of annulment. The court will conduct hearings and evaluate the evidence presented before granting or denying the annulment. The process for annulment can be more complicated and time-consuming compared to legal separation due to the higher burden of proof.

Remarriage After Legal Separation and Annulment

One key difference between legal separation and annulment is the status of parties after the process is completed. In a legal separation, parties are still considered married and cannot remarry unless they obtain a divorce in a foreign country, if applicable. However, after an annulment is granted, the marriage is declared null and void, and the parties are considered unmarried. This means that parties are free to remarry after the annulment is granted, without the need for a divorce in a foreign country.

Importance of Seeking Legal Advice

Given the complexity and changing nature of laws regarding legal separation and annulment in the Philippines, it is highly advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified family law attorney before pursuing either option. A family law attorney can provide valuable guidance and assistance throughout the entire process, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, legal separation and annulment are two different legal concepts related to the dissolution of marriage in the Philippines. Legal separation allows married couples to live separately and manage their affairs independently but does not terminate the marriage. Annulment, on the other hand, declares the marriage null and void, as if it never took place. Legal separation requires proving specific grounds such as repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct, while annulment requires proving grounds such as lack of parental consent, mental incapacity, fraud, force, or impotence, among others. After a legal separation, parties are still considered married and cannot remarry, while after an annulment, parties are considered unmarried and are free to remarry. Seeking legal advice from a qualified family law attorney is crucial to navigating the complexities of legal separation and annulment in the Philippines.

Divorce is not yet recognized in the Philippines, and legal separation and annulment are the only options available for dissolving a marriage. It's important to carefully consider the specific circumstances and legal implications of both legal separation and annulment before proceeding with either option. Consulting with a qualified family law attorney can provide the necessary guidance and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.

The Legal Landscape of Grandparents' Custody and Visitation Rights in the Philippines

Grandparents play a vital role in the upbringing and development of their grandchildren. They often provide emotional and financial support and are a source of love and guidance. However, in the Philippines, the legal landscape surrounding grandparents' custody and visitation rights can be complex and confusing. Understanding the legal system and seeking legal advice can be crucial in ensuring that grandparents' rights are protected. This article will provide an overview of the Family Code and Rules of Court, and explain the provisions relating to grandparents' custody and visitation rights.

Grandparents' Custody Rights in the Philippines

Under the Family Code of the Philippines, parents have the right to the custody of their children. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For example, if a parent is deemed unfit or has abandoned their parental responsibilities, custody may be transferred to a grandparent or other relative. The court may also award custody to a grandparent if it is in the best interest of the child.

It is important to note that the Family Code does not provide for an automatic right of grandparents to the custody of their grandchildren. In the absence of extraordinary circumstances, custody will generally remain with the parents. Grandparents seeking custody will need to file a petition in court, and the court will evaluate the merits of the case based on various factors, such as the child's welfare and the ability of the grandparents to provide for the child's needs.

Grandparents' Visitation Rights in the Philippines

While grandparents may not have an automatic right to custody of their grandchildren, they may still be granted visitation rights under the Family Code. The law recognizes that a child has the right to maintain regular contact with his or her grandparents, as long as such visits are in the best interest of the child.

The best interest of the child standard is the primary consideration in granting visitation rights. The court will evaluate various factors, including the child's age, health, and emotional and social needs, as well as the ability of the grandparents to provide a safe and nurturing environment during visits. The court may also consider the child's relationship with the grandparents and the impact of any visitation restrictions on the child's well-being.

In some cases, the court may limit or deny visitation rights if it determines that such visits would be harmful or detrimental to the child's welfare. For example, if the grandparents have a history of abusive behavior or drug addiction, the court may deny visitation rights to protect the child from harm.

Filing a Petition for Custody or Visitation Rights

If grandparents are seeking custody or visitation rights with their grandchildren, they may file a petition in court. The process of obtaining custody or visitation rights can be challenging, and it is recommended to seek the advice of a legal professional to navigate the legal system.

The court will evaluate the merits of the case and consider various factors in determining whether to grant custody or visitation rights. The court will consider the best interest of the child, the relationship between the child and the grandparents, and the ability of the grandparents to provide for the child's physical, emotional, and social needs.

The court may also consider the reasons for the parent's objection to the grandparents' request for custody or visitation rights. If the parents object on reasonable grounds, such as concerns about the grandparents' ability to care for the child or protect the child from harm, the court may deny the grandparents' request for custody or visitation rights.

Procedural Requirements for Filing a Petition

The Rules of Court provide guidelines for filing a petition for custody or visitation rights in the Philippines. Grandparents must file a verified petition with the court, which includes the specific relief sought and the grounds for the relief. They must also attach supporting documents, such as a birth certificate or affidavit of guardianship, to establish their relationship with the child.

The court will set a hearing for the petition, and the grandparents must serve notice of the hearing to all parties with an interest in the case, including the parents of the child. At the hearing, the grandparents must present evidence to support their petition and show that they meet the requirements for custody or visitation rights under the law.

The court may also order a social worker or psychologist to conduct an evaluation of the child and the grandparents and submit a report to the court. This report can be used as evidence in the court's decision-making process.


In conclusion, the legal landscape surrounding grandparents' custody and visitation rights in the Philippines is primarily governed by the Family Code and the Rules of Court. While grandparents do not have an automatic right to custody of their grandchildren, they may still be granted visitation rights in certain circumstances.

The court will evaluate the merits of the case and consider various factors in determining whether to grant custody or visitation rights, with the best interest of the child being the primary consideration. The process of obtaining custody or visitation rights can be challenging, and it is recommended to seek the advice of a legal professional to navigate the legal system and increase the chances of success.

The Importance of Pre-Nuptial Agreements in the Philippines: A Guide for Couples

A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup, is a legal contract entered into by two individuals before they get married. It outlines how their assets, finances, and other important matters will be handled in the event of a divorce or separation. While prenups are not mandatory in the Philippines, they can provide crucial protection for couples in various ways. In this blog, we will explore the importance of prenuptial agreements for couples in the Philippines and how they can safeguard their assets, clarify financial rights and obligations, protect family inheritance, address issues related to alimony or support, protect business interests, and provide peace of mind.

Protection of Assets

One of the significant advantages of a prenup is its ability to safeguard individual assets brought into the marriage. In the Philippines, there is a community property regime where all properties acquired by the spouses during the marriage are presumed to be owned in equal shares. However, with a prenup, couples can specify which properties will remain separate and which will be considered marital property. This can be especially crucial for individuals who have acquired properties, investments, or businesses before getting married and wish to protect them in case of a divorce.

For example, if one spouse owns a property before marriage and wants to keep it as separate property, a prenup can specify that the property will not be considered part of the community property regime. This means that in case of divorce, the property will be retained by the original owner, and the other spouse will not have any claim to it. Prenups can also protect other assets, such as investments, businesses, and other valuable possessions, ensuring that they are not subject to division during divorce proceedings.

Clarification of Financial Rights and Obligations

Another essential aspect of prenups is that they can help couples define their financial responsibilities and expectations clearly. Financial matters can often be a source of conflict in marriages, and a prenup can address these issues in advance, helping to avoid misunderstandings and disputes down the road. For instance, a prenup can outline how expenses will be shared between the spouses, whether they will maintain joint accounts, and how debts will be managed.

By setting out these financial rights and obligations in a prenup, couples can have a clear understanding of their financial responsibilities during the marriage, which can help prevent conflicts and misunderstandings. This can be especially beneficial when it comes to managing joint finances, budgeting, and making financial decisions together. A well-drafted prenup can provide a roadmap for financial matters, ensuring that both parties are on the same page and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

Protection of Family Inheritance

In the Philippines, family inheritance holds significant cultural and emotional value. It is often passed down from generation to generation, and families take great pride in preserving their lineage and heritage. However, in the event of a divorce or separation, family inheritance can become a contentious issue. This is where a prenuptial agreement can play a crucial role in protecting family inheritance.

A prenup can clearly outline how family inheritance will be treated in case of a divorce or separation. It can specify that any family inheritance received during the marriage will remain separate property and not subject to division or distribution. This can prevent any potential disputes or claims by the other party in the event of a divorce, ensuring that the family inheritance remains within the intended family lineage.

It is important to note that in the absence of a prenup, family inheritance can be considered as community property and subject to division under the community property regime in the Philippines. By having a prenup in place, couples can proactively protect family inheritance and ensure that it is not jeopardized in the event of a divorce or separation.

Alimony and Support

Another critical aspect that can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement is the issue of alimony or spousal support in case of a divorce. Alimony refers to the financial support that one spouse may be required to provide to the other spouse after a divorce to meet their financial needs. A prenup can outline the terms and conditions of alimony or support, including the amount, duration, and method of payment.

Having a prenup that includes provisions for alimony or support can provide clarity and predictability in case of a divorce, avoiding potential disputes or litigation. It can help both parties understand their financial responsibilities and obligations towards each other, and provide a framework for addressing any financial support needs that may arise after a divorce.

Protection of Business Interests

For couples where one or both parties own a business, a prenuptial agreement can be particularly crucial in protecting business interests. A well-drafted prenup can outline how the business will be managed, treated as marital or separate property, and handled in case of divorce or separation.

A prenup can specify that the business will remain separate property and not subject to division or distribution in case of a divorce. It can also outline how the business will be valued and divided if necessary, or provide for a buy-out provision to protect the business owner's interests. This can help prevent potential financial losses and disruptions to business operations that may arise in the event of a divorce.

Moreover, a prenup can also address issues such as the involvement of the spouse in the business, ownership percentages, and decision-making authority. This can provide clarity and certainty for both parties and help avoid potential conflicts or disputes related to the business during the marriage or in case of a divorce.

Peace of Mind

One of the intangible but significant benefits of a prenuptial agreement is the peace of mind it can provide for both parties. Knowing that their assets, financial rights, and obligations are clearly defined and protected can reduce stress and uncertainty in the relationship. It can also minimize emotional and financial stress in potential divorce proceedings, as many of the contentious issues have already been addressed in the prenup.

A well-drafted prenup can provide a sense of security and stability, allowing couples to focus on building their relationship without the fear of financial disputes or legal battles in the future. It can also promote open and honest communication about financial matters, which can contribute to a healthy and harmonious marriage.


In conclusion, prenuptial agreements, while not mandatory, can offer significant benefits to couples in the Philippines. They provide a legal framework for protecting assets, clarifying financial rights and obligations, safeguarding family inheritance, addressing issues related to alimony or support, protecting business interests, and providing peace of mind. By taking a proactive approach to addressing potential financial challenges in a marriage, a well-drafted prenup can help couples navigate divorce or separation with greater clarity and reduce emotional and financial stress.

It is important for couples to understand that a prenup should not be viewed as a plan for divorce, but rather as a tool for safeguarding interests and promoting a healthy and harmonious relationship. Open communication, trust, and mutual understanding should always be prioritized in a marriage, alongside a legally valid and carefully drafted prenuptial agreement.

When considering a prenup, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a qualified legal professional who specializes in family law and has experience in drafting prenuptial agreements in the Philippines. This ensures that the prenup meets all legal requirements and serves the best interests of both parties.

While prenuptial agreements may not be for everyone, they can provide valuable protection and peace of mind for couples in the Philippines. It is essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons, communicate openly with your partner, and seek professional legal advice to make informed decisions about whether a prenup is right for your specific circumstances. Ultimately, a well-crafted prenup can serve as a valuable tool in safeguarding your financial interests and promoting a healthy and stable marriage.

Islamic Conversion, Marriage and Divorce

Christians going through Islamic conversion is not a unique story especially if the decision involves gaining civil and religious freedom to remarry without facing the consequences of becoming liable for polygamy or concubinage. Before an individual can decide to convert to Islam, there are still some legalities that should be taken into consideration. Keep in mind that getting converted into Islam is not an easy and instant process. Even if Islamic marriage law and principles allow marrying as many women as you want, you will have to prove that you have the capability to support your wives financially. What does the law say about Islamic conversion, marriage and divorce?


Art. 176. Effect of registration of conversion to Islam. — (1) Registration of a person's conversion to Islam shall constitute a prima facie proof that he professes Islam.

(2)  Whoever disputes the profession or renunciation of Islam by any person shall have the burden of proving the contrary. 

Art. 177. Regulation on conversion. — No conversion of a minor below the age of eighteen years shall be registered by the District or Circuit Registrar without the written consent or permission of the parents or guardian, except when such minor has been emancipated from parental authority in accordance with law. 

Art.  178. Effect of conversion to Islam on marriage. — The conversion of non-Muslim spouses to Islam shall have the legal effect of ratifying their marriage as if the same had been performed in accordance with the provisions of this Code or Muslim law, provided that there is no legal impediment to the marriage under Muslim law. 

Art.  179. Effect of change of religion. — The change of religion by a Muslim shall not have the effect of extinguishing any obligation or liability whatsoever incurred prior to said change. 


Marriage and Divorce

Applicability Clause

Art.  13. Application. — (1) The provisions of this Title shall apply to marriage and divorce wherein both parties are Muslims, or wherein only the male party is a Muslim and the marriage is solemnized in accordance with Muslim law or this Code in any part of the Philippines. 

(2) In case of marriage between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, solemnized not in accordance with Muslim law or this Code, the Civil Code of the Philippines shall apply.  

(3) Subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, the essential requisites and legal impediments to marriage, divorce, paternity and filiation, guardianship and custody of minors, support and maintenance, claims for customary dower (mahr), betrothal, breach of contract to marry, solemnization and registration of marriage and divorce, rights and obligations between husband and wife parental authority, and the properly relations between husband and wife shall be governed by this Code and other applicable Muslim laws. 


Marriage (Nikah) 

Section 1.  Requisites of Marriage. — 

Art.  14. Nature. — Marriage is not only a civil contract but a social institution. Its nature, consequences and incidents are governed by this Code and the Shari'a and not subject to stipulation, except that the marriage settlements may to a certain extent fix the property relations of the spouses. 

Art.  15. Essential requisites. — No marriage contract shall be perfected unless the following essential requisites are compiled with: 

(a) Legal capacity of the contracting parties; 

(b) Mutual consent of the parties freely given; 

(c) Offer (ijab) and acceptance (qabul) duly witnessed by at least two competent persons after the proper guardian in marriage (wali) has given his consent; and

(d) Stipulation of customary dower (mahr) duly witnessed by two competent persons. 

Art.  16. Capacity to contract marriage. — (1) Any Muslim male at least fifteen years of age and any Muslim female of the age of puberty or upwards and not suffering from any impediment under the provisions of this Code may contract marriage. A female is presumed to have attained puberty upon reaching the age of fifteen. 

(2) However, the Shari'a District Court may, upon petition of a proper wali, order the solemnization of the marriage of a female who though less than fifteen but not below twelve years of age, has attained puberty. 

(3) Marriage through a wali by a minor below the prescribed ages shall be regarded as betrothal and may be annulled upon the petition of either party within four years after attaining the age of puberty, provided no voluntary cohabitation has taken place and the wali who contracted the marriage was other than the father or paternal grandfather. 

Art.  17. Marriage ceremony. — No particular form of marriage ceremony is required but the ijab and the gabul in marriage shall be declared publicly in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and two competent witnesses. This declaration shall be set forth in an instrument in triplicate, signed or marked by the contracting parties and said witnesses, and attested by the person solemnizing the marriage. One copy shall be given to the contracting parties and another sent to the Circuit Registrar by the solemnizing officer who shall keep the third.

Fake Annulment In The Philippines

Since divorce is not yet legalized in the Philippines, annulment is the only option for couples who want to go separate ways. However, annulment is a long, tedious and expensive process. This is why there are couples who choose to stay married even when they are no longer living under one roof. However, some anomalies have recently surfaced revealing bogus court decisions. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) considered this issue a cause for alarm.

The PSA is responsible for changing the status of the petitioner once a court decision has been made. Once the civil registry files have been updated, an annotated marriage certificate will be issued and the details of the proceedings can be found on the right-hand side of the document. The annotated marriage certificate is used for processing various documents including a fiancée visa or a passport.

Among 100 documents that have been verified, only five of them are considered correct. Aurelia Alido, a registration officer of PSA court urges the courts to ensure that all decisions are authentic. It should bear the civil case number and registered in court dockets. The judge should be the one to issue the decision according to Alido. If the annotated marriage certificate does not have the judge’s signature, it only means that the case does not exist. When applying for a fiancée visa, the embassies also verify the applications with the PSA and the process involves checking the civil registry documents’ transaction code.

There are also cases when marriage certificates are being pulled out from civil registry files as though marriage never happened. Fixers continue to prey on potential victims who want to end an unsuccessful marriage. Since everything has gone digital, the files have already been stored in a database and deleting or pulling out marriage certificates is not going to nullify marriages.

People who are found guilty of faking court documents violate Article 171 and 172  of the Revised Penal Code:

Art. 171. Falsification by public officer, employee or notary or ecclesiastical minister. – The penalty of prision mayor and a fine not to exceed P5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any public officer, employee, or notary who, taking advantage of his official position, shall falsify a document by committing any of the following acts:

4.  Making untruthful statements in narration of facts;

Art. 172. Falsification by private individual and use of falsified documents. – The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not more than P5,000 pesos shall be imposed upon:

1.      Any private individual who shall commit any of the falsifications enumerated in the next preceding article in any public or official document or letter of exchange or any other kind of commercial document; and

2.      Any person who, to the damage of a third party, or with the intent to cause such damage, shall in any private document commit any of the acts of falsification enumerated in the next preceding article.

Strange Laws You Never Knew Existed: Part 9 Of 15 Anti-Marital Infidelity Law

If you happen to come across Article 333 and 334 of the Revised Penal Code, you will realize that gender inequality is evident even in our Penal Law. Proving women of committing a crime of adultery is not a daunting task as proof of sexual intercourse between the married woman and another man will suffice. Once the husband charges the offending parties with adultery, they can carry a penalty of two to six years if found guilty. 

“Art. 333. Who are guilty of adultery. — Adultery is committed by any married woman who shall have sexual intercourse with a man not her husband and by the man who has carnal knowledge of her knowing her to be married, even if the marriage be subsequently declared void.

Adultery shall be punished by prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods.

If the person guilty of adultery committed this offense while being abandoned without justification by the offended spouse, the penalty next lower in degree than that provided in the next preceding paragraph shall be imposed.”

“Art. 334. Concubinage. — Any husband who shall keep a mistress in the conjugal dwelling, or shall have sexual intercourse, under scandalous circumstances, with a woman who is not his wife, or shall cohabit with her in any other place, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.

The concubine shall suffer the penalty of destierro.”

The husband can only get convicted for a crime of concubinage if and only if the wife has proven that her husband has been keeping a mistress in the conjugal dwelling or if he has been found to have sexual intercourse with a woman other than his wife under scandalous circumstances. The wife can also file charges if the husband has been cohabiting with the mistress in any other place.

However, the husband will only serve a sentence of six months to four years when convicted while his mistress would only receive banishment, which is also referred to as destierro. When a mistress is sentenced to destierro, she will be prohibited from entering the place or places designated in the sentence, or within the radius designated. She should keep a distance of at least 25 kilometers, and 250 kilometers at most from the place designated. 

If the offended spouse has pardoned the offenders, the criminal charge cannot prosper. Pardon can either be expressed or implied. An expressed pardon refers to writing an affidavit that the offended party is pardoning his or her spouse for his or her act. If the offended spouse chooses to continue living with the offender even after the offense has been committed, this will be considered an implied pardon.

Strange Laws You Never Knew Existed: Part 4 Of 15 The State Is Responsible For Protecting Marriage

The absence of divorce in the Philippines no longer comes as a surprise and for married couples who have already lost the spark of romance that used to ignite their way, this is bad news. Imagine the ordeal you have to go through just to file for petition for marriage annulment. Aside from the emotional difficulties you experience, the process is undoubtedly costly. 

The State mandates that “ marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.” The statement can be found in Section 2, Article XV of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. 

In Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, the State shall defend:

1. The right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions, which are considered preducial to their development;

2. The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood;

3. The right of the family to a family living wage and income; and 

4. The right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them. 

In addition, the high court also requires inferior courts for a fiscal or an agent to appear from the Solicitor General’s office, representing himself as a counsel during hearings for annulment. The representative must also write whether annulment is approved or not.

To put it simply, the State will be the third party in any marriage. Everything must be done to save one’s marriage and annulment will be the couple’s last resort. Considering the tight bond of Filipino families, this law is indeed a clear indicator of how lawmakers put great importance to marriage. This is a challenge for married couples who have already decided to go on separate ways due to individual differences and other conflicts that cannot be settled through marriage counseling or other similar means. 

How Much Does Annulment Cost In The Philippines

Annulment is the only option that is available to Filipino couples who wish to end their marriage. Since the legalization of divorce is far from happening, considering the fact that the process of passing a divorce bill is difficult, the only way couples can find a way out of problematic marriages is by seeking annulment. However, annulments are also expensive and come with a number of processes such as seeking assistance from legal counsel in filing petitions. 

Under Article 45 of The family Code of the Philippines, marriage can be annulled due to the following reasons: 

• Fraud

• Psychological incapacity

• Lack of parental consent

• Impotence or physical incapability that is affect the marriage 

• Consent of marriage was obtained by intimidation or force 

• Serious sexually transmitted disease 

The major fees for filling for a petition for annulment of marriage: 

• Filing Fees

The first step to take when seeking an annulment is to file for a Petition for Annulment of Marriage, which will be filed before Office of the Executive Clerk of Courts of the Regional Trial Courts of the city or province that you have been residing for at least a six months. 

• Acceptance Fees

Once the case is filed, the firm will charge an acceptance fee for taking on your case. The charges will vary from firm to firm. Some smaller firms have lower fees than bigger firms. 

• Pleading Fees

When filing for a petition for  annulment of marriage, you will be required to submit documents such as judicial affidavits, petrial briefs and others. You are more likely to submit at least 10 pleading and the fees will depend on the number of documents you submit.

• Appearance Fees

The lawyer need to go to court for a scheduled hearing and you will need to pay a fee for every appearance. On average, annulment cases have at least 7 appearances. 

• Psychiatrist/Doctor Fees

If the petition for annulment of marriage was filed due to psychological incapacity, a psychological report from a psychiatrist or doctor must be presented as proof of psychological incapacity. Doctors or psychiatrists are also made to testify in court as well. 

Aside from these above-mentioned fees, there are other costs that filing for a petition for annulment may incur. The cost can still increase if the process drags on or if there are some additional requirements that can lead to more appearances and pleadings. 

The processing time varies from location to location. On average, it will take around 2 years  to conclude a case for nullity of marriage. It may take longer if there are some complications especially if there are properties involved.

The Difference Between Concubinage And Adultery

When filing a petition for annulment, several grounds will be looked into in order to find out whether or not such grounds carry weight that will strengthen the case. Infidelity is one of the most common reasons for filing a case, but it is not considered a ground for annulment. Infidelity can only be an acceptable basis for legal separation or filing a case for concubinage or adultery. In fact, infidelity cannot be used as a sole deciding factor in granting custody over a child. 

Under Revised Penal Code, Article 333, adultery refers to an extra marital relationship of a woman to a man other than her husband even if the man is well aware that the she is already married. A crime of adultery is committed for each sexual intercourse that takes place.

Under Article 334 of the Revised Penal Code or RPC, concubinage refers to the cohabitation of a married man with a mistress in the same or conjugal dwelling or an involvement of a married man with a woman who is not his wife in any other place. The sexual intercourse of the married man to the concubine took place under scandalous circumstance. 

Adultery VS Concubinage 

• Adultery is committed by a wife and should be charged together with the other man, while concubinage is committed by a husband and should be charged together with the other woman or concubine. 

• In adultery, a proof of sexual intercourse will suffice to file a case. On the other hand, concubinage cannot be pursued without proving that the sexual intercourse happened under scandalous circumstances. The case can be passed off as concubinage if cohabitation happens in the conjugal dwelling or in any other place. 

• Concubinage has lower penalty than adultery and the concubine’s penalty is only destierro, which refers to banishment or prohibition from residing within the accused party’s actual residence. The distance should be within the radius of 25 kilometers and banishment will be given for a specified length of time. In adultery the penalty for the man is the same as that of the guilty wife. 

The spouse who has been offended is the only person entitled for filing the action for concubinage or adultery provided, the marital status is present at the time the case was filed. The parties that will be prosecuted, if found guilty should be the offending spouse and the paramour, if both are still alive. 

If the offended spouse has pardoned the offenders, the case cannot be pursued and the criminal charge cannot prosper. Pardon can be implied or express. Express pardon is done in writing and serves as an affidavit that the offenders are pardoned for their act. The implied pardon is when the offended party chooses to live with his or her spouse, even after the offense’s commission. Pardon should be obtained or given before the criminal action’s institution.