Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

Welcome to our legal news pages. Here is where we provide updates about what's happening in Philippines legal news, and publish helpful articles and tips for Pinoys researching legal matters.

Can An Abandoned Spouse Remarry?

Have you ever wondered if long separation is a valid reason for nullity of marriage? For instance, the husband left his family to work abroad, but after a few years, decided to stop communicating with his spouse. There is no communication and by no communication means that the spouse does not know where the husband resides. The line of communication became non-existent. Will this be a reason for remarrying someone? There is a common misconception that once a husband is separated from a spouse, it becomes a reason for one to automatically remarry. While not communicating with the spouse for so many years may seem like another case of abandonment, remarrying someone is not that simple. For an individual to remarry, petition for annulment must be filed.

Art. 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:

    "(1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians;

    (2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;

    (3) Those solemnized without license, except those covered the preceding Chapter;

    (4) Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not failing under Article 41;

    (5) Those contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other; and

    (6) Those subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53.

Art. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization. (As amended by Executive Order 227)

Art. 37. Marriages between the following are incestuous and void from the beginning, whether relationship between the parties be legitimate or illegitimate:

    (1) Between ascendants and descendants of any degree; and

    (2) Between brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half blood. (81a)

Art. 38. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning for reasons of public policy:

    (1) Between collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate, up to the fourth civil degree;

    (2) Between step-parents and step-children;

    (3) Between parents-in-law and children-in-law;

    (4) Between the adopting parent and the adopted child;

    (5) Between the surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child;

    (6) Between the surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter;

    (7) Between an adopted child and a legitimate child of the adopter;

    (8) Between adopted children of the same adopter; and

    (9) Between parties where one, with the intention to marry the other, killed that other person's spouse, or his or her own spouse. (82)

Art. 39. The action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage shall not prescribe. (As amended by Executive Order 227 and Republic Act No. 8533; The phrase "However, in case of marriage celebrated before the effectivity of this Code and falling under Article 36, such action or defense shall prescribe in ten years after this Code shall taken effect"has been deleted by Republic Act No. 8533 [Approved February 23, 1998]).

Art. 40. The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void. (n)

Art. 41. A marriage contracted by any person during subsistence of a previous marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years and the spouse present has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead. In case of disappearance where there is danger of death under the circumstances set forth in the provisions of Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient.

For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse. (83a)

Art. 42. The subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding Article shall be automatically terminated by the recording of the affidavit of reappearance of the absent spouse, unless there is a judgment annulling the previous marriage or declaring it void ab initio.

A sworn statement of the fact and circumstances of reappearance shall be recorded in the civil registry of the residence of the parties to the subsequent marriage at the instance of any interested person, with due notice to the spouses of the subsequent marriage and without prejudice to the fact of reappearance being judicially determined in case such fact is disputed. (n)

Art. 43. The termination of the subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding Article shall produce the following effects:

    (1) The children of the subsequent marriage conceived prior to its termination shall be considered legitimate;

    (2) The absolute community of property or the conjugal partnership, as the case may be, shall be dissolved and liquidated, but if either spouse contracted said marriage in bad faith, his or her share of the net profits of the community property or conjugal partnership property shall be forfeited in favor of the common children or, if there are none, the children of the guilty spouse by a previous marriage or in default of children, the innocent spouse;

    (3) Donations by reason of marriage shall remain valid, except that if the donee contracted the marriage in bad faith, such donations made to said donee are revoked by operation of law;

    (4) The innocent spouse may revoke the designation of the other spouse who acted in bad faith as beneficiary in any insurance policy, even if such designation be stipulated as irrevocable; and

    (5) The spouse who contracted the subsequent marriage in bad faith shall be disqualified to inherit from the innocent spouse by testate and intestate succession. (n)

Art. 44. If both spouses of the subsequent marriage acted in bad faith, said marriage shall be void ab initio and all donations by reason of marriage and testamentary dispositions made by one in favor of the other are revoked by operation of law. (n)

Art. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:

    (1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;

    (2) That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;

    (3) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;

    (4) That the consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;

    (5) That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or

    (6) That either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable. (85a)

Art. 46. Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in Number 3 of the preceding Article:

    (1) Non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude;

    (2) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband;

    (3) Concealment of sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or

    (4) Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage.

No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage."

4 Types of Property Relations You Need To Know

In the Family Code Property Relations or also referred to as Property Regimes are divided into four types:

1. Complete Separation of Property
2. Property Regime of Unions Without Marriage
3. Conjugal Partnership of Gains
4. System of Absolute Community

While these four types of property relation may not apply to you, it will play a significant role once you get married. The property relations have to do with the law that applies to properties and other valuable things you accumulate over time. This includes your cars, jewelries and real estate. There are some details about property relation that you need to know whether you are the legal wife of the other woman or man.

The Family Code of the Philippines took effect on August 3, 1988. Since that day, the Absolute Community of Property will govern married couples. However, this property regime will only apply if they do not agree on another regime before getting married. The agreement before the weeding is referred to as the Marriage Settlements. Before August 3, 1988, the couples who got married without preparing marriage settlements beforehand, are covered by the Conjugal Partnership of Gains regime.

If the husband and wife agreed to Complete Separation of Property in their marriage settlements executed before the wedding, this Property Regime cannot be executed after the wedding.

On the other hand, the Property Regime of Unions Without Marriage is executed to two kinds of unmarried couples living together:

1. Those who are not legally married because of some legal impediment or incapacity of either or both of them, and

2. Those who are legally capable of marriage.

While both of these property relations are governed by the same property regime, each of them has different rules. Under the general law, a man is only allowed to marry one woman. If the man is already married to one and the marriage is still in effect, the other woman cannot be married. However, just because the other woman cannot be legally married does not necessarily mean that they do not have any right on the properties that they have accumulated together. According to the law, there are legal rights of the other woman that need to be taken into consideration.

Complete Separation of Property

This means each one of the spouses owns owns his or her exclusive properties, from both present and future property, including the ones they already own prior to getting married. If couples choose this property relation or regime, the means for supporting their family is through the use of common fund. The contribution of each part will depend on their income capacity.

Property Regime of Unions Without Marriage

It applies to couples who are capable of getting married but due to some reason did not get married because the property relations resemble that in CPG. This means their possessions prior to their marriage remain theirs, but the properties they produce or acquire during their marriage will be shared equally by both couples.

Conjugal Partnership of Gains

Conjugal Partnership of Gains (CPG) is similar to Absolute Community of Property except that there is a difference in how the properties are acquired by each party prior to getting married. The properties produced during the marriage will go to the common fund or the Conjugal Property where both spouses have equal rights.

Absolute Community of Property

This property regime pools the property of the husband and the wife together into one common fund. This will include the properties owned prior to the marriage. Both parties also have equal rights to the common fund. When married couples decide to go separate says or dissolve their marriage, the property should be equally divided.

Conjugal Property Versus Absolute Community Of Property

Marriage changes everything including the property relationship. Here are the basic rules on the effect of marriage to property relationship:

-the spouse cannot sell, donate, lease, mortgage or exchnage properties to each other;
-in the case of pre-nuptial agreement where the spouses' properties are separated, either spouse is not allowed to donate more than one-fifth of this or her property to the other spouse;
-when a property is donated, given or inherited via gratuitous act to either spouse within their marriage, the receiving spouse reserves the right to own the property exclusively.
-if there was a pre-nuptial agreement, the terms and conditions within that pre-nuptial agreement shall apply;
-special cases such as local customs and traditions, may also be applied.

Conjugal Property

-when property is acquire before the husband got married, the property shall be exclusively his;
-when property is acquired before the wife got married, the property will be exclusively hers;
-marriage joins exclusive properties as part of one estate within the conjugal property and the fruits of those properties shall be shared between the husband and wife for the duration of their marriage;
-in the event the husband and wife file for divorce, annulment or legal separation, the husband's exclusive property, acquired before the marriage and all its fruits shall not be included in the conjugal property and will be exclusively owned by him; the same theory applies to the exclusive property of the wife;
-when the spouses filed for separation of properties in court, the properties that the husband and the wife acquired during their marriage will be considered part of their conjugal property and this will be split in half between the wife and the husband.

Absolute Community Of Property

-when all properties are acquired by the spouses before their marriage and all properties acquired during their marriage, it will be considered as part of one whole estate of the absolute community of property, which is owned by both parties;
-when all properties are inherited, donated or given gratuitously to either of the spouse before their marriage shall be considered as part of the absolute community of property upon marriage, and shall be owned by both parties;
-in the event of divorce, annulment or legal separation, the regime of absolute community of property shall not be affected and will remain owned by both spouses, unless the spouses have filed for judicial separate of properties;
-in case the spouses filed Judicial Separation of Properties, the properties within the Absolute Community of Properties shall be split between the husband and the wife.

The Elements Of Adultery

You might have already suspected your wife having an extra-marital affair but without meeting the elements of adultery and not presenting any tangible evidence will render accusations useless. As defined under Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code, “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 is the marriage be subsequently declared void.”

The Elements of Adultery

1. The woman is married;
2. The woman had sexual intercourse with a man not her husband;
3. The man she had sexual intercourse is aware that she is married.

The Crime of Adultery Can Be Filed If:

1. The married woman engages in sexual intercourse with a man not her husband;
2. The man is aware of the marriage of the woman, but still engages in sexual intercourse with her.

The offended spouse should be the one to file a case of adultery against the offending spouse. Unlike the criminal offenses of rape acts of lasciviousness, seduction and abduction, no one else can file a case of adultery on behalf of the offended spouse.

In adultery, proof of sexual intercourse is enough to file a case against the wife and her lover. If proven guilty, the woman may face imprisonment from 2 years, 4 months and 1 day to 6 years. However, if the crime was committed due to the abandonment by the offended spouse, the offending parties will face imprisonment from 6 months and 1 day to 2 years and 4 months. If the husband chooses to pardon his wife, the offending party will be absolved of the crime of adultery and the offended party can no longer charge her.

To grant pardon to the offending party, the pardon should come before the institution of the criminal prosecution and both offenders must be pardoned and not just the wife.

" 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."

Can You Change An Illegitimate Child's Surname To His Father's?

One question that surely lingers in one's mind when talking about illegitimate children is the use of the father's surname even when parents are not married. The good news is, the mother of the child need not be married to the father for the child to bear the father's surname. However, the child will only be allowed to use it if the child's paternity has been recognised.

Here are the requirements you need to prepare:

1. Valid identification for both parents;
2. Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF);
3. Certified True Copy of the Certificate of Live Birth of the child;
4. Affidavit of Admission of Paternity or the Affidavit of Acknowledgment

Additional details of the process are outlined in Republic Act No. 9255

"Rule 3.   Who may file

Under these rules, the father, mother, child if of age, or the guardian, may file the public document or Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF) in order for the child to use the surname of the father.
Rule 4.   Where to file
4.1.     The public document or AUSF executed within the Philippines shall be filed at the Local Civil Registry Office (LCRO) where the child was born, if the birth occurred within the Philippines.
4.2.     The public document or AUSF executed outside the Philippines shall be filed at the LCRO of Manila, if the birth occurred within the Philippines.
4.3.     The public document or AUSF whether executed within or outside the Philippines shall be filed at the LCRO of Manila, if the birth occurred outside the Philippines.
Rule 5.   What to file

The following shall be filed at the LCRO:
5.1.     Certificate of Live Birth with accomplished Affidavit of Acknowledgement/ Admission of Paternity at the back
5.2.     Public document
5.3.     AUSF, including all supporting documents
Rule 6.   When to register

The public document not made on the record of birth, or the AUSF shall be registered within twenty (20) days from the date of execution at the place where the birth was registered. Otherwise the procedures of late registration shall be applied.
Rule 7.   Requirements for the Child to Use the Surname of the Father
7.1        For Births Not Yet Registered
      7.1.1   The illegitimate child shall use the surname of the father if a public document is executed
           by the father, either at the back of the Certificate of Live Birth or in a separate document.
      7.1.2   If admission of paternity is made through a private handwritten instrument, the child shall
           use the surname of the father, provided the registration is supported by the following
                 a.   AUSF
                 b.   Consent of the child, if 18 years old and over at the time of the filing of the document
                 c.   Any two of the following documents showing clearly the paternity between the father
                 and the child:
                       1)   Employment records
                       2)   SSS/GSIS records
                       3)   Insurance
                       4)   Certification of membership in any organization
                       5)   Statement of Assets and Liabilities
                       6)   Income Tax Return (ITR)
7.2        For Births Previously Registered under the Surname of the Mother
      7.2.1   If filiation has been expressly recognized by the father, the child shall use the surname
          of the father upon the submission of the accomplished AUSF.
      7.2.2   If filiation has not been expressly recognized by the father, the child shall use the
          surname of father upon submission of a public document or a private handwritten
          instrument supported by the documents listed in Rule 7.1.2.
7.3        Except in Item 7.2.1, the consent of the illegitimate child is required if he/she has reached the age of majority. The consent may be contained in a separate instrument duly notarized."

The Basic Requirements And Procedures Of Getting Married

Getting married in the Philippines need not be complicated if you know the basic requirements and procedures. Whether it is a civil or church wedding, you need to make ample preparations so your wedding goes as planned. Applying for a marriage license is the first step you need to take as this is the most important document for civil or church wedding. The purpose of a marriage license is to verify your eligibility for marriage.  As much as possible, you should prepare both original and photocopy of the document.

You can claim your marriage license once you have completed the requirements. You will need to present the Certificates of Attendant to the LCR office where you have applied for your license. It is recommended that you file the registration within 15 days from the date of wedding celebration. The license will be released after 10 days from the date of application. The license will be considered valid for 120 days from the date of issue.

Requirements for securing a marriage license:

•    Community Tax Certificate (Cedula)
•    Application Form
•    NSO Authenticated birth certificate
•    Certificate of No Marriage
•    Recent 1x1 Photo
•    Affidavit of parental advice ( for groom or bride 22-25 years old )
•    Affidavit of parental consent (for groom or bride 18-21 years old)

Death certificate of the deceased spouse will be required from a widow or widower, while a certificate of legal capacity issued by the embassy will be required from a foreigner or an applicant who is not a Filipino citizen.

The marriage contract or license can be obtained from the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) office of the Municipal’s Office where the wedding will be held. The application form must be filled out with the necessary information. There are sections intended for groom and bride and after filling out the form, be sure to check the information before submitting the paper. You will be asked to attend seminars before getting married. These seminars are pre-marriage counselling and family planning and responsible parenthood seminar.  Both parties must attend the seminars.

Church wedding requirements:

•    marriage license,
•    baptismal and confirmation certificates
•    copy of NSO birth certificate
•    marriage preparation seminar
•    canonical interview
•    marriage banns
•     list of principal sponsors and entourage members
•     Confession

Civil wedding requirements:

•    Certified true copy of baptismal certificate or birth certificate of both parties
•    Marriage license
•    Community tax certificates
•    1 x 1 photo of each applicant
•    Certificate of attendance to a wedding seminar
•    Letter of intent to marry

Additional information about marriage can be found in Family Code of the Philippines:

“Art. 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
(2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. (53a)

Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:

(1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;
(2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title; and
(3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.

Art. 4. The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35 (2).
A defect in any of the essential requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

Art. 5. Any male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38, may contract marriage.

Art. 6. No prescribed form or religious rite for the solemnization of the marriage is required. It shall be necessary, however, for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife. This declaration shall be contained in the marriage certificate which shall be signed by the contracting parties and their witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer.

In case of a marriage in articulo mortis, when the party at the point of death is unable to sign the marriage certificate, it shall be sufficient for one of the witnesses to the marriage to write the name of said party, which fact shall be attested by the solemnizing officer.

Art. 7. Marriage may be solemnized by:

(1) Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction;
(2) Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer’s church or religious sect;
(3) Any ship captain or airplane chief only in the case mentioned in Article 31;
(4)  Any military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the absence of the latter, during a military operation, likewise only in the cases mentioned in Article 32;
(5) Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul in the case provided in Article 10.”

Can You Still Demand Support For Your Children Despite The Abandonment?

Children are the ones who suffer the consequences when conflicts between their parents are irreparable. Without a doubt, bad blood exists between estranged spouses especially if one of them chooses to abandon the children. While settling differences between the husband and the wife is no longer a cause for concern, child custody and support are often the contested issues that require attention. If the husband has not fulfilled his obligations to give support, can the estranged wife demand support?

Under Article 203 of the Family Code, the obligation to provide support becomes demandable from the time the individual who has a right to receive support needs it for maintenance. However, it cannot be paid except from the date of judicial or extra-judicial demand.

The person obliged to give support must fulfill the obligation either by paying the allowance fixed or by maintaining or receiving in the family dwelling the person who has a right to receive support. However, the second option may not be considered due to moral or legal obstacle. Republic Act 8972 or the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000 and Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 are laws which provide assistance to women abandoned by their live-in partners or husband.

Republic Act 8972

“Section 4. Criteria for Support. - Any solo parent whose income in the place of domicile falls below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the assessment of the DSWD worker in the area shall be eligible for assistance: Provided, however, That any solo parent whose income is above the poverty threshold shall enjoy the benefits mentioned in Sections 6, 7 and 8 of this Act.

Section 5. Comprehensive Package of Social Development and Welfare Services. - A comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families will be developed by the DSWD, DOH, DECS, CHED, TESDA, DOLE, NHA and DILG, in coordination with local government units and a nongovernmental organization with proven track record in providing services for solo parents.

The DSWD shall coordinate with concerned agencies the implementation of the comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for solo parents and their families. The package will initially include:

(a) Livelihood development services which include trainings on livelihood skills, basic business management, value orientation and the provision of seed capital or job placement.

(b) Counseling services which include individual, peer group or family counseling. This will focus on the resolution of personal relationship and role conflicts.

(c) Parent effectiveness services which include the provision and expansion of knowledge and skills of the solo parent on early childhood development, behavior management, health care, rights and duties of parents and children.

(d) Critical incidence stress debriefing which includes preventive stress management strategy designed to assist solo parents in coping with crisis situations and cases of abuse.

(e) Special projects for individuals in need of protection which include temporary shelter, counseling, legal assistance, medical care, self-concept or ego-building, crisis management and spiritual enrichment.”

What happens when the husband refuses to give support?

Section 8 of Republic Act 9262 states, “Directing the respondent to provide support to the woman and/or her child if entitled to legal support. Notwithstanding other laws to the contrary, the court shall order an appropriate percentage of the income or salary of the respondent to be withheld regularly by the respondent's employer for the same to be automatically remitted directly to the woman. Failure to remit and/or withhold or any delay in the remittance of support to the woman and/or her child without justifiable cause shall render the respondent or his employer liable for indirect contempt of court;”

Strange Laws You Never Knew Existed: Part 15 Of 15 You Can Legally Kill People

You can lose your temper once you reach your boiling point. It can be due to a number of reasons such as betrayal. What would you do if your spouse commits adultery? Some can easily forgive a person and start a new life, but there are those who just cannot bury the hatchet. This means they can put matters into their own hands by killing the person responsible for committing such a crime.

Article 247 states:

“ Death or physical injuries under exceptional circumstances. — Any legally married person who, having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injuries, shall suffer the penalty of destierro.

If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from punishment.

These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to their daughters under eighteen years of age, and their seducers, while the daughters are living with their parents.

Any person who shall promote or facilitate the prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall otherwise have consented to the infidelity of the other spouse, shall not be entitled to the benefits of this article.”

The law only applies if the following elements are present:

“1. The offender is any legally married person;

2. The offender surprises his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person;

3. The offender kills or seriously injures any or both of them;

4. The offender kills or seriously injures during the act of sexual intercourse or immediately thereafter.”

Strange Laws You Never Knew Existed: Part 11 Of 15 Observing 301-Day Rule Before Marrying Again

Marriage is more than just a contract as it also involves fulfilling the promise to stand by each other through thick or thin. However, there are situations which are beyond the married couples' control and one of which is death. The vows can be broken because of death. Widows have to undergo grieving process before gaining full acceptance of the loss. 

It can take years before a woman can be on the road to recovery. This is where remarrying another person comes in. Unfortunately, if a woman decides to remarry, there are still some rules to follow based on Article 351 of Republic Act 3815. 

“Any widow who shall marry within three hundred and one day from the date of the death of her husband, or before having delivered if she shall have been pregnant at the time of his death, shall be punished by arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 500 pesos.

The same penalties shall be imposed upon any woman whose marriage shall have been annulled or dissolved, if she shall marry before her delivery or before the expiration of the period of three hundred and one day after the legal separation.”

The reason for the implementation of this law is to “prevent confusion as to the paternity and filiation of the child,” but due to the advancements in technology, paternity testing is considered unnecessary as DNA test serves as a strong proof. 

A bill that repeals premature marriages has already been approved without further amendments by the committee on woman, family, relations and gender equality. The bill is already up for plenary deliberations. According to Senator Nancy Binay, who proposed the bill, the law is considered antiquated and an instrument to discriminating women. She added that there were series of proposals that aim to amend the anti-women provision specified in the Revised Penal Code, but none of them had been enacted into law. 

Justice Flerida Ruth P. Romero On The Trends In Family Law [Video]

The family law in the Philippines has significantly changed over the years. While marriage's definition was used to be a simple union between a man and a woman, it is considered a special contract at present. A contract that prevents either parties from changing partners at the same rate they change their clothes. Revisions and additions on the family code are inevitable especially in this modern day and age when same sex marriage has also stirred a web of controversy. Perhaps, the family law in the country has once lain dormant and only awakened by the prevalence of domestic abuse, infidelity, etc. The video provides an overview of the recent changes and trends in family law. The changes benefit both traditional and modern families. They provide more options to couples who wish to seek legal assistance or advice. Are you also aware of the changes and trends in family law? How do you feel about them? Let us know your thoughts.

Understanding Child Support In the Philippines

When married couples decide to put an end to the relationship, it is always the children that are caught in the middle. The scenario wherein one party demands for child support can become an endless battle. This is where R.A. 9262 steps in. It is a sad fact that even after the annulment proceedings, both parties just cannot meet halfway let alone having an agreement with child support. However, child support should not be a complicated issue. Child support refers to a policy in which regular payment for the financial support of a child must be made. It is very common among cases of marriage annulment, invalid marriages and children who are born out of relationships which are non-marital.  Although there are some technicalities that make the entire process difficult to understand, just catching a glimpse of the family code will help you gain basic knowledge. 

Based on articles 195 and 196 of the Family Code, the following are required to support each other: 

• The spouses;

• Legitimate ascendants and descendants;

• Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;

• Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;

• Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood.

On the other hand articles 194, 201 and 202 states that the support must be in proportion to the provider’s resources and the recipient’s necessities. 

When it comes to supporting the recipient’s education, the support covers the training or schooling, and expenses, which include transportation and allowances. The support can be given in two options: either paying a fixed allowance or maintaining the person entitled to receive support in the giver’s dwelling. 

However, if the petition of annulment was successful, you are no longer required to provide support unless there was mutual agreement on both parties regarding rendering support. So long as the hearing for the petition is ongoing and the decisions have not been ruled out yet, the support must be continuous. 

When filing for child support, the first step will be filing the case in the court system. Relevant information must also be provided and necessary documents needs to be secured. Some of the documents that you will be required to submit include a valid photo ID card, proof of address, birth certificate of the child or children, proof of income, payment history and many more. 

The requirements must be completed before any hearing could take place. The court will provide the date of hearing and the non-custodial parent will be informed about it. The information that was provided will be validated and parents are required to answer questions the court may have about parenthood. The process can be lengthy depending on the circumstances and evidence presented.