Philippine Annulment
Philippines Relationship Advice

Annulment in the Philippines

Philippine Annulment

When we’re in love, we usually think it’ll last forever. Every time we meet someone new, we pray that this will be the one and that nothing will ever come between us. Except that such things actually occur, and the relationship does end. 

There is, however, no one cause for a relationship’s demise. One typical cause is conflict, but there are other situations when it’s necessary to terminate a relationship with someone you care about. You must acquire the skills necessary to end a romantic relationship successfully.

Research suggests that the divorce rate is almost 50% if we include just the cases when the spouses have separated (although measuring divorce rates is more complex than comparing marriages to divorces in a single year). Also, acquiring rates on dissolving casual and common law partnerships is far more difficult since they are not as thoroughly tracked.

Why is there no divorce in the Philippines?

Whether or not divorce is legal in the Philippines is a question you may be asking. As of this writing, divorce is illegal in the Philippines. The marriage is dissolved, but only when a court orders it.

Recently, the House Committee on Population and Family Relations recommended that the full House pass a measure that would restore absolute divorce to end a marriage in the Philippines.

The grounds for divorce under this law would expand to include things like a five-year separation, gender reassignment surgery, insurmountable disagreements, and domestic or marital violence.

The Philippines has some of the most socially conservative laws in the world. Besides Vatican City, it is the only nation worldwide where divorce is illegal (except for Muslims). In short of death, a marriage may only be terminated through annulment, which is possible only under very specific circumstances and is quite costly. 

Defining Annulment

Philippine Annulment
Philippine Annulment

An annulment is a judicial declaration that a marriage is invalid. The marriage is regarded as legitimate until it is annulled. If the marriage is recognized by law and fits the requirements, you may seek to have it formally dissolved by filing for an annulment. Alternatively, a Declaration of Marriage Nullity may be submitted. This applies to unions that are already invalid or void due to factors that existed prior to the wedding.

Why Might a Marriage Be Annulled?

  • the marital agreement secured through deception
  • consent was blackmailed, coercive, or otherwise compromised
  • no permission from parent(s)
  • presence of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
  • conjugal impotence
  • psychological instability

When a marriage is declared null and void, what factors are considered?

  • the marriage occurred while one or both partners were under the age of 18
  • the wedding ceremony was presided over by someone who was not permitted under national law
  • insufficient documentation for marriage
  • bigamous or polygamous
  • disputable identities
  • impairments resulting from mental illness
  • successive unions
  • inter-family marriages

The Hefty Price Tag

Philippine Annulment
Philippine Annulment Fees

Getting an annulment in the Philippines might set you anywhere from P200,000 to P 600,000. That is, provided the opposite party does not object to the annulment. The cost of an annulment in the Philippines might easily exceed one million pesos if your spouse contests it or if there are complicated issues related to property or child custody.

The costs associated with getting an annulment in the Philippines are broken out below.

1. Acceptance Fee from the Attorney

Prices range roughly between P100,000 and P600,000. In the Philippines, legal expenses make up a significant portion of the overall cost of getting an annulment. The cost of hiring a lawyer to handle your annulment case will depend on how much expertise they have. Lawyers with more years of practice will naturally demand higher rates. Furthermore, large organizations charge more than smaller ones do, either on a per-hour or flat-rate basis. The costs of an annulment lawsuit might be further inflated by the inclusion of sub-issues such as property, custody, and support.

2. Psychological Evaluation

The budget is between P25,000 and P100,000. The professional fee, psychological report, and expert witness attendance of the evaluator make up the psychological assessment. The filing or hearing location for the annulment case will also affect the professional cost and appearance fee. Each hearing can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands.

3. Cost of Annulment Application

About P4,000 to P5,000 is how much you can expect.

Docket fees account for the bulk of the filing fee. A docket fee is a cost that a court demands to schedule a hearing. A predetermined sum must be paid as part of the litigation costs. Standard annulment proceedings that do not include child custody, property, or spousal support typically cost roughly P2,800.

4. Sheriff’s Compensation

The filing cost often includes the Sheriff’s charge. The Sheriff is responsible for serving all formal summonses, notifications, and other court paperwork related to the annulment.

5. Miscellaneous Expenses

The estimated price range is from P10,000 to P20,000. Additional professional fees, publishing costs, regulatory charges, printing, mailing, transportation, and stenographic fees will be covered by miscellaneous expenditures.

The Annulment Process

Depending on the court’s schedule, the whole thing may take anywhere from six months to four years. Your petition will be prepared after your first meeting and contract signing with your selected attorney. It is common practice in the Philippines to have a psychiatric assessment of both parties in an annulment process if one party claims the other is mentally incapacitated. Once the psychologist completes and submits their report in writing, your attorney will construct the petition and provide it to you for review and approval. The completed petition will then be submitted to the court, and a judge will randomly choose to hear the case.

If you are currently working or studying abroad, you can file your petition before receiving a psychiatric assessment and giving evidence to your psychologist. Collusion inquiry will commence after a judge is appointed to your petition, during which the court will attempt to ascertain whether or not you and your husband had already agreed to an annulment. Filipino spouses should not have conspired to dissolve their marriage, unlike in other nations where parties may endure a mutual divorce.

To determine whether the parties can agree on preliminary matters like child custody, support, and visitation rights, the court will choose and narrow the topics relevant to the case and send them to mediation.

The trial will include three primary witnesses: you, the petitioner, the psychologist, and a corroborating witness, such as a friend or family member.

The matter is put before the court for a ruling when the trial is over. If the judgment is a refusal or an unfavorable one, any party has 15 days from receipt of the court decision to submit a motion for reconsideration. If one of the parties disputes the annulment, it might potentially take longer to get a resolution. The court might be overwhelmed with cases, the judge could be unavailable on the scheduled hearing dates, and so on, all of which add time to the process.

Conditions of Foreign Divorce

Though divorce is not recognized in the Philippines, if an alien partner can acquire a lawful divorce from their Filipino partner outside of the country, the Filipino partner will be able to remarry in compliance with Philippine law. However, the Philippine court must ratify the foreign divorce procedure via the Judicial Recognition of Foreign Divorce procedure (JRD).

In a Nutshell…

Getting an annulment is a difficult ordeal that may take time and energy, and the Philippines’ annulment fee might significantly influence your budget. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life miserable and unhappy with your spouse because you can’t afford the annulment expense. Think about applying for a personal loan to cover the costs. You’ll feel less anxious and overwhelmed if you don’t have to worry about where the money is coming from.

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