From Start to Finish
Understanding the Annulment of Marriage Process in the Philippines

Navigating the annulment process in the Philippines can be overwhelming, but with the assistance of a skilled lawyer, it becomes more manageable. In this article, we will guide you through the entire process, from start to finish, shedding light on the intricacies involved in obtaining an annulment.


Annulment of Marriage in the Philippines, unlike a divorce, functions as a legal declaration that a marriage is null and void, as if it never existed. It requires specific grounds, such as psychological incapacity, fraud, bigamy, or one party’s inability to consent to the marriage. Understanding these grounds and the legal requirements surrounding the annulment of marriage is crucial.


By enlisting the expertise of a skilled lawyer, you gain access to their extensive knowledge and experience in family law. They will provide invaluable guidance, ensuring you meet all the necessary criteria and complete the required paperwork accurately and efficiently.

What is an Annulment of Marriage in the Philippines? How does it differ from divorce?

Annulment of marriage is a legal process that declares a marriage invalid, as if it never existed in the first place. Annulment of Marriage declares that a marriage was invalid from its inception, in contrast to divorce, which terminates a legally recognized marriage. Based on the Family Code of the Philippines, the grounds for annulment are (i) lack of requisites, (ii) psychological incapacity, (iii) incestuous marriages, (iv) marriages against public policy, (v) bigamous marriages and (vi) when one of the spouses remarry without complying with the recordal requirement of the judgment of annulment or absolute nullity of the previous marriage, etc

Understanding the Annulment Process in the Philippines

Below is a general outline of the steps in the annulment process in the Philippines. In some cases, these steps may not be followed


Step 1: Gathering necessary documents and evidence


The initial step is to gather the necessary documents and evidence. Here’s a general breakdown of what this step typically involves:


  1. Marriage Certificate: Obtain a copy of the marriage certificate, as it’s essential to prove the existence of the marriage. This document contains details such as the date, location, and names of the spouses.
  2. Documents Supporting Grounds for Annulment: Collect any documents or evidence that support your grounds for seeking an annulment. For example, (i) Evidence of Fraud or Misrepresentation: Any correspondence, written agreements, or proof that shows deceit or misrepresentation by your spouse; (ii) Proof of Concealment: Documents proving that your spouse deliberately hid crucial information that would have affected the decision to marriage; (iii) Evidence of Incapacity: Medical records, witness statements, or any documentation showing that one or both spouses were unable to understand the marriage commitment at the time of the ceremony due to mental incapacity; (iv) Proof of Prohibited Relationships: Documents that confirm a prohibited relationship, such as birth certificates proving a close blood relation; or (v) Evidence of Force or Duress: Any documentation, witnesses, or records that can support the claim that the marriage occurred under duress or coercion.

Step 2: Consultation with a skilled annulment lawyer


Once you have gathered evidence, The client visits the lawyer to discuss his or her legal matter. Once the lawyer has consulted and received the necessary documents, they will proceed to prepare the petition for the annulment of the marriage.

When the reason for declaring a marriage null is psychological incapacity, it is recommended to engage the assistance of an expert witness, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, at this phase. The expert witness will thereafter provide testimony regarding the psychological incapacity of either the petitioner or the respondent. Including the executive summary of the expert witness report in the petition is also recommended.


Step 3: Filing the annulment petition


The petition is filed before the Regional Trial Court at the place where either of the parties reside. Cases involving marriage and family matters will be raffled only to designated Family Courts.


Step 4: Court proceedings and hearings


Upon the filing of the Petition, Court proceedings will ensue. The Court will send Summons to the respondent-Spouse to allow him/her to Answer. Once the Court receive his/her Answer, it shall schedule the case to several hearings, including, but not limited to, Collusion Hearing, Pre-Trial, and Trial. The Court will likewise issue an order requiring the Philippine Government, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the prosecutor assigned to participate in the proceedings. 


Step 5: Finalizing the annulment


Following the completion of procedures and hearings, the Court will subsequently issue an order indicating that the case has been submitted for resolution. The Decision will be disseminated within a period of 30 to 90 days following the issuance of the aforementioned order.


The duration of a marriage nullity declaration can vary from 10 months to several years, depending on factors such as the complexity of the case (e.g. disputed properties, custody, and support), the court’s availability, the presence of witnesses and documentary evidence, and the location where the petition is filed.


Conclusion: Importance of hiring a skilled lawyer during the annulment process

It is important it is to hire a good lawyer during the annulment of the marriage process. An experienced family law attorney can help you by giving you advice and explaining the steps you need to take.


To begin, an experienced lawyer knows all of the complicated legal rules and details that come with annulments. They know the grounds for annulment, so you can be sure your case is built on good legal ground. Also, a lawyer is very important for gathering evidence and papers needed to support your claims. They help you build a strong case by finding and presenting proof that supports your reasons for wanting to get the marriage annulled. During the whole process, your lawyer also acts as your defender, looking out for your best interests and pushing for a fair outcome. They talk to the other side’s lawyers and handle contact with them. This removes the legal process’s stress and complexity while protecting your rights.


Basically, getting a good lawyer during an annulment is not only a good idea, it’s often necessary to make sure the process goes smoothly, is legal, and is fair. Their knowledge, experience, and lobbying greatly improve your chances of getting an annulment, giving you comfort and support during a tough time.

Ricasio Law’s expertise in family law issues, such as annulment cases, can make the process go much more smoothly. With their knowledge, experience, and dedication to providing personalized legal solutions, they can help you get through the complicated process of annulment, speed up court proceedings, and work toward a positive result in a timely and cost-effective way.

Disclaimer: The content on this website is offered as general information only and is not intended to be legal advice or a solicitation for legal services. The information is not being supplied as part of an attorney-client relationship between the Lawyers of Ricasio Law and anyone viewing it. Viewers should not rely on the information on this website for making legal decisions, but should instead get legal assistance from a skilled attorney. You should not act exclusively on the basis of the material on this website and are strongly recommended to seek the legal advice of a lawyer.

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