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Family Made Familiar

Family Code of the Philippines (E.O. No. 209)

Art. 1. Definition of Marriage

- It is a special contract and not subject to stipulation except marriage settlements

 Marriage settlements are pre-nuptials to identify the property which can be brought
into the marriage.
- Inviolable institution and must be protected by the State
- Contrary to popular belief, marriage is lawfully forever
- Marriage is founded in permanent love. There is a presumption of the existence of love.

Art. 2-3. Requisites of Marriage

Essential requisites (Art. 2):

- Legal capacity
Note: Must be 18 years old and above
- Must be male and female
- Consent freely given in the presence of a solemnizing officer

Formal requisites (Art. 3):

- Authority of solemnizing officer

- Valid marriage license except in cases provided for in Chapter 2
Note: This is the best documentary evidence
- Marriage ceremony
 Requisites of a valid ceremony:
 Appearance of contracting parties in the presence of solemnizing officer
 Personal declaration taking each other as husband and wife (vows; saying I
 At least two witnesses of legal age

Art. 4. When there is defect in the requisites

- Absences of any of the formal or essential requisites = void ab initio (Art. 35)
- Defect in any essential requisites = voidable (Art. 45)
- Irregularity in the formal requisites = valid
 Whoever is responsible for such irregularity shall be civilly, criminally, and
administratively liable

Art. 5. Who can contract marriage

- Male and female - Not under any impediments stated in Art. 37 and 38
- 18 years old and above

Art. 6. Marital rites

- No prescribed form or religious rite is required (refer to requisites of a valid ceremony)
- Such personal declaration shall be contained in the marriage certificate signed by the
contracting parties and witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer
- Marriages in articulo mortis (marriages at the point of death) – When the party is unable
to sign, the witness can write the name of said party which shall be attested by the
solemnizing officer; no license is required in such marriages
Note: The witness may only write the name since a signature is a completely personal

Art. 7. Authorized solemnizing officers (M.P.S.M.C.)

1. Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction

 Included are: All justices of Sandiganbayan and Court of Tax Appeal but not arbiters
who only has quasi-judicial powers (i.e. labor arbiters)
2. Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect
3. Any ship captain or airplane chief in cases mentioned in Art. 31
 Requisites of Art. 31:
 Marriages in articulo mortis
 Between crew passenger and crew members
4. Any military commander of a unit which the chaplain is assigned to in a military operation
under Art. 32
 Requisites of Art. 32:
 Marriages in articulo mortis
 Within the zone of military operation
 Between members of the armed forces or civilians
5. Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul under Art.10
Note: The issuance of marriage license and other duties of local civil registrar and
solemnizing officer shall be performed by said consular official

Art. 8. Places of solemnization

- Marriage must be publicly solemnized in:

 Chambers of the judge or open court
 Church, chapel, or temple
 Office of the consul general, consul, or vice consul
- Exception:
 Marriages in articulo mortis (Art. 27)
 Remote areas; no mean of transportation (Art 28)
Note: The preceding circumstances must be back up with an affidavit (Art. 29)
 Requested by writing to the solemnizing officer that it be done elsewhere

Art. 9, 11-21. Issuance of Marriage License

- Marriage license is issued by local civil registrar where the contracting party habitually
- When the contracting parties apply for such license the following, in this order, should be
1. Original birth certificate
2. Baptismal certificate
3. A certified copy of either of the preceding documents
4. After 15 days and still none of the above is available, a current residence certificate
may be presented
5. Instrument drawn up and sworn to before the local civil registrar or any public official
authorized to administer oaths
6. However, if the parents of the contracting parties appear and swear to the
correctness of the parties’ lawful age
7. In case the contracting party was previously married, the applicant will also provide
either the death certificate of the deceased spouse or judicial decree of absolute
divorce or judicial decree of annulment or declaration of nullity
- If parties, either or both, are between 18 and 21 y/o = Must secure a written consent
from their father, mother, or surviving parent, guardian or person having legal charge
over them (in this order)
- If parties, either or both, are between 21 and 25 y/o = Obliged to ask parents or
guardians for advice
 Should they refuse, marriage license will be released 3 months after the completion
of the publication of the application
 Sworn statement shall be attached in the application of a license
- When parental consent or parental advice is required, the contracting parties shall attach
a certificate that they underwent marriage counselling under a religious leader or
individuals mention in Art. 7.
 If not done, the issuance of marriage license will be suspended for 3 months.
- A notice shall be posted in the bulletin board outside the local civil registrar for 10
consecutive days.
Rationale: To request all persons having knowledge of any impediments to the marriage
and advise the local civil registrar
- In case of any impediments, the local civil registrar will note it down and still issue it
UNLESS the court says prevents its issuance
- There is a fee prescribe by law or regulation for issuance of marriage license.
Exception: Indigent parties
- Validity of license: 120 days only from date of issue
Rationale: To give the contracting parties time to truly comprehend the marriage
- When citizens of a foreign country, either or both parties, apply for a license, there must
submit a certificate of legal capacity issued by their respective diplomatic or consular

Art. 22-25. Marriage certificates

- The solemnizing officer will furnish the original marriage certificate to the parties and
send a duplicate and triplicate copies to the local civil registrar where the marriage is
solemnized. A fourth copy will be kept by the solemnizing officer.
- Local civil registrar concerned shall enter all application for marriage licenses in his
registry book.
Art. 26. Marriages solemnized in a foreign country

- Marriages solemnized outside the Philippines is also valid in the country except those
prohibited under Art. 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37, and 38
- If a Filipino citizen and a foreigner married outside the RP and divorced there, the
Filipino citizen may remarry under Philippine law

Art. 27-34. Marriages exempt from the License Requirement

(Refer above for marriages in articulo mortis and remote areas)

- Marriages among Muslim or among members of the ethnic cultural communities may be
validly performed without license as long as it is solemnized in accordance to their
custom, rites, or practices
- When the contracting parties have lived together as husband and wife for 5 year, a
marriage license will not be required.

Art. 35-54. Void and Voidable Marriages

Void marriages (E.U.L.B.I.A.):

1. Contracting parties are below eighteen years old even with consent
2. Solemnized by an unauthorized person UNLESS either or both the parties believed in
good faith the person was authorized to do so
3. Without a license
4. Bigamous and polygamous marriages not within Art 41
 When a person gets married thinking his/her previous spouse, absent for 4
consecutive years and believed on well-founded facts to be dead, the marriage is
 If the absent spouse reappears, that marriage will be terminated by the record of
reappearance. (Art. 42)
5. Mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other
6. Under Art. 53
 The record of a (1) judgment of annulment or absolute nullity of the marriage, (2) the
partition and (3) distribution of the properties of the spouse, and the delivery of the
children’s presumptive legitimes shall be in the appropriate civil registry and
registries. (Art. 52) With this, the subsequent marriage is null and void.
- Psychological incapacity is also grounds for a void marriage even if it only manifests
after the solemnization of marriage
- Incestuous and void:
 Ascendants and descendants of any degree
 Brother and sisters, whether half or full blood
- Void due to public policy
 Step-parents and step-children
 Parents-in-law and children-in-law
 Adopting parent and adopted child
 Surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child
 Surviving spouse of the adopted spouse and the adopter
 Adopted child and a legitimate child
 Adopted children of the same adopter
 Parties wherein one with the intention to marry the other, killed the other person’s
spouse or his/her own spouse
- Action of defense for the declaration of nullity shall be prescribe
- Effect of a marriage dissolved under Art. 41-42
1. Children of the subsequent marriage will still be legitimate and their custody and
support in case of dispute shall be decided by the court
2. The absolute community of property or conjugal property shall be liquidate
Except: contracted in bad faith. Then the net profits will go to the common children,
or children of the guilty spouse by a previous marriage or the innocent spouse
3. Donations will still be valid. Except: those contracted in bad faith, donation made to
said done are revoked by the operation as irrevocable
4. The innocent party may revoke the designation of the other spouse who acted in bad
5. The party who contracted the subsequent marriage in bad faith shall be disqualified
to inherit from the innocent spouse
- If the marriage was contracted both in bad faith, said marriage will be void ab initio

Voidable Marriage

1. Marriage contracted when either or both was 18 y/o but below 21 and was solemnized
with no consent UNLESS after attaining the age of 21, they lived together as husband
and wife
Who can file for annulment: By the party whose parent or guardian did not give consent
within 5 years after attaining the age of 21; parent or guardian or person having lega;
charge when the party reached the age of 21
2. Either was of unsound mind UNLESS after coming to reason, freely lived together as
husband and wife
Who: Sane spouse who had no knowledge of such insanity or relative having legal
charge of the insane spouse or insane spouse during lucid interval
3. Consent was obtained by fraud UNLESS after the party learned about the fraud free
lived together as husband and wife
Who: injured party after 5 years after discovery of fraud
4. Consent was obtained through force, intimidation, or undue influence UNLESS after
being free of this they freely lived together as husband and wife
Who: 5 year from the time of fraud, intimidation, and undue influence disappeared
5. Incapable of consummating the marriage
When: Within 5 years after the marriage
6. Afflicted with STD found to be serious and incurable
When: Within 5 years after the marriage
- In the absence of adequate provisions in written agreement, the Court shall provide for
the support and custody of the common children.
- The value of presumptive legitimes of all common children shall be delivered in cash,
property or sound securities

Art. 55-67. Legal Separation

Legal Separation

Definition: Legal separation is when the parties are merely separated from bed and board which
is different from absolute divorce where the marriage is dissolved.

1. Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a
common child on any of the following grounds
2. Physical violence or moral pressure to change religion or political affiliation
3. Attempted of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of
the petitioner, to engage in prostitution or connivance in such corruption or inducement
4. Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, even
if pardoned;
5. Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism;
6. Lesbianism or homosexuality;
7. Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in or
outside the Philippines;
8. Sexual infidelity or perversion;
9. Attempt on the life of petitioner by the respondent; or
10. Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one

Art. 68. Marital Obligation

- Since the presumption of marriage is love and companionship, the law speaks of
obligation of marriage. That is to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity,
and render help and support.


Santos vs. CA
GR. No. 112019 January 4, 1995

Facts: Leouel married Julia September 20, 1986 in Iloilo City. Even after having a child, the
couple lived under Julia’s parents’ roof who in return meddle with the young couple’s family
affairs. On May 18, 1988, Julia went to USA to work as a nurse despite her husband’s protest.
Seven months after did she only contact Leouel saying she’d be home by July but still did not
come home. Leouel, under training of AFP, went to US and still did not find his wife there.
Leouel filed a civil case to declare the marriage null under Art. 36.

Doctrine: It should be obvious, looking at all the foregoing disquisitions, including, and most
importantly, the deliberations of the Family Code Revision Committee itself, that the use of the
phrase "psychological incapacity" under Article 36 of the Code has not been meant to
comprehend all such possible cases of psychoses as, likewise mentioned by some
ecclesiastical authorities, extremely low intelligence, immaturity, and like circumstances (cited in
Fr. Artemio Baluma's "Void and Voidable Marriages in the Family Code and their Parallels in
Canon Law," quoting from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder by the American
Psychiatric Association; Edward Hudson's "Handbook II for Marriage Nullity Cases"). Article 36
of the Family Code cannot be taken and construed independently of, but must stand in
conjunction with, existing precepts in our law on marriage. Thus correlated, "psychological
incapacity" should refer to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to
be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and
discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed by Article 68 of the Family
Code, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and
render help and support. There is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to
confine the meaning of "psychological incapacity" to the most serious cases of personality
disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter intensitivity or inability to give meaning and
significance to the marriage. This pschologic condition must exist at the time the marriage is
celebrated. The law does not evidently envision, upon the other hand, an inability of the spouse
to have sexual relations with the other. This conclusion is implicit under Article 54 of the Family
Code which considers children conceived prior to the judicial declaration of nullity of the void
marriage to be "legitimate."

The other forms of psychoses, if existing at the inception of marriage, like the state of a party
being of unsound mind or concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, homosexuality or
lesbianism, merely renders the marriage contract voidable pursuant to Article 46, Family Code.
If drug addiction, habitual alcholism, lesbianism or homosexuality should occur only during the
marriage, they become mere grounds for legal separation under Article 55 of the Family Code.
These provisions of the Code, however, do not necessarily preclude the possibility of these
various circumstances being themselves, depending on the degree and severity of the
disorder, indicia of psychological incapacity.

Until further statutory and jurisprudential parameters are established, every circumstance that
may have some bearing on the degree, extent, and other conditions of that incapacity must, in
every case, be carefully examined and evaluated so that no precipitate and indiscriminate nullity
is peremptorily decreed. The well-considered opinions of psychiatrists, psychologists, and
persons with expertise in psychological disciplines might be helpful or even desirable.

Chi Ming Tsoi vs CA

GR. No. 119190 January 16, 1997

Facts: Gina and Chi Ming Tsoi married on May 22, 1988. However, on the night of their
wedding, no sexual intercourse transpired. The same happened even in their honeymoon in
Baguio City. Because of this, they submitted themselves into a medical checkup which says
Gina was healthy while Chi Ming was given medication and asked to return but never did. Since
there was no sexual intercourse between the spouses, a case was filed to declare the marriage

Doctrine: While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together,
observe mutual love, respect and fidelity (Art. 68, Family Code), the sanction therefor is actually
the "spontaneous, mutual affection between husband and wife and not any legal mandate or
court order" (Cuaderno vs. Cuaderno 120 Phil. 1298). Love is useless unless it is shared with
another. Indeed, no man is an island, the cruelest act of a partner in marriage is to say "I could
not have cared less." This is so because an ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has
nothing but himself. In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness
and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery of creation. It is a
function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.

It appears that there is absence of empathy between petitioner and private respondent. That is
— a shared feeling which between husband and wife must be experienced not only by having
spontaneous sexual intimacy but a deep sense of spiritual communion. Marital union is a two-
way process. An expressive interest in each other's feelings at a time it is needed by the other
can go a long way in deepening the marital relationship. Marriage is definitely not for children
but for two consenting adults who view the relationship with love amor gignit amorem, respect,
sacrifice and a continuing commitment to compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime
social institution.

This Court, finding the gravity of the failed relationship in which the parties found themselves
trapped in its mire of unfulfilled vows and unconsummated marital obligations, can do no less
but sustain the studied judgment of respondent appellate court.