During marriage the husband and wife are united as one, their oneness creates a joint life, acting, living and working as one unit. These oneness created result also to one property that shall be govern by absolute community of property for marriages celebrated after August 3, 1988. in absolute community of property all property before and after marriage are now owned jointly by the spouses and the law prohibits them to sell or donate to each other properties unless it is exclusive property or there already has been a judicial decree of separation of property.

Under the law, Property relation are governed by first marriage settlement, if none then by law or absolute property of community, and lastly by local custom. First, marriage settlement are the agreement or stipulation agreed by the spouse before they marry. For it to be valid it must be in writing, signed and must be made before marriage. The agreement of the spouses can be anything as long as it is not against the law, public policy and it is within the limit provided by the family code. These are called ante nuptial, prenuptial or premarital agreement, where the parties may define their property rights in property existing or after acquired, and they may vary substantially. Property rights that would otherwise arise on their marriage by operation of law, superseding in a sense, statutes on that subject. However spouses cannot stipulate different personal marital right and duties arises from law or divest the parties’ children of legal right. The property subject to marriage settlement can be future, present, full and partial. And in partial property, any property not included in the marriage settlement shall be subjected to absolute property of community, in which both spouses are the owners.

Marriage settlement must not prejudice third persons affected by the properties mentioned in the agreement. So to bind them to the prenuptial agreement, it must be registered at the local civil registrar where the marriage contract is recorded and it must be registered also in the proper registry of property. The law is set to make sure that in every stipulation agreed in the marriage settlement, there is a fair and just agreement. The relationship between the parties to an ante-nuptial agreement is one of mutual trust and confidence. They must exercise a high degree of good faith and candor in all matters bearing upon the contract. To ensure this the following must be considered: the relative situation of the parties’ their respective age, health and experience, their respective properties, their family ties and connection,  the spouse’s needs and other factors as to show that the agreement was understandingly made.

In the executing a prenuptial agreement or marriage settlement, the basic criterion is fairness and it is measured at the time of the creation.

If proven that the provision stated in the marriage settlement are not fair, just or reasonable, the court may render it ineffective, unless the disadvantage spouse has understanding of the right waive or prejudice created by the agreement on his/her behalf.

The burden of proving the invalidity or ineffectiveness of the provision stated in the marriage settlement rest on the spouse who alleges it. However, when it was shown clearly in the face of the contract that it is unreasonable, a presumption arises and the other spouse must now be the one to prove that the provision stated is valid.

In case the marriage is terminated by death and the surviving spouse married again without initiating any judicial or extrajudicial settlement of the properties of his or her previous marriage within one year from the death of the deceases spouse, a mandatory regime of complete separation of property shall govern the property relation of the subsequent marriage.

The general rule of article 76 of the family code states that the marriage settlement should be made and signed before the marriage, however the law allows modification to the marriage settlement as long as it has a judicial approval otherwise any other modification are void.

What are the rights and obligations of spouses under the Family Code?

The husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support. (Art. 68, Family Code of the Philippines)

What if one spouse refuses to comply with his or her marital obligations as provided under Art. 68, can the offended spouse legally compel him to come home and comply with such obligations?

The Supreme Court in the case of Ilusorio vs. Ilusorio-Bildner (G.R. No. 139789 July 19, 2001 and G.R. No. 139808 July 19, 2001) stated among other things that “consortium” or “coverture” (the obligation to, live together, observe mutual, respect and fidelity) is prompted by the spontaneous, mutual love and affection between husband and wife and cannot be enforced by any legal mandate or court order.

The Ilusorio decision written by Justice Pardo revolved around this issue: “May a wife secure a writ of habeas corpus to compel her husband to live with her in conjugal bliss? The answer is no. Marital rights including coverture and living in conjugal dwelling may not be enforced by the extra-ordinary writ of habeas corpus.”

The Supreme Court as a final note in the Ilusorio decision stated, “No court is empowered as a judicial authority to compel a husband to live with his wife. Coverture cannot be enforced by compulsion of a writ of habeas corpus carried out by sheriffs or by any other mesne process. That is a matter beyond judicial authority and is best left to the man and woman’s free choice.”

Who is responsible for the support of the family?

The spouses are jointly responsible for the support of the family. The expenses for such support and other conjugal obligations shall be paid from the community property and, in the absence thereof, from the income or fruits of their separate properties. In case of insufficiency or absence of said income or fruits, such obligations shall be satisfied from the separate properties. (Art. 70)

Who manages the household?

The management of the household shall be the right and the duty of both spouses. The expenses for such management shall be paid in accordance with the provisions of Article 70.

What if the husband or the wife neglects his or her duties to the family?

When one of the spouses neglects his or her duties to the conjugal union or commits acts which tend to bring danger, dishonor or injury to the other or to the family, the aggrieved party may apply to the court for relief. (Art. 72)

 Philippines is an archipelago. Being such, there exists several local customs between different tribes existing in the country. The researchers also discuss in this study marital relationship and rules governing the local customs of one of the major tribes in the Philippines, the Ifugao.

The Ifugaos

Philippine ethnologists generally agree to the hypothesis that the Negritos, a race of little blacks, remnants of which now inhabit mountain regions of many of the larger islands, were the original inhabitants of the Philippine Archipelago. They advance the hypothesis that these little blacks were driven by Malay immigrants from their former homes in the fertile plains to the mountains; and that these first Malay invaders were driven from the lowlands into the mountain regions by succeeding immigrations of Malays superior to them in organization and weapons. By and by, no one cares to hazard how long afterward, the Spaniards came.

Nature of marriage:

Marriage among the Ifugaos is a civil contract of undefined duration. It may last a month, a year, a decade, or until the death of one of the parties to it. It has no essential connection with the tribal religion. True, at almost every step in its consummation the family ancestral spirits and the other deities are besought to bless the union in a material way in the matter of children and wealth and by giving the two parties long life. But this is a matter of self-interest, and not of hallowing or consecrating the union. Should the omens be bad, the two people do not marry because they are afraid that in the shape of sickness or death or childlessness, ill fortune may overtake them if they do so. Even after the marriage has been fully consummated should it happen that at any one of three certain feasts performed by the parents of the couple during the year in connection with their rice crop, the omen of the bile sac4″ should promise ill, the marriage is dissolved. No promises are made by the contracting parties to each other or to anybody else. Nor do the contracting parties take any part in any religious ceremonials or in any marriage ceremonials of any kind. Marriage may be terminated at any time by mutual agreement. But that marriage is considered a contract is shown by the fact that if either party terminates the marriage against the will of the other the injured party has the right to assess and collect damages. The theory that marriage should be permanent in order to provide the better for the training and rearing of children has no legal embodiment. It is, however, established by custom that in case of divorce a property settlement according to the wealth of the family must be made on the children.

Obligations incurred by those who enter into a marriage contract:

First. The initial ceremony, the mommon, puts upon the principals in a marriage contract the obligation to abstain from sexual relations with any other persons. Sexual intercourse with any other person constitutes the crime of adultery. The degree of guilt for lapses in this respect depends on the progress that has been made toward the completion of the marriage, the culpability growing progressively with the performance of each succeeding marriage ceremonial.

Second. The obligation rests on the boy and his kin to furnish the immediate family of the girl with firewood from the time at which the first ceremony is performed until the young couple separate to live in a house by themselves.

Third. For the same period of time as that embraced in the preceding paragraph, the obligation rests on the boy and his kin to keep the granaries of the family of the girl in repair, and to reroof them whenever needful.

Fourth. Each family helps the other in all that pertains to rice culture throughout the first year following the bubun ceremony. Each family furnishes the other with the pig necessary for the sacrifice at each of the three important rice-culture feasts: the kulpe (growth feast), the kolating (harvest feast), and the tuldag (granary feast).

Fifth. From the time at which the first ceremony is performed until the dissolution of the marriage,- it is the duty of either spouse to furnish a pig to the other in the event of the sickness of the other or of any of his or her lineal ascendants.

Sixth. For the same period as that embraced in the preceding paragraph it is the duty of either spouse to furnish the other in the event of the death of any of the lineal ascendants of the other, a pig and a death blanket. If the spouses be too young to attend to any of their respective obligations to each other or to the families concerned, it is the duty of their parents to attend to the discharge of the obligations.

The non-fulfilment or the non-discharge of any of the above obligations is sufficient cause for a demand for a divorce on the part of the injured spouse. The Ifugao does not consider it to be the duty. of any person to leave his father and mother and cling to his wife Barton: Ifugao Law or husband. Rather does he consider the opposite to be the duty. A good many marriages are undone between children because of the non-fulfilment of one of these obligations on the part of one of the families involved. It matters not that the spouse be so young as to be of necessity innocent. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that husband and wife are never united into one family. They are merely allies. The ties that bind each to his own family are much stronger than the ties that bind them together. Each succeeding feast in the consummation of the marriage carries with it an added degree of obligation and of alliance; and an added degree of culpability in cases of failure to comply with the marital obligations and in cases of crimes against the marriage.

In this study, the researchers decided to look in to the existing rules governing the marital relationship in China to further seek for the differences and similarities existing between matters concerning marital relationships in two nations. The researchers chose China because it was predicted that China will replace the United States of America as the most powerful nation in the world soon. Thus, there may be a possibility that if such event will happen, the laws of China as to marital relationship may be adopted or applied in the Philippines.

Some of the notable differences in the existing rules governing the marital relationship in China and Philippines are enumerated as follows:

  • In China, divorce is legal. In the Philippines, there is no divorce yet but only legal separation and annulment.
  • In China, both husband and wife shall have the duty to practice family planning. Therefore, family planning is strictly implemented while in the Philippines, it is not.

Some of the notable similarities in the existing rules governing the marital relationship in China and Philippines are enumerated as follows:

  • The marriage system of both countries is based on the free choice of partners, on monogamy and on equality between man and woman shall be applied. Exception: In the Phillipines, Muslims can marry more as long as they have the capacity to support their spouse/s.
  • Marriage must by based upon the complete willingness of both man and woman. Neither party may use compulsion on the other party and no third party may interfere.
  • Both the man and the woman desiring to contract a marriage shall register in person with the marriage registration office. If the proposed marriage is found to conform with the provisions of this Law, the couple shall be allowed to register and issued marriage certificates. The husband and wife relationship shall be established as soon as they acquire the marriage certificates. In the absence of the marriage registration, the man and the woman shall go through the procedures subsequently.
  •  Husband and wife shall be faithful to and respect each other. Within the family family members shall respect the old and cherish the young, help one another, and maintain equal, harmonious and civilized marriage and family relations.

From the facts gathered, the researchers conclude that the marital relationship in the Philippines and in China are almost the same. There are notable similarities in the rules governing marital relations from the marriage to the responsibilities of spouses to the community, their family and their spouse. In the Philippines, there is no divorce yet but there is annulment and legal separation. In China, family planning and monogamy is strictly implemented while in the Philippines, bigamous marriage is allowed because of the Muslims living in the Philippines who are allowed to have more than one spouse.

The researchers also found out customs and traditions in a Filipino Chinese weddings that exists as enumerated below.

  • The Chinese, like the Filipinos, have unique wedding traditions, ceremonies, and even superstitions. Because China is a large country, each clan has its own special tradition and customs. Their traditions mixed with the Filipinos, made Filipino-Chinese weddings even more colorful.
  • The elements of ancestor worship and elder reverence, the lookout for omens, the use of professional matchmakers, the ornate gift-giving rituals and patrilineal kinship are similarly present in both traditional Chinese weddings and Chinese marriages in Philippine soil, along with the primary objectives of enhancing families and perpetuation of lineage. The element of time likewise plays a major part in Chinese weddings. Compatibility between bride and groom, for one, is more often than not determined by their respective star signs and horoscopes, which are in turn determined by the date and time of their births. The time of the ceremony is carefully picked, again for purposes of adherence to what their horoscopes dictate
  • Unlike their western counterparts, Chinese weddings make extensive use of the color red, for it is believed that the color symbolizes joy and luck. On the other hand, the practice of showering the newlyweds with rice is remarkably present in both cultures. In a marriage, the dragon symbolizes the male role while the phoenix symbolizes the female role. Dragon and Phoenix designs symbolize male and female harmony and a balanced relationship. The motif is rooted in mythology where the dragon symbolizes the Emperor and at his side stands the magically powerful phoenix with her life-giving song.
  • Chinese elders usually play a major role in the Chinese wedding. This role traditionally starts even before the child to be wed is born, when parents arrange for the weddings of their children. Sometimes, couples seek the help of a professional matchmaker, usually an elderly local woman of reputable character. Children, for their part, customarily follow their parents, as dictated by the analects of Confucius.
  • For the Chinese, the preferred partner is also Chinese. Chinese parents usually dislike Filipinos for in-laws. This prejudice against Filipinos mainly stems from their values which are different from those of Filipinos. Thus, inter-racial marriages are rare. In a culture where ancestral worship is practiced, it comes as no surprise that weddings are held in front of the family altar. The local Chinoy version varies little, as ceremonies are usually held before ancestral shrines in clan halls.
  • Once the future bride has accepted the marriage proposal of the future groom, the couple consults a Feng Shui expert to assist them in choosing the date of their Kiu Tsin or Kiu Hun or pamamanhikan (asking of hand in marriage), Ting Hun or engagement, and Kan Chiu or wedding ceremony. The Feng Shui expert determines the most auspicious date and time for these three important occasions based on the Chinese Zodiac sign of the marrying couple, their parents, and grandparents.

   The rules governing the marital relationship in the Philippines are influenced by the Chinese. If ever that the China will be a dominating nation, the Philippines will not have a very hard effort to adjust to it since the Philippines has more similarities than differences in the rules, customs and practices on marital relationship of China.

In addition, as provided in the Family Code of the Philippines, the rules governing the Family Code are majority contributed by the church. In this study, the researchers discussed the rights and obligations of husbands and wives from the Biblical standpoint to give knowledge to the readers of this research study on what does the bible says about marital relationship.

Rights and obligations of husbands and wives from the Biblical standpoint:

Ephesians 5:21 up to 33 outline the rights and obligations of husbands and wives: 

21. Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

I Peter 3: 1-12 also state the rights and duties of husbands and wives toward each other: 

  1. Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
  2. While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
  3. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
  4. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
  5. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
  6. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
  7. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
  8. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
  9. Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
  10. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
  11. Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
  12. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

We can see the differences as to what is the marital obligation of the spouse are as written between the law and the bible. That’s why the law has made additional statutes to protect the rights of the women against spousal abuse

RA 9262, under paragraph (4) of Section 5 lists this situation as an act of violence against a woman. The said paragraph penalizes the man (husband or live-in partner) if he “prevents the woman from engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity or controls the victim’s own money or properties, or solely controls the conjugal or common money, or properties.

Men and women are equal before the law, and the fact that they are married should not lower a a woman’s status vis-a-vis her male spouse. On the contrary, their being husband and wife should give them equal rights and opportunity in decision-making.

While it is recognized that the Family Code generally observes the fundamental equality of women and men as enshrined in our Constitution. Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women provides that the government shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations. Further, the provision on equal treatment before the law mandates the State to review, amend and/or repeal existing laws that are discriminatory to women. This includes ensuring that women and men have the same rights with respect to the ownership, acquisition, management, administration, enjoyment, and disposition of property.

As many of today young adult have relationship and later on get married and have a family, it is important for us to know the rights and obligation that we have as a married individual, not just to our family but as to our property.

House Bill No. 6028 of the Republic of the Philippines House of the Representatives introduced by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

House Bill No. 6028, or the proposed Reversion to Maiden Name Act, would facilitate women’s right to revert to her surname in instances of legal separation, annulment or declaration of nullity of their marriage, as well as expand the scope of the civil registrar’s power to change or correct entries in the civil register without a judicial order.

Under the bill, a woman may revert to her maiden surname under the following circumstances:

  • After her marriage has been judicially declared null and void or after its annulment
  • After a judicial declaration of legal separation, provided that there has been no manifestation of reconciliation filed with the court
  • After a judicial declaration of separation of property, provided there has been no subsequent decree reviving the old property regime between the spouses
  • If the spouses stipulated in their marriage settlement that a regime of’ separation of properties shall govern their property relations
  • If the petitioner has been de facto separated from or abandoned by her husband for a period of not less than 10 years
  • If the petitioner’s husband may be presumed dead pursuant to the circumstances, periods and conditions set forth in the Civil Code of the Philippines and the Rules of Court

The reversion can be done through a petition filed with the Civil Registrar General, which, together with the Department of Justice, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Supreme Court Administrator, in coordination with other concerned government agencies, will be authorized to issue the rules and regulations for the implementation of the proposed law.

In the Philippines, the use of the husband’s surname is optional and no longer mandatory. In cases when a woman chooses to use her husband’s surname, laws do not allow her to revert back to her maiden surname without a judicial order. In order to truly realize the woman’s right to use her maiden name, the present measure deletes the tedious and expensive court process that might be associated therewith.

Legal Separation

Legal separation maintains the marriage tie but separates the property and severs martial obligations. It is a proceeding where one of the spouses is found to be at fault. Simply separating the properties in a no fault proceeding would also be possible. This is called the judicial separation of property.

There are also ways to fully dissolve a Philippine marriage. First, based on the evidence, you’d first have to determine if the marriage is void or voidable. Then a court case can be filed.Below are the steps for legal separation.

What is legal separation?

Legal separation is a court-approved separation of husband and wife. It is not a divorce. Under legal separation, the marital obligations and the property relations between the spouses are ended, but the marriage bond is not dissolved unlike in divorce or annulment. Legal separation is often sought by spouses in order to legally sever their properties from each other, although there are other ways to do this.

What are the effects of legal separation?

The spouses become entitled to live separately from each other and their obligation of mutual support ceases. The common property of the marriage is dissolved and liquidated, but the spouse at fault shall have no right to any share of the net profits earned by their common property. This share of the net profits is forfeited in favor of the children or the innocent spouse. A house on top of architectural plans. One of legal separation’s effects is that the spouses can live apart and have no martial obligations to each other. Legal separation lets spouses live apart and awards net profits to the spouse without fault.

Subject to court discretion on the best interests of the child, the custody of the minor children will be awarded to the innocent spouse. The spouse at fault becomes disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spouse whether with or without a last will and testament.

How does a spouse avail of legal separation?

A petition may be filed at the Family Court by either the husband or the wife within 5 years of the occurrence of the ground for legal separation. A lady filling out the petition and beginning the process of legal separation with the family court. The first step is filing the petition at the family court.

What are the grounds for legal separation?

Legal separation can be granted when there are serious marital problems. Under the law, the grounds for legal separation are: A picture of alcoholic drinks as frequent alcoholism is one of the grounds for legal separation. Habitual alcoholism is a ground for legal separation.

(a) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner;

(b) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;

(c) Attempt 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;

(d) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, even if pardoned;

(e) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;

(f) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;

(g) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in or outside the Philippines;

(h) Sexual infidelity or perversion of the respondent;

(i) Attempt on the life of petitioner by the respondent; or

(j) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.

The petition must be filed in court within 5 years from the time of the occurrence of the particular ground/s for legal separation. A lady fills out the petition. Legal separation can be resorted to when the grounds occur during the marriage. Unlike annulment, these grounds can have occurred during the marriage itself. Unlike cases for nullity or annulment, these grounds occurred during the marriage and need not have existed before that.

Can a petition for legal separation be denied?

Yes. The following are the grounds for denying such a petition:

(1) Where the aggrieved party has condoned the offense or act complained of;

(2) Where the aggrieved party has consented to the commission of the offense or act complained of;

(3) Where there is connivance between the parties in the commission of the offense or act constituting the ground for legal separation;

(4) Where both parties have given ground for legal separation;

(5) Where there is collusion between the parties to obtain a decree of legal separation; or (6) Where the action is barred by prescription.

These deserve careful review.

Can the petition be denied?

Note ground (1) in particular. Condonation (forgiveness) may be either express or implied. Under Philippine law and jurisprudence, there is already implied condonation when, after a ground for legal separation becomes known, the couple resumes cohabitation as man and wife. A married couple. Our understanding of condonation is based on old American cases. This means that even if there were valid grounds for legal separation, if the spouses have sexual intercourse after the grounds became known then legal separation will not be allowed by the court.

Our jurisprudence on this point is lifted from old American cases:

“The legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent spouse, provided there has been no condonation of or consent to the adultery or concubinage. Where both spouses are offenders, legal separation cannot be claimed by either of them. Collusion between the parties to obtain legal separation shall cause the dismissal of the petition. A detailed examination of the testimony of the plaintiff-husband, especially those portions quoted above, clearly shows that there was a condonation on the part of the husband for the supposed “acts of rank infidelity amounting to adultery” committed by defendant-wife. Admitting for the sake of argument that the infidelities amounting to adultery were committed by the defendant, a reconciliation was effected between her and the plaintiff. A house. In the cited case, the husband resumed relations with the wife and so condonation occurred. As the husband resumed relations with the wife, condonation occured.

The act of the latter in persuading her to come along with him, and the fact that she went with him and consented to be brought to the house of his cousin Pedro Bugayong and together they slept there as husband and wife for one day and one night, and the further fact that in the second night they again slept together in their house likewise as husband and wife — all these facts have no other meaning in the opinion of this court than that a reconciliation between them was effected and that there was a condonation of the wife by the husband. The reconciliation occurred almost ten months after he came to know of the acts of infidelity amounting to adultery.

In Shackleton vs. Shackleton, 48 N. J. Eq. 364; 21 Atl. 935, it has been held that “condonation is implied from sexual intercourse after knowledge of the other infidelity. Such acts necessary implied forgiveness. It is entirely consonant with reason and justice that if the wife freely consents to sexual intercourse after she has full knowledge of the husband’s guilt, her consent should operate as a pardon of his wrong.”

In Tiffany’s Domestic and Family Relations, section 107 says:

A courthouse denoting how the court has consistently interpreted condonation this way. Many court cases supported this interpretation of condonation.

It has been held in a long line of decisions of the various supreme courts of the different states of the U. S. that ‘a single voluntary act of sexual intercourse by the innocent spouse after the discovery of the offense is ordinarily sufficient to constitute condonation, especially as against the husband’. (27 Corpus Juris Secundum, section 61 and cases cited therein).

In the lights of the facts testified to by the plaintiff-husband, of the legal provisions above quoted, and of the various decisions above-cited, the inevitable conclusion is that the present action is untenable.

A bed as marital relations signify condonation. Consistently, conhabitation is interpreted as condonation.

Although no acts of infidelity might have been committed by the wife, We agree with the trial judge that the conduct of the plaintiff-husband above narrated despite his belief that his wife was unfaithful, deprives him, as alleged the offended spouse, of any action for legal separation against the offending wife, because his said conduct comes within the restriction of Article 100 of the Civil Code.

A divorce suit will not be granted for adultery where the parties continue to live together after it was known (Land vs. Martin, 15 South 657; Day vs. Day, 80 Pac. 974) or there is sexual intercourse after knowledge of adultery (Rogers vs. Rogers, 67 N. J. Eq. 534) or sleeping together for a single night (Toulson vs. Toulson, 50 Atl. 401, citing Phinizy vs. Phinizy, 114 S. E. 185, 154 Ga. 199; Collins vs. Collins, 193 So. 702), and many others. The resumption of marital cohabitation as a basis of condonation will generally be inferred, nothing appearing to the contrary, from the fact of the living together as husband and wife, especially as against the husband (Marsh vs. Marsh, 14 N. J. Eq. 315).

The law demands that a spouse who seeks legal separation should come to court with “clean hands”. A marriage that has so broken down that both spouses have had extramarital affairs, or where each tried to murder the other, does not qualify for legal separation in the Philippines.

Somehow, this absurdity was meant in aid of marriage as “the foundation of the family” and “an inviolable social institution protected by the State.” In this case, by punishing two clearly unhappy people to remain bound together in matrimony and misery. It escapes me how turning marriage into a penalty uplifts it as a social institution.

Unhappy emoticons showing that the clean hands doctrine can cause unhappiness.

When both parties are at fault, legal separation cannot be availed of.

Recrimination, condonation and the clean hands doctrine are hereby abolished as defenses to divorce from the bonds of matrimony, dissolution of a civil union, divorce from bed and board or legal separation from a partner in a civil union couple, and if both parties make out grounds for a divorce, dissolution or legal separation, a decree may be granted to each; provided that nothing herein shall preclude or abrogate the responsibility of a party for the penalty provided by law for perjury or the subornation of perjury.

Practical considerations for a petition for legal separation. Anyone who wishes to file for legal separation needs to take time into account. One can expect a clear case for legal separation to be more straightforward than a case for nullity of marriage based on psychological incapacity, but it will still take time because a petition for legal separation has a cooling off period mandated by law.

A calendar showing that legal separation will still take time. A 6 months cooling off period is required before trial to give some time for reconciliation.

By law, the trial cannot commence until 6 months after the date of filing of the petition. This cooling off period is intended by the law to allow the parties to reconsider and reconcile. It is, again, in line with Philippine law’s inclination toward maintaining the marriage bond.

Petition for the Nullity of Marriage/ Annulment

The House of Representatives approved a proposed law that will supposedly cut down the costs of a marriage annulment by simply acknowledging the Catholic Church’s decision on the annulment.  Meaning, if the marriage was annulled by the Church, the State will recognize the decision and that spouses no longer need to undergo a judicial process.  Court hearings and attorney’s fees make up the cost of an annulment and by eliminating both, you are able to save hundreds of thousands of hard-earned money – money that spouses will need when they go separate ways.

 At the moment, an annulment may cost you between P200,000 to roughly less than half a million, depending on the lawyer’s fees and other expenses during the trial.  That is why it is best that there is a full awareness of the entire process of undergoing an annulment before making the decision to dive in and go the whole nine yards.

This is the step-by-step process of a marriage annulment in the Philippines and how it has become such an expensive (not to mention sad and painful) method of ending a relationship.  Take note though that the following should not be taken as legal advice; we researched this information online and are sharing it for information and guidance.

The Annulment Process in the Philippines:

Step 1: Read Up On The Process Of Annulment

There are a lot of annulment materials available online that you can freely access.  You may talk to friends and families who went through an annulment; they can give you first-hand information on attorney’s fees, processes, and other information that may not be available online.

Step 2: Choose An Attorney

When you are 100% sure that you would like to continue with the annulment, you need to choose an attorney who will handle the case for you.  If this is your first time to ever need the services of a lawyer, the following pointers may help:

Find a lawyer you can trust. If you should search online, be wary of lawyers and legal websites that promise to get you an annulment in a few months’ time.  There are some who will even tell you-you do not need to appear in court.  These may be signs that the people behind these sites or legal offices are scammers and fixers who are only after the money they could get from you. Consider the cost of hiring a lawyer.  This may vary depending on his experience and track record of handling annulment cases.  Of course, the more popular and successful the lawyer, the higher his charges would be.

Narrow your options to 3 or 4 lawyers then schedule your appointments with them before you make your final choice. The lawyer you choose should be able to execute a written contract detailing the terms and conditions of handling your case.  Ask questions and clarify anything that is unclear to you.  It would help to have someone with you who can interpret legal jargons and is used to reading lengthy contracts and agreements.  Remember, you can walk away anytime you feel that your clarifications are not fully satisfied.

STEP 3: The Psychological Evaluation

Now that you have a lawyer, you will be required to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine your personality and how this translates to the case you are about to file.  Remember, in the Philippines, most annulments are grounded on psychological incapacity, for lack of something worse you can charge your legal spouse. It is also during the psychological evaluation when you will be asked to narrate your marital history and effectively, draft the basis of the petition and psychological evaluation.

 In short, your petition will be drafted in the presence of your lawyer and a psychologist.  So effectively, you will be paying for two professionals right at the onset of the annulment process.

STEP 4: Filing The Petition

Your annulment petition will be drafted by your lawyer after the psychologist has released his evaluation.  Your lawyer should send the draft to you for your review and approval before he submits it to court.  You would need to sign the affidavit of non-forum shopping and this will be attached to the petition.  Check that all documents are duly notarized before submission to court.Once submitted, your case will be assigned to a judge by public raffle.

STEP 5: Pre-Trial And Collusion Investigation

When a judge has been identified to handle your case, it will be scheduled for pre-trial. An annulment must not be a conspiracy between the spouses involved; meaning, the court needs to prove that only one of the two parties is voluntarily filing the annulment.  The court will need to establish this through a collusion investigation.

Meanwhile, the judge will limit the issues involved in the case and require the parties involved to submit to a mediation.  This is where child support, custody, and visitorial privileges are discussed.

STEP 6: Trial

The three witnesses involved in an annulment trial are:

The Petitioner

The Psychologist

A corroborating witness (this could be a friend or relative who knows the couple personally and is aware of the petitioner’s desire to break up the marriage).

The Respondent (or the ex-wife or husband) shall receive a notification of the annulment process.  Respondents seldom appear to contest the petition.

STEP 7: The Decision

After all witnesses have taken the stand, the case is submitted for the decision of the court. There will be a 15-day period for a motion for reconsideration to be filed; this shall begin from the time the decision is rendered and is received by either party.

If the annulment is granted, the Office of the Solicitor General can file a motion for reconsideration and appeal the case to the Court of Appeals.  An annulment is not final until the decision of the Court of Appeals is released.

STEP 8: Annotation With The Civil Registrar’s Office

The LCR where the marriage took place has to apply the necessary annotations on the ex-couple’s marriage certificate.  When any of the parties request for a copy of their old marriage certificate, the decision of the court should be clearly printed on the document, as proof that the marriage has been rendered null and void. Both parties will need the annotated copy of the marriage certificate as proof that they are now free from the bounds of their marriage and may choose to re-marry or, in the case of the ex-wife, revert to her maiden last name in all of her IDs and other documents.

It is a long and painful process, as evidenced by the above narration.  And so it is true that getting an annulment is much more expensive than getting married.

The researchers learned so many things after conducting this study. The researchers would like to give emphasis on the Article 1 of the Family Code of the Philippines which states:

Article 1. Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code. 

The researchers would like to recommend those people who are going to enter the married life to remind themselves that marriage is not a trial and error process. If ever the marriage will fail, there are so many processes to be undergone. There are certain rules which are needed to be followed to annul the marriage. Thus, the researchers would like to share some tips that might be helpful in creating a healthy and a lifetime marital relationship between spouses.

The honeymoon period in most marriages has a shelf life. But does that mean you can’t bring back those fluttery butterfly feelings of excitement and anticipation everyone experiences at the beginning of a relationship? Absolutely not. All marriages maneuver through rough patches. Some don’t survive long enough to come out the other side unscathed. But many do. Here are 11 ways to keep your marriage fresh.

1. Remind your partner (and yourself) that you appreciate them.

After you’ve been married for many, many years, that passionate kiss when your partner walks in the door can easily morph into a peck on the check that can then morph into an inability even to look up from your computer.

In his film “Annie Hall,” Woody Allen charged that “a relationship is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” I believe he was right.

2. Say thank you for the little things.

I’ve been guilty of keeping score, constantly calculating who had done what. “I cleaned out the kids’ closets, so you have to clean the basement.” “I moved for your job when we first got married, so now you need to move for mine.” “I initiated sex last time, so now it’s your turn.” But playing tit for tat is childish and will do nothing but chip away at the trust and connection you’ve built with your spouse. If you are so inclined, keep score of all the positive things your partner does in a day — and then thank them. Hopefully they’ll get the hint and do the same for you.

3. Practice honesty, even when you’re ashamed.

If you have maxed out a credit card or two and find yourself hiding the bills each month, you can bet it’s going to come back to bite you. Eventually, whether you’re applying for a home loan or simply talking about the costs of summer vacation, these kinds of money issues will either be brought to light by a credit report or by the simple fact you can’t afford a trip away. Although infidelity usually happens in bed, it also can happen with money. And it will be a tough road gaining back your spouse’s trust if you’ve lied about overspending.

 Along that same vein, if you feel you aren’t connecting with your partner the way you used to, you need to say something — now. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. I once let communication issues fester for months on end, failing to verbalize my displeasure, and my husband and I wound up in marriage counseling for nearly a year. It took a third party — and a real investment on our part — to get us back on track. If I had not kept telling myself that things would get better on their own, we might not have reached what I call the danger zone.

4. Take care of your appearance.

With many years and a few kids under your belt, it’s easy to let your appearance slide. Think about when you first met your partner. Would you have walked around in stained sweatpants and without brushing your teeth? My guess is no. I’m not saying you have to look like Julianne Moore every time you settle in for a night of TV. But I’ve seen too many couples transform from Cliff and Clair Huxtable into Dan and Roseanne Connor — with disastrous repercussions.

5. Foster relationships outside your marriage.

I’ve been going on girls’ trips for as long as I’ve been married. Yes, I love traipsing off with my spouse and three kids. But these weekends away with friends are also important. Swapping stories with others and enjoying new experiences make me — I hope — a more interesting person for my spouse to be around. When Katie Couric asked Barbra Streisand the secret to her happy 14-year marriage to James Brolin, she replied “time apart.” “It gets romantic because even the conversations on the phone get more romantic. You need some distance,” Streisand said.

Your marriage should be your primary relationship — but it needn’t be the only one.

6. Watch your words.

There are many things you should never say to a longtime spouse, the first being: “Don’t you think our new neighbor is attractive?” That’s a question you just think you want to know the answer to. It’s also never a good idea to start a sentence with: “You know it’s always been your problem that…” Who wants to hear that from their partner? We hopefully all have a pretty good sense of ourselves at this point and having someone you love point out a failing in this way does little to engender a loving relationship.

7. Put away the jumper cables yourself.

In life, there are big things and there are little things. The big things — draining the bank accounts to support a gambling habit, forgetting to mention that he’s in the federal witness relocation program living under a false identity or that he has a second family stashed in Queens — are of course one-way streets to divorce court. But most of us don’t have problems of that magnitude. Most of us have problems that are more like petty and repeated annoyances, which when fed the steroids of resentment and anger, balloon up like Arnold Schwarzenegger. And we all know what steroids did to his heart, right?

Most of our problems start out small enough — he borrows the jumper cables from your car and then leaves them sitting in the driveway just waiting to get run over — and from that sprouts a giant festering sore.

8. Relish the silence.

Sometimes the best way to address a problem is to just walk away from it — as in seriously let it go. Not every slight must be addressed. Know that not every insult is intended. Practice letting go as much as you can. Forgive more. Forget more. Bite your tongue until the tip bleeds. And once in a while, remind yourself of why you married this person. Focus on those reasons and let stuff pass without mention.

The trick to successful silence, however, is that you really let the problem pass. If you stay silent and still harbor bad thoughts, well, that’s where ulcers come from. As the Beatles told us, “Let It Be.”

9. Recognize the ebb-and-flow.

Relationships aren’t flat-lined; that’s death, actually. Life has ups and downs, peaks and valleys. We all go through periods where the mere thought of life without our partners can bring tears to our eyes and then a week later we can’t stand the sound of their breathing next to us. We’ve all been there. The trick is knowing that you won’t stay in either place forever. Truth is, in a marriage, you spend most of your time in an emotional middle ground. It’s not songbirds chirping, nor is it considering which poison in his pasta will cause the most painful demise.

This middle ground isn’t the couple who sit in the restaurant across from one another without conversing. Those people have actually flat-lined and just don’t know it yet. No, the middle ground is when months meld into years and you know what the reaction will be before you say something. It’s when the book you finished last night just migrates automatically to the nightstand on his side and he tells you about the recorded “Modern Family” episode you slept through. It’s the every day ebb and flow without the waves.

10. Be kind.

We tend to take advantage of those we love the most — probably because we know they love us and we can get away with it. It’s the old kick-the-cat syndrome. You have a bad day at the office and come home and take it out on your mate. A much healthier pattern is to start out each day by asking yourself, “What can I do today to make my partner happy?” And mean it. Doesn’t it make more sense to put your best face on for someone you love? Look for ways to say “yes.” This rule applies to parenting as well, but in a happy marriage, people are busy trying to please each other. That sometimes means sitting through endlessly long ball games, putting on a tie, watching a horror movie with your eyes closed, and traveling around old Civil War battleground sites when you really wanted to be vacationing on a beach in Hawaii. It’s doing things for your partner.

11. Maintain intimacy and passion, both inside and outside the bedroom.

Intimacy isn’t just sex and passion isn’t just doing it on the kitchen counter. Bedroom habits age along with the marriage. There may be no stronger aphrodisiac than a moonlight walk on the beach that ends in a kiss. There may be no greater display of passion than the zeal of a partner in a hospital room trying to get the nurse’s attention for an ailing wife. Don’t let others define what is a “normal” or “healthy” amount of sex for your marriage. Know that things change, but that doesn’t make them less exciting or fun. And intimacy comes in many shapes, including conversation and cuddling.


Chan Robles Library

Marriage Law of the People’s Republic of China

Facts and Details: Southeast- Asia Wedding and Culture

Huffington Post: Marriage Advice

The Family Code of the Philippines

Organizations of Lawyers in the Philippines




Armalyn S. Cangque

Mary Joanne Panton

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