My husband and I were married in 2006 but our marriage was not registered with the NSO (National Statistics Office). Is our marriage valid?
Before a marriage is considered valid, the parties shall comply with the essential and formal requisites of marriage provided in Articles 2 and 3 of the Family Code, to wit:
“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.
“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.”
The absence of any of the foregoing shall render the marriage void from the beginning, except as stated in Article 35 (2) of the Family Code (Article 4).
The registration of the marriage certificate before the NSO is not one of the requisites for a valid marriage. The marriage certificate signed by the husband and wife and its registration before the Civil Registry are considered as among the proofs or evidence that a marriage was celebrated between two persons. The absence, then, of a marriage certificate shall not affect the validity of a marriage which was celebrated in strict compliance with the requisites provided by law (Loria, et al. vs. Felix, G.R. No. L-9005, June 20, 1958).
Based on the foregoing, your marriage shall still be considered valid even if your marriage certificate was not registered at the NSO, if you and your husband have complied with all the essential and formal requisites of marriage. If you want to have a record of your marriage at the NSO, you may apply for a delayed registration of your marriage certificate at the Municipal or Local Civil Registry of the place where you and your husband were married.
We hope that we were able to answer your query. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com