I got married 10 years ago when I was only 19 years old. My husband and I ran away from our home and got married in another city. We were able to get married because we untruthfully declared that both of our parents were already deceased. We eventually went home, after months of running away, and our parents accepted our marriage.
Unfortunately, however, he left me for another woman. I have wanted for an annulment but I did not have money then. I can afford it now, though. I know that I can have my marriage annulled because it is fake due to lack of consent from our parents. How do I go about this?
One of the formal requisites for a marriage to be valid is a marriage license secured prior to marriage, unless the marriage is one of those which can be celebrated without marriage license, such as marriage at the point of death (articulo mortis) (Article 27, Family Code) or when the spouses, who are capacitated to marry, prior to their marriage, have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years (Article 38, Family Code). The consent to the marriage of the father, mother, surviving parent or guardian is needed to be secured by a party thereto who is between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one before a marriage license is issued. This consent, which is governed by the provision of Article 14, Family Code, shall be manifested in writing by the interested party, who shall personally appear before the proper local civil registrar, or in a form of affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official authorized by law to administer oaths. The absence of the needed parental consent is a ground for the annulment of marriage, unless the party whose parental consent is needed freely cohabited with the other and lived together as husband and wife after attaining the age of twenty-one. Hence, annulment based on this ground must be instituted by the said party or his/her parent who did not give consent at any time before the former reaches the age of twenty-one (Articles 45 and 47, Family Code).
Based on the foregoing, your marriage with your husband is not bogus or fake as you have stated even if you did not secure the consent of your parents when you got married. Your marriage is clearly annullable under the provision of Article 45 of the Family Code, as mentioned. However, the marriage, which appears to be annullable is ratified by your failure to file the appropriate petition for annulment before attaining the age of twenty-one (21). Your failure to file the said action is an implied action that you freely cohabited with your husband despite separation from him.
Thus, we regret to inform you that you cannot institute a petition for annulment based on lack of parental consent. Nevertheless, your marriage may be annulled or declared as null and void based on other grounds stated under the Family Code.
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated 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 firstname.lastname@example.org