May a marriage be annulled if the consent of the bride was obtained only through the deception and fraud of the husband?
The grounds for annulment of marriage are enumerated in Article 45 of the Family Code of the Philippines. One of which is when the consent of either party to the marriage was obtained through fraud unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife. The following circumstances constitute fraud as grounds for annulment of marriage: 1) non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude; 2) concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband; 3) concealment of a sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or 4) concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage. No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage (Article 46, Family Code of the Philippines).
If any of the foregoing circumstances are present, the spouse whose consent was obtained through fraud may file a petition for annulment within five years after the discovery of the fraud. The petition shall be filed in the Family Court of the province or city where the petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least six months prior to the date of filing, or in the case of a non-resident respondent, where he may be found in the Philippines, at the election of the petitioner (Section 4, Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages). Once the petition is granted and an entry of judgment has been made, the Family Court, on motion of either party, shall proceed with the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, including custody, support of common children and delivery of their presumptive legitimes pursuant to Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings (Section 21, Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages).
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