My girlfriend and I are planning to get married after being in a relationship for two years. I am currently 28 years old while my girlfriend is 20 years old. I want to know if we can marry without the knowledge or permission of our parents. Would there be a problem if it would be done without our parents’ consent? I was told by a friend that my girlfriend’s parents have to give their consent even if we are already of legal age. We would appreciate your legal advice on this matter. Thank you!
Under the Family Code of the Philippines, the need for parental consent for marriage is required when one or both of the couple are between the ages of 18 and 21. To elaborate, the law specifically provides that:
“Article 14. In case either or both of the contracting parties, not having been emancipated by a previous marriage, are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, they shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding articles, exhibit to the local civil registrar, the consent to their marriage of their father, mother, surviving parent or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them, in the order mentioned. Such consent shall be manifested in writing by the interested party, who personally appears before the proper local civil registrar, or in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official authorized by law to administer oaths. The personal manifestation shall be recorded in both applications for marriage license, and the affidavit, if one is executed instead, shall be attached to said applications” (Family Code of the Philippines).
Considering that you are above the age bracket specified in the aforementioned law, your parents need not give their consent while the parents of your 21-year-old girlfriend still have to give their consent. And as seen from the above-cited law, the parental consent must be presented to the local civil registrar in the form of an attested and witnessed affidavit. The need for the confirmation of the parental consent by the local civil registrar is required for the issuance of a marriage license. Since the marriage license is a formal requisite for a valid marriage, parental consent is crucial for compliance in the statutory requirement for marriage.
However, note that the lack of parental consent does not render the marriage automatically void. A marriage without the required parental consent is still valid until annulled by the Courts in accordance with Article 45 of the Family Code. This therefore makes a marriage without proper parental consent only annullable but not void.
Therefore, since marrying your girlfriend without her parent’s consent will expose your marriage to the risk of being annulled, it is best for your girlfriend to obtain her parents’ parental consent to remove any source of irregularities in your marriage and also to give due respect and courtesy to the parents of your girlfriend.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
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