Husband leaves wife for another woman

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
Please help us with our family problem. My 16-year-old sister fell in love with this very charming man who apparently promised her the moon. Soon after, she ran away with this man. This was such a scandal in our town that my parents were able to force them into marriage. Shortly after getting married, her husband left her for another woman.

She is now 26 years old and wants to remarry. Can she now annul her marriage, since they have been living apart for almost 10 years? Thank you!
Jane A.

Dear Jane A.,
According to you, your sister was married when she was only sixteen (16) years old. Your sister’s marriage falls under marriages void from the beginning under Article 35 of the Family Code. According to Article 35(1), marriages contracted by any party below eighteen (18) years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians shall be void from the beginning. A void marriage means that it was never a valid marriage.

The law considers a minor, such as a sixteen (16)-year-old, to be without legal capacity (Sempio-Diy, Alicia V., Handbook on the Family Code of the Philippines, 2006, p. 40). The essential requisites of a valid marriage are legal capacity and consent. The absence of either of the essential requisites will render a marriage void. Nothing can ratify their marriage unless they choose to remarry when all the essential requisites are present. It is also irrelevant whether they have been separated in fact for almost ten (10) years.

In order to remarry, your sister must first seek a judicial declaration that her first marriage was void (Article 40, Family Code). This may be done by filing a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in court. Since her marriage is void from the beginning, she can still seek a judicial declaration of her void marriage. The action for judicial declaration does not expire, because it was never valid anyway and one is only seeking a formal declaration from the courts.

We hope that we have answered your queries. 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


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  1. Dear PAO,
    Please assist me I need your kind advice with my situation. I am married with 1 child , my husband is in Canada but he already left us for another woman. He never supports our child and just lately I have found out that he got married in Canada. I wanted to know how can he divorce me without my knowledge? if ever he admits that he does some dirty tricks with the paper and he gives me a copy of the divorce paper can I remarry again if I will file the divorce paper for recognition that my husband already divorce me? I have a boyfriend in US and he wants to marry me. Can I marry him? your assistance is very much appreciated.

  2. Agustina Danglipen Ngalad on

    Dear madam,
    Ano po dapat kung gawin naikasal po ako sa pangalang di akin.14years old po ako noon nang ipalate register ako ng kpatid ko ,same name bit different apilyedo and different birthdate.but I have already registered by my late father when I was 3days old.Ano po dapat ko gawin,,ang both birth certificate ko i NASA n so pi.