I faked my birth certificate when I married my husband on May 18, 1997. I was 17 years of age that time. I made it appear in my marriage contract that my birthday is January 22, 1979 instead of January 22, 1980. I am now separated from my husband. Is my marriage valid?
In order for a marriage to be valid, the following essential requisites must be present: (a) legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be male and female; and (b) consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer (Article 2, Family Code of the Philippines). The formal requisites of marriage are: (a) authority of the solemnizing officer; (b) a valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2, Title 1 of the Family Code of the Philippines; (c) 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. (Article 3,Ibid.) The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio. (Article 4, Ibid.)
For a person to contract marriage, he or she must have the legal capacity, this is provided under Article 5 of the same code, which states that: “Any male or female of the age of 18 years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 (incestuous marriages) and 38 (void marriages for reasons of public policy) of the Family Code of the Philippines, may contract marriage.”
In your situation, it is very clear from the onset that your marriage is void for lack of legal capacity to marry considering that you were still a minor at that time. The kind of marriage you had contracted falls squarely under No. 1, Article 35 of the Family Code, which provides that those marriages contracted by any party below 18 years of age even with the consent of parents or guardian shall be void.
We hope that we have addressed your legal concern. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated
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