I just want to know if my marriage is valid. I was married when I was just 18 years old. Before the marriage, all the requirements were complied with. It’s just that my parents were not aware of the wedding so there was no parental consent. Is my son legitimate? I am now 20 years old.
Parental consent is not a requisite of a valid marriage. Although the law requires this in obtaining a marriage license, if either or both of the contracting parties to a marriage are 18 years old but below 21, the absence of this does not render the marriage null and void. However, the marriage may be annulled. This is according to Article 45 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which provides:
“Art. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
(1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;
Clearly, under the circumstances mentioned, the marriage, unless annulled, is valid. Applying the same to your situation, considering that you have complied with all the requirements, your marriage is valid, however, it may be annulled by your parents or guardian before you attain the age of 21 or by you within five years after you attain the said age. Article 47 of the Family Code of the Philippines explicitly provides:
“Art. 47. The action for annulment of marriage must be filed by the following persons and within the periods indicated herein:
(1) For causes mentioned in number 1 of Article 45 by the party whose parent or guardian did not give his or her consent, within five years after attaining the age of twenty-one, or by the parent or guardian or person having legal charge of the minor, at any time before such party has reached the age of twenty-one;
Insofar as your son is concerned, he is legitimate, considering that he was born during the existence of a valid marriage.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org