I got married in 1995 but I had it declared null and void because of the absence of a marriage license when I contracted the marriage. However, right after the decision of the court, I married my second husband. I was told that I should have registered the decision of the court before I remarried. Is this true? Is my second marriage valid? Is my son from my second marriage illegitimate?
Dear Ms. Pisces,
Indeed, a marriage celebrated without a marriage license where the parties are not exempted is null and void (Article 35(3), Family Code (FC) of the Philippines).
It is likewise provided that before the parties to a null and void marriage can remarry, they must first have their marriage declared null and void by the court (Article 40, FC).
Having complied with this, the former spouses can eventually remarry. However, there are things that they still need to do before getting married again. The Family Code of the Philippines requires them to register the decision of the court before the local civil registry. Likewise, the partition of the properties of the parties to the null and void marriage and the distribution of the presumptive legitimes of the children shall be recorded in the registry of property. This is particularly provided by Article 52 of the said law, which states:
“Art. 52. The judgment of annulment or of absolute nullity of the marriage, the partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and the delivery of the children’s presumptive legitimes shall be recorded in the appropriate civil registry and registries of property; otherwise, the same shall not affect third persons.”
Failure to fulfill the aforementioned provision shall render the succeeding marriage of the former spouses null and void (Article 53, FC).
Since you failed to register the decision of the court declaring your marriage null and void, the subsequent marriage you entered into is likewise null and void. However, your child from your second marriage is legitimate. This is according to Article 54 of the Family Code of the Philippines, to wit:
“Art. 54. xxx. Children conceived or born of the subsequent marriage under Article 53 shall likewise be legitimate.”
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