I am married with three kids, but already separated from my husband. I discovered lately that my name in our marriage contract is different from the one appearing in my birth certificate. This probably happened because when we got married, the local civil registrar did not require us to submit our birth certificate. Is my marriage still valid? Am I correct in my view that since my name in my birth certificate was different from that appearing in the marriage contract, it can be presumed that the name appearing in the contract is a different person; hence, I can use it to claim that I am not really married to my husband? By the way, the name entered in my birth certificate is “Inday” while the name in my marriage contract is “Minda.”
The validity of your marriage is not affected by the wrong entry, typographical or clerical error of your name in the marriage contract. Your marriage with your husband is valid as long as the essential and formal requisites of marriage as provided under the Family Code are present.
The essential requisites of marriage are the following:
1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male or female; and
2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer (Article 2, Ibid.).
And, the formal requisites of a marriage are the following:
1) Authority of the solemnizing officer;
2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title; and
3) 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, Id.).
Wrong entries or clerical errors in the marriage contract do not affect the validity of the marriage. You erred in your belief that you can claim that you are not married with your husband by simply claiming that you are a different person from that appearing in your marriage contract. The said allegation can be easily disproved by the positive identification of your husband, solemnizing officer or witnesses to your marriage including photos and other pieces of documentary evidence.
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