DSLaw Family Law Series

HOW CAN I BREAK AWAY FROM A BAD MARRIAGE? [Understanding Annulment, Nullity, and Legal Separation Laws and Proceedings under the Family Code of the Philippines]

People marry for various reasons. Unfortunately, it isn’t for everyone or sometimes, love is not just enough reason to stay in a marriage. There are those who fall under ill-fated marriages and need a solution to bring the marriage to an end.

Voidable and void marriages are not identical. A marriage that is annullable is valid until otherwise declared by the court; whereas a marriage that is void ab initio is considered as having never to have taken place and cannot be the source of rights.[1] The recourse for a void marriage is the declaration of nullity, while the recourse of a voidable marriage is annulment of marriage.

On the other hand, legal separation is an altogether different animal. It involves nothing more than the bed-and-board separation of the spouses.[2]

What are their grounds?


  • Absence of the Essential Requisites of Marriage
  • Bigamous Marriage
  • Incestuous Marriage
  • Psychological Incapacity
  • Marriages against Public Policy


  • Absence of Parental Consent
  • Unsound Mind
  • Fraud, Force, Intimidation or Undue Influence
  • Impotence
  • Serious and Incurable Sexually Transmissible Disease  


  • Repeated physical violence
  • Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation
  • Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce to engage in prostitution
  • Imprisonment of more than six years
  • Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
  • Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent
  • Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage
  • Sexual infidelity or perversionAttempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner
  • Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year. 

The three modes provided under the Family Code of the Philippines produce different legal consequences to the marriage, property relation and status of the children of the spouses concerned. It is important therefore to carefully consider the appropriate legal remedy that is best suited and applicable to your given situation.

[1] Niñal v. Bayadog, G.R. No. 133778, (2000).

[2] Sy v. Eufemio, G.R. No. L-30977, (1972).

How can we help?

At Delloro & Saulog Law Offices, our lawyers are trained to help you file for an annulment, declaration of nullity or legal separation case. The process has technical aspects such as drafting of the petition and validation of documents. Several meetings with a lawyer are necessary before the initiatory pleading may be filed.

Aside from the case itself, you may also consult our lawyers regarding other important issues that are intimately connected and related with the marriage itself such as property relations, child custody and support.

For more information on how we can help you, book a consultation with us below.

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