DSLaw Family Law Series

CAN I GET MARRIED WITHOUT A LICENSE?[Understanding the Marriage License Exemption under the Family Code of the Philippines]

Under the Family Code, no license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other.[1]

The reason behind this is to avoid exposing the parties to humiliation, shame and embarrassment concomitant with the scandalous cohabitation of persons outside a valid marriage.[2]

Nevertheless, said exemption is not easy as it seems. The nature of the cohabitation should be continuous, exclusive, and without any legal impediment the entire time.  The parties must also execute an affidavit stating such facts[3] before any marriage can take place.

As a general rule, before you get married in the Philippines, a marriage license needs to be secured. But did you know that some couples are exempted from this requirement?


[1] Family Code, art. 34, (1987).

[2] De Castro v. Assidao-De Castro, G.R. No. 160172, (2008).

[3] E. Rabuya, The Law on Persons and Family Relations, (2006).


How Can We Help?

There are other circumstances when the marriage license requirement may be waived under the pertinent provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines. If you are interested to learn about them, our lawyers at Delloro & Saulog Law Offices can clearly explain it to you. Moreover, our lawyers are willing to assist you in drafting the necessary paperwork with respect to this matter.

It is best to talk to a lawyer if you are thinking of getting married as there are legal matters that we can help you with in this momentous occasion of your life. For example, if you intend to donate property to your future spouse or if you wish to execute a pre-nuptial agreement, there are prescribed formalities of the law that need to be observed for these acts to be valid and binding. Let DSLaw be there to guide and make things smooth for you before you say your I do.

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


[1] Civil Code, art. 21, (1949).


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