One of the most common questions that people ask lawyers is whether they can remarry here in the Philippines after being separated from their spouses for more than a decade. We’ve asked Atty. Jerome Frias, Junior Partner at Frias Frias and Associates Law Office, for some insight into this particular matter and here’s what we learned.
If you and your wife or husband have been separated for a long time (even if it has already been more than a decade since your separation) and are both currently in long-term relationships with other people and are leading different lives; you might be wondering if you can marry your new significant other.
Well, Attorney Jet clarifies that regardless of how long you have been separated from your spouse, you cannot actually remarry without first obtaining a judicial declaration of nullity of the previous marriage.
Article 40 of the Family Code states: “The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for
purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void.”
Therefore, it is immaterial whether the previous marriage was void from the beginning (e.g. minority of one of the parties, absence of marriage license, psychological capacity, etc.) or voidable (e.g. lack of parental consent, vitiated consent, physical incapacity, etc.).
In this case, you should first file a petition for annulment of the previous marriage (assuming there is a legal ground present) and obtain a judicial declaration of nullity before you can marry your significant other.