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Court Decrees and Legal Instruments Affecting Marriage1

By
Renan E. Ramos

I.

Court Decrees Affecting Marriage.


A.

A judgement is the conclusion of law upon the matters


contained in the record or the application of law to the
pleadings or facts.2

B.

Judgments affecting the status and relationship of persons


are in rem judgments.
A judgment in rem is generally said to be a judgment
declaratory of the status of some subject-matter, whether
this be a person, or a thing.3
A judgment in respect to the personal, political, or legal
condition or status of a particular person or his relationship
to another is in the nature of an in rem
judgment,
conclusive upon the condition , status, or relationship of
the person, and binding on the whole world. Examples of
such cases affecting status are adoption, declaration of
nullity of marriage, change of name.

C.

Formal requisites of a judgment.


(i) it must state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law
on which it is based; (ii) it must be signed by the judge; and
(iii) it must be filed with the clerk of court.

D.

Presumption of validity
A judgment of a court of justice is presumed valid and
enforceable, where the record discloses that all steps
necessary to confer jurisdiction have been taken, and that

Paper presented by Atty. Renan E. Ramos, Assistant Solicitor General, during the 6th National Workshop
on Civil Registration held at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City on August 79, 2012.

2
3

Gotamco vs. Chan Seng, G.R. No. L-22737 (1924).


Bartero vs. Real Estate Savings Bank, 10 Mo. App. 76, 78, cited in Co v. Republic, G.R. No. L-10761
(1958).

the court has jurisdiction of the subject matter. There is a


presumption that decisions of the trial court are correct.
E.

Void judgments.
A judgment issued by a court which does not have
jurisdiction over the parties or the subject matter of the
case and does not comply with the requirements of law is
a void judgment.
Effect of a void judgment
A void judgment is in legal effect no judgment. By it no
rights are divested. From it no rights can be obtained.
Being worthless in itself, all proceedings founded upon it
are equally worthless. It neither binds nor bar any one. All
acts performed under it and claims flowing out of it are
void.4

F.

Finality of judgments
Only final and executory judgments are capable of
enforcement or execution. A judgment becomes final upon
the lapse of the reglementary period for filing an appeal.

Finality of judgment becomes a fact upon the lapse of the


reglementary period to appeal if no appeal is perfected. In
such a situation, the prevailing party is entitled to a writ of
execution, and issuance thereof is a ministerial duty of the
court.5
G.

Foreign Judgments.
Presumption of validity
A judgment or final order by a tribunal of a foreign country
enjoys the presumption of validity, because a court,
whether of the Philippines or elsewhere, enjoys the
presumption that it was acting in the lawful exercise of

Estoesta v. CA, G.R. No. 74817 (1989).


City of Manila v. CA, G.R. No. 100626 (1991).

jurisdiction and has regularly performed its official duty.6


The burden is on the party challenging the validity of the
decision to prove want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the
party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of fact or law.
Effect of foreign judgment
In case of a judgment upon a specific thing (in rem
judgment), such judgment is conclusive upon the title to
the thing. In case of a judgment against a person (in
personam
judgment), the judgment is
presumptive
evidence of a right as between the parities and their
successors- in-interest.7
Execution and enforcement of foreign judgment in the
Philippines
Court action is necessary in to enforce a foreign
judgment, whether in rem or in personam.
To execute a foreign judgment, it is necessary that an
action founded on the same be first presented.8
In Mijares v. Ranada,9 it was observed that while foreign
judgments are conclusive if in rem or merely presumptive if
in personam, it is necessary that in either case, a civil
action should be filed in our courts, primarily to allow the
losing party an opportunity to challenge the judgment on
the grounds provided in Sec. 48 (want of jurisdiction, want
of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of
fact or law) and defend itself against the enforcement of
that decision in the local forum.
Significantly, for a foreign judgment to be considered res
judicata, the defendant must be given an opportunity to
impeach it on the grounds enumerated in Sec. 48.10

6 Sec. 3 (n), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court.


7
Sec. 48, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
8
Perkins v. Benguet, Consolidated, 50 O.G. 3089, 93 Phil. 1034.
9
G.R. No. 139325 (2005).
10
Herrera, Oscar M., Remedial Law, Vol. IV (2000).
3

Proof of foreign judgments The requisites for the admissibility of a copy of a foreign
official document are:
(i) it must be attested by the officer having legal
custody of the records or by his deputy, and
(ii) it must be accompanied by a certificate of the
Philippine Diplomatic or consular representative to the
foreign country certifying that such attesting officer has the
custody of the document.
The latter requirement is not a mere technicality but is
intended to justify the giving of full faith and credit to the
genuiness of a document in a foreign country.11
Proof of foreign judgment
A claim for the enforcement of a foreign judgment can be
brought only before the regular courts and not in an
administrative agency.
A foreign decision purporting to be the written record of an
act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign country is,
therefore, a public writing under [Sec. 19(a), Rule 132]
and must be proved in accordance with Secs. [24 and 25]
of the same rule. (Pacific Asia Overseas Shipping v. NLRC,
G.R. No. 76595, May 6, 1988)
Pertinent rules
Section 24. Proof of official record.
The record of public documents referred to in
paragraph (a) of Section 19, when admissible
for any purpose, may be evidenced by an
official publication thereof or by a copy attested
by the officer having the legal custody of the
record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if
the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a
certificate that such officer has the custody. If
the office in which the record is kept is in
foreign country, the certificate may be made by
11

Valencia v. Lopez, CA, 65 O.G. 9959.

a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul


general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent
or by any officer in the foreign service of the
Philippines stationed in the foreign country in
which the record is kept, and authenticated by
the seal of his office.
Section 25. What attestation of copy must state.
Whenever a copy of a document or record is
attested for the purpose of evidence, the
attestation must state, in substance, that the
copy is a correct copy of the original, or a
specific part thereof, as the case may be. The
attestation must be under the official seal of
the attesting officer, if there be any, or if he be
the clerk of a court having a seal, under the
seal of such court.

H.

Registration of Court Decree/Order.


No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected,
without a judicial order.12
In case of a court decree/order concerning the status of a
person, it shall be the duty of the clerk of court to advise
the successful petitioner to have the decree/order
registered in the civil registrar's office where the court is
functioning, within ten (10) days after the decree/order has
become final.13 If it is another person who shall register the
decree other than the clerk of court, the civil registrar shall
verify if the copy of the decision is authentic. Otherwise, he
shall refuse the registration thereof. It is likewise the duty
of the clerk of court which issued the decree to ascertain
whether the same has been registered, and if not, to have
the said decree recorded.14
The civil registry office where the event of the decree/order
was registered shall forward a certified true copy of the

12 Article 412, Civil Code.

13
14

Rule 50 (1), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.


Rule 50 (2), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.

decision to the Office of the Civil Registrar where an event


affected was originally registered. The latter shall make the
proper annotations in the document and in the applicable
registry book. He shall likewise send a certified true copy
of the annotated document and the registered court decree
to the Office of the Civil Registrar-General within ten (10)
days from receipt thereof.15

Decision in Legal Separation


1.
If the court renders a decision granting the petition
for legal separation, it shall declare therein that the decree
of legal separation shall be issued by the court only after
full compliance with liquidation under the Family Code.
However, in the absence of any property of the parties, the
court shall forthwith issue a decree of legal separation
which shall be registered in the Civil Registry where the
marriage was recorded and in the Civil Registry where the
Family Court granting the legal separation is located.16
2.
The court shall issue the decree of legal separation
after: (i)
registration of the entry of judgment granting
the petition for legal separation in the Civil Registry where
the marriage was celebrated and in the Civil Registry where
the Family Court is located; and (ii)
registration of the
approved partition and distribution of the properties of the
spouses, in the proper Register of Deeds where the real
properties are located.17
The court shall quote in the Decree the dispositive portion
of the judgment entered and attach to the Decree the
approved deed of partition.18
3.
Registration and Publication of the Decree of Legal
Separation.
(i)
15
16
17
18

The prevailing party shall cause the registration of

Rule 50 (3), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.


Section 16 (b), A.M. No. 02-11-11-SC (March 15, 2003).
Section 19, A.M. No. 02-11-11-SC (March 15, 2003).
Ibid.

the decree in the Civil Registry where the marriage was


registered, in the Civil Registry of the place where the
Family Court is situated, and in the National Census and
Statistics Office. He shall report to the court compliance
with this requirement within thirty days from receipt of the
copy of the Decree;
(ii) In case service of summons was made by publication,
the parties shall cause the publication of the decree once in
a newspaper of general circulation;
(iii) The registered decree shall be the best evidence to
prove the legal separation of the parties and shall serve as
notice to third persons concerning the properties of
petitioner and respondent;19
(iv) The annotation in the remarks column of the Register of
Marriages shall be made indicating the name of the judge
and the court which issued the decree, case number and
place and date of issue of the decree of legal separation.20
(v)
When the interested party requests a copy of his/her
marriage certificate, a certified true copy or a certified
transcription from the Register of Marriages bearing the
annotation "annulled" or "declared null and void" or "legally
separated" giving reference to the entry number in the
Register of Court Decrees shall be issued;21
4.

Decree of Reconciliation.22

(i)
If the spouses had reconciled, a joint manifestation
under oath, duly signed by the spouses, may be filed in the
same proceeding for legal separation;
(ii)
If the reconciliation occurred while the proceeding for
legal separation is pending, the court shall immediately
issue an order terminating the proceeding;

19
20
21
22

Section 20, A.M. No. 02-11-11-SC (March 15, 2003).


Rule 57 (1), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Rule 57 (2), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Section 23, A.M. No. 02-11-11-SC (March 15, 2003).

(iii)
If the reconciliation occurred after the rendition of the
judgment granting the petition for legal separation but
before the issuance of the decree, the spouses shall
express in their manifestation whether or not they agree to
revive the former regime of their property relations or
choose a new regime;
(iv) The court shall immediately issue a decree of
reconciliation declaring that the legal separation proceeding
is set aside and specifying the regime of property relations
under which the spouses shall be covered.
(v)
If the spouses reconciled after the issuance of the
decree, the court, upon proper motion, shall issue a decree
of reconciliation declaring therein that the decree is set
aside but the separation of property and any forfeiture of
the share of the guilty spouse already effected subsists,
unless the spouses have agreed to revive their former
regime of property relations or adopt a new regime.
(vi)
The decree of reconciliation shall be recorded in the
Civil Registries where the marriage and the Decree had
been registered.
5.

Decree of Reconciliation.

(i) In case of reconciliation, the parties shall file a verified


motion for revival of regime of property relations or the
adoption of another regime of property relations in the
same proceeding for legal separation attaching to said
motion their agreement for the approval of the court.
(ii)
After due hearing, and the court decides to grant the
motion, it shall issue an order directing the parties to record
the order in the proper registries of property within thirty
days from receipt of a copy of the order and submit proof of
compliance within the same period.23

Decision in Annulment of Marriage

23

Section 24, A.M. No. 02-11-11-SC (March 15, 2003).

1.
If the court renders a decision granting the petition, it
shall declare therein that the decree of absolute nullity or
decree of annulment shall be issued by the court only after
compliance with Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code as
implemented under the Rule on Liquidation, Partition and
Distribution of Properties.24
2.
The decision becomes final upon the expiration of
fifteen days from notice to the parties. Entry of judgment
shall be made if no motion for reconsideration or new trial,
or appeal is filed by any of the parties, the public
prosecutor, or the Solicitor General.25
3.
Upon the finality of the decision, the court shall
forthwith issue the corresponding decree if the parties have
no properties.26
4.
The entry of judgment shall be registered in the Civil
Registry where the marriage was recorded and in the Civil
Registry where the Family Court granting the petition for
declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of marriage is
located.27
5.
Issuance of Decree of Declaration of Absolute Nullity
or Annulment of Marriage.28
(i) The court shall issue the Decree after: (a) Registration
of the entry of judgment granting the petition for declaration
of nullity or annulment of marriage in the Civil Registry
where the marriage was celebrated and in the Civil Registry
of the place where the Family Court is located; (b)
Registration of the approved partition and distribution of the
properties of the spouses, in the proper Register of Deeds
where the real properties are located; and (c) The delivery
of the children's presumptive legitimes in cash, property, or
sound securities.

24
25
26
27
28

Section 19, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC (March 15, 2003).


Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Section 22, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC (March 15, 2003).

(b)
The court shall quote in the Decree the dispositive
portion of the judgment entered and attach to the Decree
the approved deed of partition. Except in the case of
children under Articles 36 and 53 of the Family Code, the
court shall order the Local Civil Registrar to issue an
amended birth certificate indicating the new civil status of
the children affected.

6.

Registration and Publication of the Decree.

(i) The prevailing party shall cause the registration of the


decree in the Civil Registry where the marriage was
registered, the Civil Registry of the place where the Family
Court is situated, and in the National Census and Statistics
Office. He shall report to the court compliance with this
requirement within thirty days from receipt of the copy of
the Decree.29
(ii)
In case service of summons was made by
publication, the parties shall cause the publication of the
decree once in a newspaper of general circulation.30
(iii)
The registered decree shall be the best evidence to
prove the declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of
marriage and shall serve as notice to third persons
concerning the properties of petitioner and respondent as
well as the properties or presumptive legitimes delivered to
their common children.31
(iv)
The annotation in the remarks column of the
Register of Marriages shall be made indicating the name of
the judge and the court which issued the decree, case
number and place and date of issue of the decree of
annulment or absolute nullity or legal separation.32
Duty of the Clerk of Court

29
30
31
32

Section 23, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC (March 15, 2003).


Ibid.
Ibid.
Rule 57 (1), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.

10

1.
In case of a court decree/order concerning the status
of a person, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court
which issued the decree to ascertain whether the same has
been registered, and if this has not been done, to send a
copy of said decree to the civil registry of the city or
municipality where the court is functioning, or advise the
successful petitioner to have the decree/order registered in
the civil registrar's office where the court is functioning,
within ten (10) days after the decree/order has become
final.33

Correction of Entries.
1.
No entry in the civil register shall be changed or
corrected, without judicial order.34 The entry appearing in
the register shall remain and the corrected entry shall be
indicated in the remarks column of the register.35 When the
interested party requests a copy of his/her record, a
certified true copy or a certified transcription bearing the
annotation, "Correction of Entry" giving reference to the
entry number in the Register of Court Decrees shall be
issued. The certified transcription to be issued shall bear
the correction as ordered by the court.36
2.
Q:
Is a judgment voiding a marriage and
rendered by the regional trial court under Rule 108 of the
Rules of Court valid and proper? Rule 108, Section 1 of
the Rules of Court provides that Any person interested in
any act, event, order or decree concerning the civil status
of persons which has been recorded in the civil register,
may file a verified petition for the cancellation or correction
of any entry relating thereto, x x x.37
A:
On its face, the Rule would appear to authorize the
cancellation of any entry regarding "marriages" in the civil
registry for any reason by the mere filing of a verified
33
34
35
36
37

Section 409, Civil Code; Rule 50, NSO A.O. No. 1-93; Rule 58, OCRG A.O. No. 1, s. 1983.
Rule 58 (1), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 412, Civil Code.
Rule 58 (3), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Rule 58 (4), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Leonor v. CA, G.R. No. 112587 (1996).

11

petition for the purpose. However, it is not as simple as it


looks. Doctrinally, the only errors that can be canceled or
corrected under this Rule are typographical or clerical
errors, not material or substantial ones like the validity or
nullity of a marriage. A clerical error is one which is visible
to the eyes or obvious to the understanding; error made by
a clerk or a transcriber; a mistake in copying or writing; or
some harmless and innocuous change such as a
correction of name that is clearly misspelled or of a
misstatement of the occupation of the parent. x x x Clearly
and unequivocally, the summary procedure under Rule 108
and Article 412 of the Civil Code cannot be used to change
one's civil status from married to single. x x x38

II.

Registration of Legal Instruments Affecting Marriage.


1.
Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status
of persons shall be recorded in the civil register.39
2.
Article 408 of the Civil Code authorizes the entry in the civil
registry of certain acts (such as legitimations, acknowledgments
of illegitimate children and naturalization), events (such as births,
marriages, and deaths) and judicial decrees (such as legal
separations, annulments of marriage, declarations of nullity of
marriages, adoptions, naturalization, loss or recovery of
citizenship, civil interdiction, judicial determination of filiation and
changes of name). These acts, events and judicial decrees
produce legal consequences that touch upon the legal capacity,
status and nationality of a person. Their effects are expressly
sanctioned by the laws.
3.
The books making up the civil register and all documents
relating thereto shall be considered public documents and shall
be prima facie evidence of the facts therein contained.40

A.

Registration of Application for Marriage License.

Steps Involved
38

Ibid.

39 Article 407. Civil Code.


40 Article 410, Civil Code.

12

1. Filing of an application
Where a marriage license is required, each of the contracting
parties shall file separately a sworn application for such license
with the proper local civil registrar which shall specify the
following: (a) full name of the contracting party; (b) place of birth;
(c) age and date of birth; (d) civil status; (e) if previously married,
how, when and where the previous marriage was dissolved or
annulled; (f) present residence and citizenship; (g) degree of
relationship of the contracting parties; (h) full name, residence
and citizenship of the father; (i) full name, residence and
citizenship of the mother; and (j) full name, residence and
citizenship of the guardian or person having charge, in case the
contracting party has neither father nor mother and is under the
age of twenty-one years.41
2. Entry in the Registry Book
The local civil registrar concerned shall enter all applications for
marriage licenses filed with him in a registry book strictly in the
order in which the same are received. He shall record in said
book the names of the applicants, the date on which the marriage
license was issued, and such other data as may be necessary.42
3. Presentation of Birth Certificate
Upon receiving such application, the civil registrar shall require
the presentation of the original birth certificates or, in default
hereof, the baptismal certificates of the contracting parties or
copies of such documents duly attested by the persons having
custody of the originals. These certificates or certified copies of
the documents need to be sworn to and shall be exempt from the
documentary stamp tax. The signature and official title of the
person issuing the certificate shall be sufficient proof of its
authenticity.43
If either of the contracting parties is unable to produce his birth or
baptismal certificate or a certified copy of either because of the
41
42
43

Rule 47 (1), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 11, Family Code.
Rule 47 (2), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 25, Family Code.
Rule 48, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 12 par. 2, Family Code.

13

destruction or loss of the original, or if it is shown by an affidavit of


such party or of any other person that such birth or baptismal
certificate has not yet been received though the same has been
required of the person having custody thereof at least fifteen days
prior to the date of the application, such party may furnish in lieu
thereof his current residence certificate or an instrument drawn up
and sworn to before the local civil registrar concerned or any
public official authorized to administer oaths. Such instrument
shall contain the sworn declaration of two witnesses of lawful age,
setting forth the full name, residence and citizenship of such
contracting party and of his or her parents, if known, and the
place and date of birth of such party. The nearest of kin of the
contracting parties shall be preferred as witnesses, or, in their
default, persons of good reputation in the province or the
locality.44
The presentation of the birth or baptismal certificate shall not be
required if the parents of the contracting parties appear personally
before the local civil registrar concerned and swear to the
correctness of the lawful age of said parties, as stated in the
application, or when the local civil registrar shall, by merely
looking at the applicants upon their personally appearing before
him, be convinced that either or both of them have the required
age.45
In case either of the contracting parties has been previously
married, the applicant shall be required to furnish, instead of the
birth or baptismal certificate, the death certificate of the deceased
spouse or the judicial decree of the absolute divorce, or the
judicial decree of annulment or declaration of nullity of his or her
previous marriage, in case the death certificate cannot be
secured, the party shall make an affidavit setting forth this
circumstance and his or her actual civil status and the name and
date of death of the deceased spouse.46
In case either or both of the contracting parties, not having been
emancipated by a previous marriage, are between the ages of
eighteen and twenty-one, they shall, in addition to the
requirements of the preceding Articles, exhibit to the local civil
44
45
46

Ibid, citing Article 12 paragraph 2, Family Code.


Ibid, citing Article 12 paragraph 3, Family Code.
Rule 48 (2), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 13, Family Code.

14

registrar, the consent to their marriage of their father, mother,


surviving parent or guardian, or persons having legal charge of
them, in the order mentioned. Such consent shall be manifested
in writing by the interested party, who personally appears before
the proper local civil registrar, or in the form of an affidavit made
in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official
authorized by law to administer oaths. The personal manifestation
shall be recorded in both application for marriage license, and the
affidavit, if one is executed instead, shall be attached to said
applications.47
Any contracting party between the age of twenty-one and twentyfive shall be obliged to ask their parents or guardian for advice
upon the intended marriage. If they do not obtain such advice, or
if it be unfavorable, the marriage license shall not be issued till
after three months following the completion of the publication of
the application thereof. A sworn statement by the contracting
parties to the effect that such advice has been sought, together
with the written advice given, if any, shall be attached to the
application for marriage license. Should the parents or guardian
refuse to give any advice, this fact shall be stated in the sworn
statement.48
In the cases where parental consent or parental advice is needed,
the party or parties concerned shall, in addition to the
requirements of the preceding Articles attach a certificate issued
by a priest, imam or minister authorized to solemnize marriage
under Article 7 of this Code or a marriage counselor duly
accredited by the proper government agency to the effect that the
contracting parties have undergone marriage counselling. Failure
to attach said certificate of marriage counselling shall suspend
the issuance of the marriage license for a period of three months
from the completion of the publication of the application. Issuance
of the marriage license within the prohibited period shall subject
the issuing officer to administrative sanctions but shall not affect
the validity of the marriage.49 Should only one of the contracting
parties need parental consent or parental advice, the other party
must be present at the counselling.50
47
48
49
50

Rule 48 (3), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 14, Family Code.
Rule 48 (4), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 15, Family Code.
Rule 48 (5), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 16 paragraph 1, Family Code.
Ibid, citing Article 16 paragraph 2, Family Code.

15

4. Preparation of Notice and Posting


The local civil registrar shall prepare a notice which shall contain
the full names and residences of the applicants for a marriage
license and other data given in the applications. The notice shall
be posted for ten consecutive days on a bulletin board outside
the office of the civil registrar located in a conspicuous place
within the building and accessible to the general public. This
notice shall request all persons having knowledge of any
impediment to the marriage to advise the civil registrar thereof.
The marriage license shall be issued after the completion of the
period of publication.51
What is the effect of a legal impediment in the issuance of a license?
In case of any impediment known to the local civil registrar or
brought to his attention, he shall note down the particulars
thereof and his findings thereon in the application for a marriage
license, but shall nonetheless issue said license after the
completion of the period of publication, unless ordered otherwise
by a competent court at his own instance or that of any
interested party. No filing fee shall be charged for the petition nor
a bond required for the issuance of the order.52
Presentation of certificate of legal capacity
When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a
foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage
license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity to
contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or
consular officials.53 Stateless persons or refugees from other
countries shall, in lieu of the certificate of legal capacity herein
required, submit an affidavit stating the circumstances showing
such capacity to contract marriage.54

51
52
53
54

Rule 48 (6), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 17, Family Code.
Rule 48 (7), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 18, Family Code.
Rule 48 (8), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 21 paragraph 1, Family Code.
Ibid, citing Article 21 paragraph 2, Family Code.

16

5. Payment of Required Fees


The local civil registrar shall require the payment of the fees
prescribed by law or regulations before the issuance of the
marriage license. No other sum shall be collected in the nature of
a fee or tax of any kind for the issuance of said license. It shall,
however, be issued free of charge to indigent parties, that is,
those who have no visible means of income or whose income is
insufficient for their subsistence, a fact established by their
affidavit or by their oath before the local civil registrar.55
6. Issuance and Period of Validity
The license shall be valid in any part of the Philippines for a
period of one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of issue,
and shall be deemed automatically cancelled at the expiration of
said period if the contracting parties have not made use of it. The
expiry date shall be stamped in bold characters on the face of
every license issued.56
Number of Copies to be Accomplished for Distribution
It shall be the duty of the contracting parties to accomplish four
(4) copies of the Application for Marriage License for registration.
After the registration, the civil registrar shall distribute copies of
the document bearing the civil registry number as follows: first
copy to the registrant; second copy to the Office of the Civil
Registrar-General; third copy shall be retained for his file; and
fourth copy to the solemnizing officer.57

Marriages Exempt from the License Requirement In marriages exempt from license requirement, the solemnizing
officer in accordance with Chapter 2 of the Family Code, shall
indicate in the space provided in the Certificate of Marriage any of
the following particular provisions of the Family Code under which
such marriage was performed. The civil registrar shall enter the
same in the remarks column of the marriage register:58
55 Rule 48 (9), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 19, Family Code.
56 Rule 48 (10), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 20, Family Code.
57 Rule 49, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.

58

Rule 45 (1), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.

17

a)
Article 27 in case either or both of
the contracting parties are at the point of death, the
marriage may be solemnized without requiring a
marriage license even if the ailing party
subsequently survives;
b)
Article 28 if the residence of either
party is so located that there is no means of
transportation to enable such party to appear
personally before the civil registrar, the marriage
may be solemnized without the marriage license;
c)
Article 33 marriages among
Muslims or among members of the ethnic cultural
communities may be performed validly without the
marriage license, provided that they are solemnized
in accordance with their customs, rites, or practices;
or
d)
Article 34 the marriage license is
not 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.

Duties of the solemnizing officer in marriages exempt from the license


requirement
In the cases ,mentioned in a and b, the solemnizing officer
shall state in an affidavit executed before the civil registrar or any
other person legally authorized to administer oaths that the
marriage was performed in articulo mortis or that the residence of
either party, specifying the barrio or barangay, is so located that
there is no means of transportation to enable such party to appear
personally before the civil registrar and that the officer took the
necessary steps to ascertain the ages and relationship of the
contracting parties and the absence of a legal impediment of the
marriage.59

59

Rule 45 (2), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 29, Family Code.

18

In the case mentioned in d, the contracting parties shall state


the fact that they have lived together as husband and wife for at
least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each
other. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he
ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties and found
no legal impediment to the marriage.60
Legal forms for the affidavits mentioned may be found in the
Certificate of Marriage. If affidavits are executed as a separate
instrument four (4) copies shall be executed and shall be sent to
the civil registrar together with the four (4) copies of marriage
certificate.61

B.

Registration of Marriage.

Place and Time of Registration


In ordinary marriage, the time for submission of the Certificate of
Marriage is within fifteen (15) days following the solemnization of
marriage while in marriage exempt from license requirement, the
prescribed period is thirty (30) days, at the place where the
marriage was solemnized.62
A marriage solemnized while in transit within Philippine territory is
registrable at the place of destination or usual residence of either
party.63
Person Responsible to Report the Event
All civil officers and priests or ministers authorized to solemnize
marriages shall send a copy of each marriage contract
solemnized by them to the local civil registrar within the time limit
specified in the existing Marriage Law.64 The solemnizing officer
has the duty to report the marriage to the Office of the Civil
Registrar where the marriage was solemnized.65 It shall be the
60
61
62
63
64
65

Rule 45 (3), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.


Rule 45 (4), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Rule 41, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Rule 44, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Section 7, Act Np. 3753 (November 26, 1930).
Rule 42, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.

19

duty of the person concerned to accomplish and send four (4)


copies of the Certificate of Marriage to the civil registrar for
registration. After the registration, the civil registrar shall distribute
copies of the document bearing the civil registry number within
five (5) days from receipt thereof as follows: first copy to the
contracting parties; second copy to the Office of the Civil
Registrar-General; third copy shall be retained for filing; and
fourth copy to the solemnizing officer.66

Delayed Registration of Marriage


Delayed registration of marriage is allowed provided all the
necessary documents are available.67
In delayed registration of marriage, the solemnizing officer or the
person reporting or presenting the marriage certificate for
registration shall be required to execute and file an affidavit in
support thereof, stating the exact place and date of marriage, the
facts and circumstances surrounding the marriage and the reason
or cause of the delay.68
The submission of the application for marriage license bearing the
date when the marriage license was issued except for marriage
exempt from marriage licenses shall be required.69
Where the original or duplicate copy of the Certificate of Marriage
could not be presented either because it was burned, lost or
destroyed, a certification issued in lieu thereof, by the church or
solemnizing officer indicating date of said marriage based on their
record or log book shall be sufficient proof of marriage and the
civil registrar may accept the same for registration.70
In case of doubt, the civil registrar may verify the authenticity of
the marriage certification by checking from the church record/log
book and the solemnizing officer who performed the marriage and

66
67
68
69
70

Rule 43, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.


DOJ Opinion No. 35 s. 1998.
Rule 46 (1), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Rule 46 (2), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Rule 46 (3), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.

20

the church official who issued the certification.71

C.

Registration of Other Legal Instruments Affecting Marriage.

As a general rule, all legal instruments shall be registered in the


civil registry of the place where they were executed except the
following:

Affidavit of Reappearance - where the parties to the subsequent


marriage are residing;

Marriage Settlement - where the marriage was recorded; and

Admission of Paternity, Acknowledgement, Legitimation, Voluntary


Emancipation of Minor, and Paternal Authorization or Retification of
Artificial Insemination - where the birth of the child was recorded.72

All legal instruments executed abroad shall be registered in the


civil registry office of Manila.73
It shall be the duty of the person concerned to submit four (4)
copies of the legal instrument to the civil registrar of the
city/municipality where the legal instrument was executed, except
when otherwise provided for registration. After registration, the
civil registrar shall distribute copies of the document bearing the
civil registry number within five (5) days as follows: first copy to
the Office of the Civil Registrar-General; second copy to the civil
registrar where the event was originally recorded; third copy to the
registrant; and fourth copy shall be retained for filing.74
Affidavit of Reappearance
A sworn statement of the fact and circumstances of reappearance
shall be recorded in the civil registry office of the residence of the
parties to the subsequent marriage at the instance of any
interested person, with due notice to the spouses of the
subsequent marriage and without prejudice to the fact of
71
72
73
74

Rule 46 (4), A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.


Rule 61, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Ibid.
Rule 62, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.

21

reappearance being judicially determined in case such fact is


disputed.75

PENALTIES
1.
Any person who shall knowingly make false statements in
the forms furnished and shall present the same for entry in the
civil register, shall be punished by imprisonment for one to six
months or by a fine of PhP200 PhP500, or both, in the discretion
of the court.76
2.
Any person whose duty is to report any fact concerning the
civil status of persons and who knowingly fails to perform such
duty, and any person convicted of having violated any of the
provisions of Act 3753, shall be punished by a fine of PhP10 to
PhP200.77
3.
Any local civil registrar (now civil registrar) who fails
properly to perform his duties in accordance with the provisions of
this Act and of the regulation issued hereunder, shall be punished,
for the first offense, by an administrative fine in a sum equal to his
salary for not less than fifteen days nor more than three months,
and for a second or repeated offense, by removal from the
service.78
4.
Any municipal secretary or clerk of the Municipal Court of
Manila who issues a marriage license to a person entitled thereto
or fails to issue the same within twenty-four hours after the time
when, according to law, it was proper to issue the same, shall be
punished by imprisonment for not less than one month nor more
than two years, or by a fine of not less than two hundred pesos
nor more than two thousand pesos.79
5.
Any priest or minister solemnizing marriage without being
authorized by the Civil Registrar-General or who upon
solemnizing marriage refuses to exhibit his authorization in force
when called upon to do so by the parties or parents,
75
76
77
78
79

Rule 63, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993, citing Article 42, Family Code.
Rule 69, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Rule 70, A.O. No. 1, s. 1993.

22

grandparents, guardians, or persons having charge; and any


bishop or officer, priest, or minister of any church, religion or sect
the regulations and practices whereof require banns or
publications previous to the solemnization of marriage who
authorized the immediate solemnization of a marriage that is
subsequently declared illegal or any officer, priest or minister
solemnizing marriage in violation of the provisions of this Act,
shall be punished by imprisonment of one month to two years, or
by a fine of PhP200 to PhP2,000.80
6.
Any officer, minister or priest, solemnizing marriage in a
place other than those authorized by A.O. No. 1, s. 1993 shall be
punished by a fine of PhP25 PhP300, or by imprisonment of not
more than one month, or both, in the discretion of the court.81
7.
Any officer, priest, or minister failing to deliver to either of
the contracting parties one of the copies of the Certificate of
Marriage or to forward the other copy to the authorities within the
period fixed by law for said purpose, shall be punished by
imprisonment of not more than one month, or by a fine of not
more than PhP300, or both, in the discretion of the court.82
8.
Any officer, priest, or minister who, having solemnized a
marriage "in articulo mortis" or any other marriage of an
exceptional character (now marriage exempt from license
requirement), fails to comply with the provisions of Chapter II of
this Act, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than one
month nor more than two years, or a fine of not less than three
hundred pesos nor more than two thousand pesos, or both, in the
discretion of the court.83
9.
Any priest or minister of the gospel of any denomination,
church, sect, or religion convicted for violation of any of the
provisions of this Act, or of any crime involving moral turpitude
shall, in addition to the penalties incurred in each case, be
disqualified to solemnize marriage for a period of not less than six
months nor more than six years at the discretion of the court.
10.
80
81
82
83

The penalty of prision correccional, or a fine not exceeding

Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.

23

ten thousand pesos, or both, shall be imposed on anyone found


guilty of fraud or falsehood in making the statement prescribed for
the registration of option to elect Philippine citizenship.84
11.
An irregularity in the formal requisites of marriage (Authority
of Solemnizing Officers, marriage license, marriage ceremony)
shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or parties
responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and
administratively liable. (Article 4, paragraph 3, Family Code of the
Philippines).85
12. All civil officers and priests or ministers authorized to
solemnize marriages shall send a copy of each marriage contract
solemnized by them to the local civil registrar within the time limit
specified in the existing Marriage Law.86

DIVORCE DECREE
In cases of divorce and annulment of marriage, it shall be
the duty of the successful petitioner for divorce or annulment of
marriage to send a copy of the final decree of the court to that
local civil registrar of the municipality where the dissolved or
annulled marriage was solemnized.
In the marriage register there shall be entered (a) the full
name and address of each of the contracting parties, (b) their
ages, (c) the place and date of the solemnization of the marriage,
(d) the names and addresses of the witnesses, (e) the full name,
address, and relationship of the minor contracting party or parties
of the person or persons who gave their consent to the marriage,
and (f) the full name, title, and address of the person who
solemnized the marriage.
In cases of divorce or annulment of marriages, there shall
be recorded the names of the parties divorced or whose marriage
was annulled, the date of the decree of the court, and such other
details as the regulations to be issued may require.
The recognition of the foreign divorce decree may be made
84 Rule 71. Violation Of C.A. No. 625
85 Rule 72. Violation of the Family Code
86 SECTION 7, ACT NO. 375. Registration of marriages.

24

in a Rule 108 proceeding itself, as the object of special


proceedings (such as that in Rule 108 of the Rules of Court) is
precisely to establish the status or right of a party or a particular
fact. Moreover, Rule 108 of the Rules of Court can serve as the
appropriate adversarial proceeding by which the applicability of
the foreign judgment can be measured and tested in terms of
jurisdictional infirmities, want of notice to the party, collusion,
fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact.87

PROBLEM AREAS
1.
Is there a need for a specific directive for the LCR to
cancel the marriage certificate in the decision nullifying a
marriage?
2.
Can the LCR register a decree nullifying a marriage when
the title of the case did not carry the III prefixed to the name of
one of the parties despite the fact that the names of the parties
were correctly indicated in the dispositive portion?
3.
What is the proper nomenclature of the court document
which would cause its registration, a certificate of finality or an
entry of judgment?
4.
Whether the divorce decree under Muslim Code (PD 1083)
granted to the spouses married under the civil law is valid.

87 Corpuz vs. Santo Tomas, G.R. No. 186571, August 11, 2010.

25