A. Essential Requisites for Marriage
The Family Code of the Philippines provides in Art. 2: No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:
1. Legal capacity of the contracting parties (18 yrs. or upwards), who must be a male and a female; and
2. Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.
B. Formal Requisites of Marriage
Art. 3. The formal requisites of marriage are:
- Authority of the solemnizing officer;
- A valid marriage license except in cases provided in chapter 2 of this title; and
- 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:
Art. 4. The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage “void ab initio” (void from the beginning) except as stated in Article 35 (a).
A defect in any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage voidable as provided in Art. 45.
C. Annulment of a Marriage
Annulment refers to the legal process of filling a petition in the appropriate court seeking a judicial declaration of making a marriage null and void ab initio or from the beginning as if no marriage took place. The legal effect, if petition, is granted is that the couple can re-marry.
Art. 45. Enumerates the grounds for annulment of marriage, as follows:
- One of the contracting parties is 18 yrs. of age or over but below 21 and without parental consent;
- Either party was of unsound mind;
- Consent of either party was obtained by fraud, force and intimidation;
- Either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other; and
- Either party was afflicted with a sexually transmissible disease found to be serious and incurable.
D. Legal Separation
Legal separation refers to the legal process of filling a petition in the appropriate court seeking a judicial declaration of legal separation for married couples. The legal effect, if petition is granted, is that the couple are separated from bed and board but they cannot re-marry.
Art. 55. A petition for legal separation may be filled an any of the following grounds:
- Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner,
- Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religion or political affiliation;
- Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement;
- Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six yrs; even if pardoned;
- Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
- Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;
- Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in the Philippines or abroad;
- Sexual infidelity or perversion;
- Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner; or
- Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.
Norms of Marriage on the Selection of Potential Marriage Partners
Literature on the subject gives the following norms of marriage:
1. Endogamy – is a rule that requires a person to marry someone from within his or her own group – tribe, nationality, religion, race, community, or any other social grouping.
Ex. Marriage between Roman Catholics
2. Exogamy – is a rule that requires a person to marry someone from outside his or her own group.
Ex. Marriage between a Filipino and an American
3. Sororate – prescribes that a widower marry the sister or nearest kin of the deceased wife.
4. Levirate – prescribes that a widow marry the brother or nearest kin of the deceased husband.
Forms of Marriage
According to number of spouses or mates:
- Monogamy – marriage between one man and one woman.
- Polygamy or plural marriages – has three forms:
- Polygyny – one husband and two or more wives. Example: Muslim nations
- Polyandry – one wife and two or more husbands. Example: Hindu Todas of Southern India
- Group marriage – two or more husbands and two or more wives. Examples: Kaingang of Brazil; the Diere of Australia; the Chukchee of Siberia; and the Marquesan Islanders.