FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q&A on Immigration
How long is the processing time?
Can my spouse and unmarried minor children be granted also a 9(g) visa?
Are there any additional requirements need to submit by my spouse and unmarried minor children?
Q&A on Business in the Philippines
Are amendments of the Articles of Incorporation duly filed with the SEC allowed?
What are the requirements that must be complied with prior to the amendment?
Yes, amendments of the articles of incorporation are allowed by the law, but subject to certain requirements.
What is the procedure in amending the Articles of Incorporation?
- resolution to amend certain provisions of the Articles of Incorporation by majority of the Board of Directors in a stock corporation or members in a non-stock corporation
- a meeting where at least 2/3 of the stockholders/members voted or expressed their written assent to the amendments made; and
- notarized secretary’s certificate attesting to the votes made
- amended articles of incorporation with the changes underlined
Is there approval by inaction?
- Prepare the board resolution, secretary’s certificate, and the amended articles of incorporation with the changes underlined.
- Go to the Monitoring Department of the SEC.
- File the amended articles of incorporation and related documents.
- Wait for the approval of the amendment and the issuance of the certification.
What are the different persons involved in a corporation?
Yes, there is approval by inaction when the SEC failed to approve the amendment within six (6) months from its date of filing due to a cause not attributable to the corporation.
There are various persons involved in the establishment of a corporation, who are as follows:
- Pre-incorporation stage—promoter, underwriter and subscriber
- Incorporation stage—Incorporator / member, director, officer and stockholder/member
Q&A on Family Law
What makes a valid marriage in the Philippines?
What are these essential and formal requisites of marriage under the Family Code?
A marriage celebrated in the Philippines is considered valid if all the essential and formal of marriage are present at the time of its celebration. The essential and formal requisites of marriage are those provided for in the Family Code of the Philippines.
- Legal capacity of the contracting parties, who must be male and female; and
- Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.
Legal capacity usually pertains to the age of the parties and their freedom from another valid marriage. To determine one’s legal capacity, the parties must look into their national laws. It is one’s national laws which dictate if a citizen has the capacity to enter into marriage.
A Filipino who is at least 18 years old may already get married. However, if still between ages 18 and 21, the party/ies must be given consent by the parents. If marrying between the age of 21 and 25, parental advise must still be secured from them.
Consent relates to each of the parties’ free and voluntary decision to marry the other.
The formal requisites of marriage are:
- Authority of the solemnizing officer;
- Valid marriage license; and
- Marriage ceremony where the contracting parties appear before the solemnizing officer with their personal declaration that they will take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.
Philippine laws enumerate the following persons as having the authority to solemnize marriages in the country:
- Priests, rabbis and ministers of any church
- Duly authorized by his church or religious sect
- Registered with the Office of the Civil Registrar General
- Municipal and City Mayors
- Incumbent members of the judiciary
- Ship captains or airplane chiefs
- Only in cases of marriages in articulo mortis between passengers or crew members during the voyage
- Commanders of military unit, in the absence of chaplain
- Consul generals, consuls or vice consuls
- Only while they are in their foreign posts
What happens if we did not meet the essential or formal requisites of marriage? What remedy is available to us under Philippine law?
If there is absence of ANY ONE of the ESSENTIAL and FORMAL requisites, then your marriage is VOID AB INITIO. Your remedy is to go to court and petition for the DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE.
If there is a DEFECT in ANY ONE of the ESSENTIAL requisites, the marriage is VOIDABLE, meaning it is valid until declared void by the courts. For this case, your proper remedy is to petition for ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE.
In case there is an IRREGULARITY in ANY ONE of the FORMAL requisites, the marriage is still considered valid. However, the persons responsible for the irregularity may be held administratively liable.
Under Philippine law, what marriages are considered void?
- Marriage contracted by any party below 18 years of age, even with parental consent;
- Solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages, unless one or both parties believed in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;
- Solemnized without a license except as otherwise provided;
- Bigamous or polygamous marriages except in case of presumptive death;
- Marriage contracted through mistake of one of the parties as to the identity of the other;
- Subsequent marriages which are void because of failure to partition or distribute the presumptive legitime of heirs of the previous marriage;
- Contracted by a party who at the time of the marriage was psychologically incapacitated;
- Without judicial declaration of nullity of a previous void marriage;
- Without judicial declaration of presumptive death of absent spouse;
- Where the absent spouse was presumed dead and both the present and subsequent spouse were in bad faith in contracting marriage.
Incestuous marriages are likewise considered by law to be void. A marriage is incestuous if entered into between ascendants and descendants of any degree, and between brothers and sisters whether in the full or half blood.
Also, marriages between the following persons are void for being contrary to public policy:
We always hear the term "Psychological Incapacity." How is this applied as a ground for nullifying a marriage?
- Collateral blood relatives whether legitimate or illegitimate up to the 4th civil degree;
- Step-parents and step-children;
- Parents-in-law and children-in-law;
- Adopting parent and adopted child;
- Surviving spouse of the adopting parent and the adopted child;
- Surviving spouse of the adopted child and the adopter;
- Adopted child and the legitimate child of the adopter;
- Adopted children of the same adopter;
- Parties where one, with the intention to marry the other, killed the latter’s spouse or his/her spouse.
When to be used as a ground for nullifying a marriage, psychological incapacity must be restricted to the incapacity of a spouse in complying with the obligations of marriage.
These are the obligations of spouses in a marriage:
- Live together;
- Observe mutual love, respect and fidelity;
- Render mutual help and support;
- Fix the family domicile;
- Assume joint responsibility for the support of the family;
- Exercise joint management of the household.
In a decision rendered by the Supreme Court, it stated that psychological incapacity must be of a character involving a senseless, protracted and constant refusal to comply with the essential marital obligations by one or both spouses, although he or she is physically capable of performing such obligations. The incapacity must be mental, and not only physical, such that it causes the party to be incognitive of his or her marital obligations.
In addition, the incapacity must be present at the time of the celebration of the marriage, although it became manifest only during the marriage.
In sum, the psychological incapacity must have the following elements for it to be appreciated as a ground for nullifying a marriage:
- Mental condition;
- Applies to a person who is maritally contracted to another;
- Marriage entered into with voluntariness and free will;
- Failure to perform or comply with the essential obligations in marriage;
- Failure to perform is chronic;
- Cause is psychological in nature;
- Cause is serious, with antecedence, and is incurable;
- Incapacity results in the failure of the marriage.