What Are The Marriages Without Legal Effects in The Philippines?
Void marriages are marriages that do not have any legal effect from their celebration and therefore cannot be used as the basis for rights and responsibilities under the law. Being void from the very beginning, such marriages are not susceptible to ratification by either party. Furthermore, marriages of such character may be impugned either in a direct or indirect proceeding during or even after the death of the parties.Void Marriages Under Article 35 of the Family Code
Under Article 35 of the Family Code of the Philippines, the following marriages shall be null and void from the beginning:
The list is not exclusive since there are other articles that also provide for other kinds of void marriages. These provisions are found in articles 36, 37, 38 and 53 of the same code. Article 36 deals with marriages that have been celebrated where either of the parties was suffering from psychological incapacity. Under this article, such a marriage may be subsequently declared null and void. Psychological incapacity has been defined as a mental incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of basic marital covenants that must be assumed and discharged by the parties. Despite this definition, courts are still given wide latitude in defining instances that also fall within the term psychological incapacity as it was the intent of the lawmakers to give judges such discretion. Circumstances that show the presence of psychological incapacity include the constant refusal to procreate with his or her spouse; refusal to dwell in the same house and consequently leaving the other spouse without any justification; unbearable jealousy of either parties; and immaturity or lack of rational judgment.
Article 37 deals with incestuous marriages. These marriages are declared null and void based on gathered scientific evidence where marriage between relatives of a certain degree may produce offsprings that are both genetically inferior and defective. In order to prevent such situations, the law prohibits these persons from marrying each other. Article 37 provides as follows:
Art. 37. Marriages between the following are incestuous and void from the beginning, whether relationship between the parties be legitimate or illegitimate:
Article 38 deals with marriages contrary to public policy. Under this provision, the following individuals are prohibited from marrying each other due to the artificial relationship that both the law and society recognizes. In such cases, the law treats such individuals as being related despite their lack of blood relation. Article 38 lists these marriages as follows:
Article 53 deals with subsequent marriages entered into by either party without fulfilling the requirements laid down by law. The provision contemplates a previous marriage that was annulled or declared void. The former spouses are free to remarry provided they have fulfilled the requirement of recording the judgment of annulment or of absolute nullity of the marriage, the partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and the delivery of the children’s presumptive legitimes in the appropriate civil registry and registries of property. Failure to do so would result in making any subsequent marriage null and void.