The following are the distinctions between Annulment vs. Declaration of Nullity of Marriage vs. Legal Separation in the Philippines.
Annulment of Marriage
It is valid until annulled. The marriage between the parties existed.
- The party is 18 to below 21 and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife.
- A party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.
- That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud unless such party afterward, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.
- That the consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation, or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife.
- That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable such was not disclosed to the other party.
- That either party was afflicted with a sexually transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable and such was not disclosed to the other party.
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
Marriage is void ab initio (void from the very beginning). There is no marriage to speak of.
- One or both parties are minors.
- Lack of authority of the solemnizing officer unless either or both parties believed in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so.
- Lack of marriage license, except if there was cohabitation for 5 years prior the marriage and there is no legal impediment for them to marry each other.
- Bigamous or polygamous marriages.
- Those contracted through mistake of one of the contracting parties as to the identity of the other.
- Incestuous marriages as defined in Article 37 of the Family Code.
- Void marriages by reason of public policy (between step-parents and step-children, between adopting parent and adopted child).
- Psychological Incapacity in relation to Art. 36 of the Family Code.
Legal separation is merely the separation of spouses from bed and board. (Article 63 of the Family Code) While it permits the partial suspension of marital relations, the marriage bond still exists.
- 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 religious or political affiliation.
- An 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 years, 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 Philippine or abroad.
- Sexual infidelity or perversion.
- An attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner.
10. Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year. (Article 55 of the Family Code of the Philippines).