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Is not being member of church of solemnizing pastor/non-registered SO ground for voiding marriage?

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Arresto Menor
Hi atty.. I'd like to ask your opinion on this:
My gf was married to her then bf about 10 years ago because she got pregnant. About 4 years ago, after having two more kids, she and her husband decided to part ways. 2 years ago I met her and decided that we live together. Her ex now has his own gf. The four of us (who are in good speaking terms)are contemplating on making things legal, i.e. either they will go for nullity or annulment of their marriage. However, the guy has very little means, currently jobless, and, therefore, the burden of getting things done now falls on me and my gf, especially that we both already want to get married and build our own family. When I asked for their marriage documents and the circumstances, here are the things I found out:
1. The license was obtained in Imus, Cavite and the wedding took place in the office of the solemnizing officer in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
2. The solemnizing officer was a pastor who represented a church with which not one of them is a member. According to the SO Information System website of the OCR-NSO, the SO registry effectivity of the solemnizing officer is from 01/01/2003 to 12/31/2005. The ceremony took place 11/23/2002.
3. The marriage certificate was released from Manila City Hall.
4. My gf at that time was undecided but only cooperated up til the wedding ceremonies. but didn't lift a finger to participate in facilitating the wedding. She actually didn't attend the "reception" which followed a day after the wedding ceremony.
5. NSO has a copy of their marriage certificate (complete with a license number)

Is there a ground for voiding the marriage especially given the facts in #2 & 4? Or should we go for annulment?

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Reclusion Perpetua
Hi ler.zanzibar.

The fact that the solemnizing officer who officiated their wedding was a pastor who represented a religious sect of which none of the parties was a member does not really make the marriage void. It is only an irregularity in the formal requisite of marriage, and it only renders the party responsible for such irregularity liable for criminal,civil or administrative charge.

If however they have completely satisfied the requisites of marriage, then they may explore the possibility of filing a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage based on psychological incapacity of either or both of the parties. By psychological incapacity, I mean that the psychological condition of the party/ies makes him/her/them incapable of performing their marital obligations.

For more free legal information about Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, check out

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