Article 34 protects marrying parties from shame or humiliation
"Is it correct to say that Article 34 applies even if at the start of a five-year cohabitation of the parties to a marriage, one of the parties was still a minor?
We will assume that the law that you were referring to in your problem is Article 34 of the Family Code. Under said provision “no license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties and found no legal impediment to the marriage”.The rationale why no license is required under Article 34 is to avoid exposing the parties to humiliation, shame and embarrassment concomitant with the scandalous cohabitation of persons outside a valid marriage due to the publication of every applicant’s name for a marriage license. The publicity attending the marriage license may discourage such persons from legitimizing their status. To preserve peace in the family, avoid the peeping and suspicious eye of public exposure and contain the source of gossip arising from the publication of their names, the law deemed it wise to preserve their privacy and exempt them from that requirement (Ninal v Bayadog, G.R. No. 133778 March 14, 2000, 328 SCRA 122)
For this provision to apply, the following requisites must concur:1. The man and woman must have been living together as husband and wife for at least five years before the marriage
2. The parties must have no legal impediment to marry each other3. The fact of absence of legal impediment between the parties must be present at the time of marriage4. The parties must execute an affidavit stating that they have lived together for at least five years and are without legal impediment to marry each other and5. The solemnizing officer must execute a sworn statement that he had ascertained the qualifications of the parties and that he had found no legal impediment to their marriage (Borja-Manzano v Sanchez, A.M. No. MTJ-00-1329. March 8, 2001, 354 SCRA 1)
The legal impediment mentioned above means that the parties have the legal capacity to marry each other from the day that they cohabited as husband and wife. The legal capacity here includes the fact that both parties are 18 years old or above at the time of their cohabitation. In such a case, the computation of the five-year cohabitation shall only start on the period where the parties or one of them is already 18 years old.Also, this five-year period should be the years immediately before the day of the marriage and it should be a period of cohabitation characterized by exclusivity—meaning no third party was involved at anytime within 5 years and there was continuity—that is unbroken (Ninal v Bayadog, G.R. No. 133778 March 14, 2000, 328 SCRA 122).We hope that we have answered your questions.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com or via text message (key in: Times dearpao and send to 2299)."
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"Article 34 protects marrying parties from shame or humiliation"
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and updated on 14 September 2021