Filing for the declaration of nullity of marriage
" I jut found out that my husband was already married to someone else. We were married in 1977. Is our marriage null and void? Can I still enter into another marriage? Do I still need to file a case in the court even if our marriage is null and void? I don’t have the money to pay for the services of a lawyer.Loveliness
Dear Loveliness,Your marriage is void from the beginning because your husband did not have the legal capacity to marry you when you were married in 1977 because, at that time, he was already married to someone else. Moreover, your marriage is also considered void ab initio for being bigamous. Bigamous marriages are those contracted during the subsistence of a valid marriage.
Even if your marriage is void from the beginning, it is still necessary for you to obtain a final judgment from the court declaring it null and void before you can enter into another marriage. Thus, you have to file a civil action for the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage before the Family Court, if there is one, or the Regional Trial Court of the place where you are currently residing to have your marriage declared void from the beginning.The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) provides free legal services to those whose means do not permit them to hire the services of a private lawyer. However, before you can be a bona fide client of PAO, you must pass the indigency and merit tests, as mandated by R.A. 9406 (PAO Law) and its implementing rules and regulations.
Section 3 of Memorandum Circular No. 18, Series of 2002 (as amended by Memorandum Circular No. 002, Series of 2010) provides that to be considered an indigent, your individual net monthly income must not exceed: P14,000 if you are residing in Metro Manila P13,000.00, if you are residing in other cities and P12,000.00, if you are residing in any place other than the aforementioned.To prove that you are indigent, you will be required to submit any of the following: latest Income Tax Return or pay slip, Certificate of Indigency from the Department of Social Welfare and Development or from the barangay chairman of the place where you reside.
Aside from the indigency test, the Public Attorney’s Office shall handle cases only if it passes the merit test. A case shall be considered meritorious if an assessment of the law and evidence on hand disclose that the legal services of the office will assist, or be in aid or in the furtherance of justice, taking into consideration the interests of the party and those of society. xxx A contrario, a case is deemed unmeritorious if it appears that it has no chance of success, or is intended merely to harass or injure the opposite party or to work oppression or wrong.Finally, we wish to remind you that this opinion is solely based on your narration of facts and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary if other facts are added or elaborated.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or via text message (key in: Times dearpao and send to 2299"
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"Filing for the declaration of nullity of marriage"
was written by Mary
under the Legal Advice
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021