‘My son was married by a born-again pastor, is his marriage binding?’
"My son got married in Japan in 2007. The marriage was officiated by a “born again” pastor. I am worried that my son’s marriage is a sham and will not be recognized in the Philippines. He and his wife are both Filipinos. Will their marriage be recognized in the Philippines?
Concerned motherDear Concerned mother,
If the marriage is solemnized in another country other than the Philippines, such marriage will be considered valid in the Philippines if the same is valid in the country where the marriage took place. The law provides certain exceptions to this rule, such as (1) marriages contracted when either party is below eighteen years of age (2) bigamous or polygamous marriages (3) subsequent marriages where Art. 52 of the Family Code was not complied with (4) marriages where either of the party suffers from psychological incapacity at the time of the celebration of the marriage (5) incestuous marriages and (6) marriages against public policy. Hence, if the marriage celebrated outside the Philippines falls within any of these exceptions, such will be considered void in the Philippines even if considered valid in the country where it was celebrated.With regard to your concern on the authority of the pastor who solemnized the marriage of your son, Article 7 number 2 of the Family Code provides that a marriage “may be solemnized by any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted him by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer’s church or religious sect.”
It is clear from the foregoing that a minister, such as a born again pastor, should possess written authority from his church or sect and should be registered with the civil registrar general before he can solemnize marriages. However, absent these, it does not necessarily mean that the marriage solemnized is null and void. Article 35 number 2 of the Family Code states that marriages “solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so.”Therefore, the marriage will still be considered valid when at least one of the parties believed in good faith that the solemnizing officer had authority.
The validity of the marriage of your son depends on its status under Japanese law. If Japanese law considers their marriage as valid then Philippine law will also recognize the same as valid, subject only to the exceptions provided under the law.We hope that we have fully addressed your query regarding this matter.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."
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"‘My son was married by a born-again pastor, is his marriage binding?’"
was written by Mary
under the Legal Advice
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comments. The article was created on 14 September 2021
and updated on 14 September 2021