What is the cost of civil annulment in the Philippines?
The total cost of annulment in the Philippines is somewhere in between Php 200,000 and Php 500,000 – assuming that the annulment goes uncontested. If either party challenges the case, the costs can balloon to a million or so.
Pricing schemes vary among law firms in the Philippines.
The first cost component is the lawyer’s acceptance fee, which ranges from Php 100,000 to Php 200,000. Some might charge up to Php 500,000.
The next cost component is the psychological evaluation – the professional fee, costs of the report and the psychologist’s appearance fee in court can range from Php 20,000 to Php 50,000. In some cases, the costs can balloon to Php 100,000.
How long does a civil annulment take?
The entire process can take anywhere from six months to four years, depending on the court’s calendar. After the initial consultation and contract signing between you and your chosen attorney, your petition will be prepared.
If the ground for your annulment is based on psychological incapacity of your spouse, which is mostly the majority basis of annulment cases in the Philippines, you will undergo a psychological evaluation.
After the psychologist releases a written report, your attorney will draft the petition and show it to you for approval. The finalized petition will then be filed in court and assigned to a judge by raffle.
If you live or work overseas, you can file the petition before undergoing a psychological evaluation, which can be done before you and the psychologist make a testimony in court.
Once a judge has been assigned to your petition, the pre-trial will begin, as will the collusion investigation – the court will try to determine if you and your spouse have agreed to an annulment beforehand. Unlike in other countries, where parties can undergo a consensual divorce, Filipino couples should not have colluded to get their marriage annulled.
The judge will identify and limit the issues pertinent to the case, as well as submit both parties to mediation, to see if they can come to an agreement on preliminary issues like child custody, support, and visitation rights.
The trial requires the participation of three main witnesses, including you as the petitioner, the psychologist, and a friend or relative who serves as the corroborating witness.
After the trial, the case gets submitted for the court decision. After the decision has been rendered, either party can file for a motion for reconsideration within 15 days of receipt of the court decision should the decision be a denial or an adverse one.
As previously mentioned, the annulment case might take longer to finalize if one party contests it.
There are many factors that contribute to the length of the process – the court might be busy handling dozens of cases, the judge may not be available on the hearing dates, and so on.
Talk to Duran Duran-Schulze Law today at [email protected] or (+632) 478 5826.