Dear Atty. Duran-Schulze,
I found out that my husband has a mistress. I felt so disgusted that I wanted to file for an annulment? Can this be a solid reason to do so?
No. By its nature, the ground/s for annulment should have existed at the time of the marriage, even if it should have manifested after. Under the Family Code, the grounds for annulment are only as follows:
Art. 45. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
(1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;
(2) That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
(3) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
(4) That the consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
(5) That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or
(6) That either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable.
Further, for fraud, the only bases are:
Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in Article 45 (3) of the preceding Article:
- Non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude;
- Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband;
- Concealment of sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or
- Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of the marriage.
No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage.
Further, having a mistress that only happened after the marriage – as an inevitable consequence, will also not be considered as a ground for annulment.
It may, however, be a ground to file for legal separation – but the marriage will not be severed.
Two of the grounds related are: (1) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in the Philippines or abroad; and (2) Sexual infidelity or perversion.
Need further information and assistance? Talk to our Legal team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law. Call us today at (+632) 8478 5826 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.