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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC A.M. No.

02-11-10-SC March 4, 2003 RE: PROPOSED RULE ON DECLARATION OF ABSOLUTE NULLIT OF !OID MARRIA"ES AND ANNULMENT OF !OIDABLE MARRIA"ES RESOLUTION Acting on the letter of the Chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Rules of Court submitting for this Court's consideration and approval the Proposed Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages, the Court Resolved to APPR V! the same" #he Rule shall ta$e effect on March %&, '(() follo*ing its publication in a ne*spaper of general circulation not later than March +, '(() March ,, '(() Davide, C.J. Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug Mendoza, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, ustria-Martinez, Carpio Morales, Calle!o, Sr. and z"una #nares-Santiago, on leave Corona, on o$$i"ial leave RULE ON DECLARATION OF ABSOLUTE NULLIT OF !OID MARIA"ES AND ANNULMENT OF !OIDABLE MARRIA"ES S#c$%o& 1. S"ope - #his Rule shall govern petitions for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages and annulment of voidable marriages under the .amily Code of te Philippines" #he Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily" S#c$%o& 2. Petition $or de"laration o$ absolute nullit% o$ void marriages. &a' ()o ma% $ile. - A petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the husband or the *ife" /n0 &b' ()ere to $ile. - #he petition shal be filed in the .amily Court" &"' *mpre"riptibilit% o$a"tion or de$ense. - An Action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage shall not prescribe" &d' ()at to allege. - A petition under Article )1 of .amily Code shall specially allege te complete facts sho*ing the either or both parties *ere psychologically incapacitated from complying *ith the essential marital obligations of marriages at the time of the celebration of marriage even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its celebration" #he complete facts should allege the physical manifestations, if any, as are indicative of psychological incapacity at the time of the celebration of the marriage but e2pert opinion need not be alleged" S#c$%o& 3. Petition $or annulment o$ voidable marriages. &a' ()o ma% $ile. - #he follo*ing persons may file a petition for annulment of voidable marriage based on any of the grounds under article ,& of the .amily Code and *ithin the period herein indicated3 /%0 #he contracting party *hose parent, or guardian, or person e2ercising substitute parental authority did not give his or her consent, *ithin five years after attaining the age of t*enty-one unless, after attaining the age of t*enty-one, such party freely cohabitated *ith the other as husband or *ife4 or the parent, guardian or person having legal charge of the contracting party , at any time before such party has reached the age of t*enty-one4

/'0 #he sane spouse *ho had no $no*ledge of the other's insanity4 or by any relative, guardian, or person having legal charge of the insane, at any time before the death of either party4 or by the insane spouse during the a lucid interval or after regaining sanity, provided that the petitioner , after coming to reason, has not freely cohabited *ith the other as husband or *ife4 /)0 #he in5ured party *hose consent *as obtained by fraud, *ithin five years after the discovery of the fraud, provided that said party, *ith full $no*ledge of the facts constituting the fraud, has not freely cohabited *ith the other as husband or *ife4 /,0 #he in5ured party *hose consent *as obtained by force, intimidation, or undue influence, *ithin five years from the time the force intimidation, or undue influence disappeared or ceased, provided that the force, intimidation, or undue influence having disappeared or ceased, said party has not thereafter freely cohabited *ith the other as husband or *ife4 /&0 #he in5ured party *here the other spouse is physically incapable of consummating the marriage *ith the other and such incapability continues and appears to be incurable, *ithin five years after the celebration of marriage4 and /10 #e in5ured party *here the other party *as afflicted *ith a se2ually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable, *ithin five years after the celebration of marriage" &b' ()ere to $ile. - #he petition shall be filed in the .amily Court" S#c$%o& 4. Venue. - #he Petition shall be filed in the .amily Court of the province or city *here the petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least si2 months prior to the date of filing" r in the case of non-resident respondent, *here he may be found in the Philippines, at the election of the petitioner" S#c$%o& '. Contents and $orm o$ petition. - /%0 #he petition shall allege the complete facts constituting the cause of action" /'0 6t shall state the names and ages of the common children of the parties and specify the regime governing their property relations, as *ell as the properties involved" 6f there is no ade7uate provision in a *ritten agreement bet*een the parties, the petitioner may apply for a provisional order for spousal support, the custody and support of common children, visitation rights, administration of community or con5ugal property, and other matters similarly re7uiringurgent action" /)0 6t must be verified and accompanied celebration of marriage" /b0 8here to file"-#he petition shall be filed in the .amily Court" S#c$%o& 4. Venue. - #he petition shall be filed in the .amily Court of the province or city *here the petitioner or the respondent has been residing for at least si2 months prior to the date of filing, or in the case of a non-resident respondent, *here he may be found in the Philippines at the election of the petitioner" S#c$%o& '. Contents and $orm o$ petition. - /%0 #he petition shall allege the complete facts constituting the cause of action" /'0 it shall state the names and ages of the common children of the parties and specify the regime governing their property relations, as *ell as the properties involved" 6f there is no ade7uate provision in a *ritten agreement bet*een the parties, the petitioner may apply for a provisional order for spousal support, custody and support of common children, visitation rights, administration of community or con5ugal property, and other matters similarly re7uiring urgent action" /)0 it must be verified and accompanied by a certification against forum shopping" #he verification and certification must be signed personally by me petitioner" No petition may be filed solely by counsel or through an attorney-in-fact"

6f the petitioner is in a foreign country, the verification and certification against forum shopping shall be authenticated by the duly authori9ed officer of the Philippine embassy or legation, consul general, consul or vice-consul or consular agent in said country" /,0 it shall be filed in si2 copies" #he petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition on the ffice of the :olicitor ;eneral and the ffice of the City or Provincial Prosecutor, *ithin five days from the date of its filing and submit to the court proof of such service *ithin the same period" .ailure to comply *ith any of the preceding re7uirements may be a ground for immediate dismissal of the petition" S#c$%o& (. Summons. - #he service of summons shall be governed by Rule %, of the Rules of Court and by the follo*ing rules3 /%0 8here the respondent cannot be located at his given address or his *hereabouts are un$no*n and cannot be ascertained by diligent in7uiry, service of summons may, by leave of court, be effected upon him by publication once a *ee$ for t*o consecutive *ee$s in a ne*spaper of general circulation in the Philippines and in such places as the court may order 6n addition, a copy of the summons shall be served on the respondent at his last $no*n address by registered mail or any other means the court may deem sufficient" /'0 #he summons to be published shall be contained in an order of the court *ith the follo*ing data3 /a0 title of the case4 /b0 doc$et number4 /c0 nature of the petition4 /d0 principal grounds of the petition and the reliefs prayed for4 and /e0 a directive for the respondent to ans*er *ithin thirty days from the last issue of publication" S#c$%o& ). Motion to dismiss. - No motion to dismiss the petition shall be allo*ed e2cept on the ground of lac$ of 5urisdiction over the sub5ect matter or over the parties4 provided, ho*ever, that any other ground that might *arrant a dismissal of the case may be raised as an affirmative defense in an ans*er" S#c$%o& *. ns+er. - /%0 #he respondent shall file his ans*er *ithin fifteen days from service of summons, or *ithin thirty days from the last issue of publication in case of service of summons by publication" #he ans*er must be verified by the respondent himself and not by counsel or attorney-in-fact" /'0 6f the respondent fails to file an ans*er, the court shall not declare him or her in default" /)0 8here no ans*er is filed or if the ans*er does not tender an issue, the court shall order the public prosecutor to investigate *hether collusion e2ists bet*een the parties" S#c$%o& +. *nvestigation report o$ publi" prose"utor. - /%0 8ithin one month after receipt of the court order mentioned in paragraph /)0 of :ection < above, the public prosecutor shall submit a report to the court stating *hether the parties are in collusion and serve copies thereof on the parties and their respective counsels, if any" /'0 6f the public prosecutor finds that collusion e2ists, he shall state the on the finding of collusion *ithin ten days from receipt of a copy of a report #he court shall set the report for hearing and 6f convinced that the parties are in collusion, it shall dismiss the petition" /)0 6f the public prosecutor reports that no collusion e2ists, the court shall set the case for pre-trial" 6t shall be the duty of the public prosecutor to appear for the :tate at the pre-trial" S#c$%o& 10. So"ial +or,er. - #he court may re7uire a social *or$er to conduct a case study and submit the corresponding report at least three days before the pre-trial" #he court may also re7uire a case study at any stage of the case *henever necessary" S#c$%o& 11. Pre-trial. &-' Pre-trial mandator%. - A pre-trial is mandatory" n motion or motu proprio, the court shall set the pre-trial after the last pleading has been served and filed, or upon receipt of the report of the public prosecutor that no collusion e2ists bet*een the parties" &.' /oti"e o$ pre-trial. - /a0 #he notice of pre-trial shall contain3 /%0 the date of pre-trial conference4 and

/'0 an order directing the parties to file and serve their respective pre-trial briefs in such manner as shall ensure the receipt thereof by the adverse party at least three days before the date of pre-trial" /b0 #he notice shall be served separately on the parties and their respective counsels as *ell as on the public prosecutor" 6t shall be their duty to appear personally at the pre-trial" /c0 Notice of pre-trial shall be sent to the respondent even if he fails to file an ans*er" 6n case of summons by publication and the respondent failed to file his ans*er, notice of pretrial shall be sent to respondent at his last $no*n address" S#c$%o& 12. Contents o$ pre-trial brie$. - #he pre-trial brief shall contain the follo*ing3 /a0 A statement of the *illingness of the parties to enter into agreements as may be allo*ed by la*, indicating the desired terms thereof4 /b0 A concise statement of their respective claims together *ith the applicable la*s and authorities4 /c0 Admitted facts and proposed stipulations of facts, as *ell as the disputed factual and legal issues4 /d0 All the evidence to be presented, including e2pert opinion, if any, briefly stating or describing the nature and purpose thereof4 /e0 #he number and names of the *itnesses and their respective affidavits4 and /f0 :uch other matters as the court may re7uire" .ailure to file the pre-trial brief or to comply *ith its re7uired contents shall have the same effect as failure to appear at the pre-trial under the succeeding paragraphs" S#c$%o& 13. 0$$e"t o$ $ailure to appear at t)e pre-trial. - =a0 6f the petitioner fails to appear personally, the case shall be dismissed unless his counsel or a duly authori9ed representative appears in court and proves a valid e2cuse for the non-appearance of the petitioner" /b0 6f the respondent has filed his ans*er but fails to appear, the court shall proceed *ith the pretrial and re7uire the public prosecutor to investigate the non-appearance of the respondent and submit *ithin fifteen days thereafter a report to the court stating *hether his non-appearance is due to any collusion bet*een the parties" 6f there 6s no collusion, the court shall re7uire the public prosecutor to intervene for the :tate during the trial on the merits to prevent suppression or fabrication of evidence" S#c$%o& 14. Pre-trial "on$eren"e. -At the pre-trial conference, the court3 /a0 May refer the issues to a mediator *ho shall assist the parties in reaching an agreement on matters not prohibited by la*" #he mediator shall render a report *ithin one month from referral *hich, for good reasons, the court may e2tend for a period not e2ceeding one month" /b0 6n case mediation is not availed of or *here it fails, the court shall proceed *ith the pre-trial conference, on *hich occasion it shall consider the advisability of receiving e2pert testimony and such other ma$ers as may aid in the prompt disposition of the petition" S#c$%o& 1'. Pre-trial order. - =a0 #he proceedings in the pre-trial shall be recorded" >pon termination of the pre-trial, the court shall 6ssue a pre-trial order *hich shall recite in detail the matters ta$en up 6n the conference, the action ta$en thereon, the amendments allo*ed on the pleadings, and e2cept as to the ground of declaration of nullity or annulment, the agreements or admissions made by the parties on any of the matters considered, including any provisional order that may be necessary or agreed upon by the parties" /b0 :hould the action proceed to trial, the order shall contain a recital of the follo*ing4 /%0 .acts undisputed, admitted, and those *hich need not be proved sub5ect to :ection %1 of this Rule4

/'0 .actual and legal issues to be litigated4 /)0 !vidence, including ob5ects and documents, that have been mar$ed and *ill be presented4 /,0 Names of *itnesses *ho *ill be presented and their testimonies in the form of affidavits4 and /&0 :chedule of the presentation of evidence" /c0 #he pre-trial order shall also contain a directive to the public prosecutor to appear for the :tate and ta$e steps to prevent collusion bet*een the parties at any stage of the proceedings and fabrication or suppression of evidence during the trial on the merits" /d0 #he parlies shall not be allo*ed to raise issues or present *itnesses and evidence other than those stated in the pre-trial order" #he order shall control the trial of the case, unless modified by the court to prevent manifest in5ustice" /e0 #he parties shall have five days from receipt of the pre-trial order to propose corrections or modifications" S#c$%o& 1(. Pro)ibited "ompromise. - #he court-shall not allo* compromise on prohibited matters, such as the follo*ing3 /a0 #he civil status of persons4 /b0 #he validity of a marriage or of a legal separation4 /c0 Any ground for legal separation4 /d0 .uture support4 /e0 #he 5urisdiction of courts4 and /f0 .uture legitime" S#c$%o& 1). 1rial. - /%0 #he presiding 5udge shall personally conduct the trial of the case" No delegation of the reception of evidence to a commissioner shall be allo*ed e2cept as to matters involving property relations of the spouses" /'0 #he grounds for declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of marriage must be proved" No 5udgment on the pleadings, summary 5udgment, or confession of 5udgment shall be allo*ed" /)0 #he court may order the e2clusion from the courtroom of all persons, including members of the press, *ho do not have a direct interest in the case" :uch an order may be made if the court determines on the record that re7uiring a party to testify in open court *ould not enhance the ascertainment of truth4 *ould cause to the party psychological harm or inability to effectively communicate due to embarrassment, fear, or timidity4 *ould violate the right of a party to privacy4 or *ould be offensive to decency or public morals" /,0 No copy shall be ta$en nor any e2amination or perusal of the records of the case or parts thereof be made by any person other than a party or counsel of a party, e2cept by order of the court" S#c$%o& 1*. Memoranda. - #he court may re7uire the parties and the public prosecutor, in consultation *ith the ffice of the :olicitor ;eneral, to file their respective memoranda support of their claims *ithin fifteen days from the date the trial is terminated" 6t may re7uire the ffice of the :olicitor ;eneral to file its o*n memorandum if the case is of significant interest to the :tate" No other pleadings or papers may be submitted *ithout leave of court" After the lapse of the period herein provided, the case *ill be considered submitted for decision, *ith or *ithout the memoranda" S#c$%o& 1+. De"ision. - /%0 6f the court renders a decision granting the petition, it shall declare therein that the decree of absolute nullity or decree of annulment shall be issued by the court only after compliance *ith

Article &( and &% of the .amily Code as implemented under the Rule on ?i7uidation, Partition and Distribution of Properties" /'0 #he parties, including the :olicitor ;eneral and the public prosecutor, shall be served *ith copies of the decision personally or by registered mail" 6f the respondent summoned by publication failed to appear in the action, the dispositive part of the decision shall be published once in a ne*spaper of general circulation" /)0 #he decision becomes final upon the e2piration of fifteen days from notice to the parties" !ntry of 5udgment shall be made if no motion for reconsideration or ne* trial, or appeal 6s filed by any of the parties the public prosecutor, or the :olicitor ;eneral" /,0 >pon the finality of the decision, the court shall forth*ith issue the corresponding decree if the parties have no properties" 6f the parties have properties, the court shall observe the procedure prescribed in :ection '% of this Rule" #he entry of 5udgment shall be registered in the Civil Registry *here the marriage *as recorded and 6n the Civil Registry *here the .amily Court'granting the petition for declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of marriage is located" S#c$%o& 20. ppeal. &-' Pre-"ondition. - No appeal from the decision shall be allo*ed unless the appellant has filed a motion for reconsideration or ne* trial *ithin fifteen days from notice of 5udgment" &.' /oti"e o$ appeal. - An aggrieved party or the :olicitor ;eneral may appeal from the decision by filing a Notice of Appeal *ithin fifteen days from notice of denial of the motion for reconsideration or ne* trial" #he appellant shall serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the adverse parties"

S#c$%o& 21. 2i3uidation, partition and distribution, "ustod%, support o$ "ommon ")ildren and deliver% o$ t)eir presumptive iegltimes. - >pon entry of the 5udgment granting the petition, or, in case of appeal, upon receipt of the entry of 5udgment of the appellate court granting the petition, the .amily Court, on motion of either party, shall proceed *ith the li7uidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, including custody, support of common children and delivery of their presumptive legitimes pursuant to Articles &( and &% of the .amily Code unless such matters had been ad5udicated in previous 5udicial proceedings" S#c$%o& 22. *ssuan"e o$ De"ree o$ De"laration o$ bsolute /ullit% or nnulment o$ Marriage.4 /a0 #he court shall issue the Decree after4 /%0 Registration of the entry of 5udgment granting the petition for declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage in the Civil Registry *here the marriage *as celebrated and in the Civil Registry of the place *here the .amily Court is located4 /'0 Registration of the approved partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, in the proper Register of Deeds *here the real properties are located4 and /)0 #he delivery of the children's presumptive legitimes in cash, property, or sound securities" /b0 #he court shall 7uote in the Decree the dispositive portion of the 5udgment entered and attach to the Decree the approved deed of partition" !2cept in the case of children under Articles )1 and &) of the .amily Code, the court shall order the ?ocal Civil Registrar to issue an amended birth certificate indicating the ne* civil status of the children affected" S#c$%o& 23. 5egistration and publi"ation o$ t)e de"ree6 de"ree as best eviden"e. - /a0 #he prevailing party shall cause the registration of the Decree in the Civil Registry *here the marriage *as registered, the Civil Registry of the place *here the .amily Court is situated, and in the National Census and :tatistics ffice" @e shall report td the court compliance *ith this re7uirement *ithin thirty days from receipt of the copy of the Decree" /b0 6n case service of summons *as made by publication, the parties shall cause the publication of the Decree once in a ne*spaper of general circulation" /c0 #he registered Decree shall be the best evidence to prove the declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of marriage and shall serve as notice to third persons concerning the properties of petitioner and respondent as *ell as the properties or presumptive legitimes delivered to their common children" S#c$%o& 24. 0$$e"t o$ deat) o$ a part%6 dut% o$ t)e 7amil% Court or ppellate Court. - /a0 6n case a party dies at any stage of the proceedings before the entry of 5udgment, the court shall order the case closed and terminated, *ithout pre5udice to the settlement of the estate in proper proceedings in the regular courts" /b0 6f the party dies after the entry of 5udgment of nullity or annulment, the 5udgment shall be binding upon the parties and their successors in interest in the settlement of the estate in the regular courts" S#c$%o& 2'. 0$$e"tlvit%. - #his Rule shall ta$e effect on March %&, '(() follo*ing its publication in a ne*spaper of general circulation not later than March +, '(()"