Effect of collusion between the parties in cases of annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage

Once upon a time, I was just a young law student, trying to realize my childhood dream of becoming a lawyer.

Of course, this is no longer just a dream for me, because, now, it is already a reality.

In fact, I have been a lawyer for almost ten years now. Indeed, time flies so fast.

As a lawyer, I have been asked quite a number of questions for my legal advice and opinion.

While I may have forgotten most of the questions asked in the past, there are some, which I could still vividly recall even to this day.

For instance, most of those who wanted to have their marriages annulled or declared void had asked if it would be all right to enter into an agreement with their estranged spouses where one would file the petition and the other would not oppose it.

In asking this question, they thought that such an agreement would guarantee them of a favorable decision from the courts that would hear their petitions.

Worse, they even thought that their marriages would never be annulled or declared void without it.

In answer to this question, I would tell them that such an agreement would do more harm than good.

With a surprised and worried look on their faces, they would then ask me, “Why?”

In reply, I would carefully explain to them that such an agreement falls squarely within the meaning and scope of the term “collusion” in cases of annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage, which our laws expressly prohibit.

I would then make it very clear to them that the courts would surely dismiss their petitions if they discover and are convinced of the existence of collusion between the parties in whatever form.

[References: Article 48 of the Family Code of the Philippines and Section 9 of A.M. 02-11-10-SC (March 4, 2003), otherwise known as the “Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages”]

 

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