If you assume that getting married in the Philippines is an easy process, you are mistaken. There are quite a few hoops to jump through to get married in the Philippines, especially if you are under age 25.
Don't let the marriage license laws of the Republic of the Philippines put a dent in your wedding plans, though. Here's what you need to know and what documents to bring with you before you apply for a Philippines marriage license. We recommend getting this legal aspect of your wedding out of the way about a month before your wedding date.
Requirements may vary as each county in the Republic of the Philippines could have their own requirements.
Required Documents and Information
If this is your first marriage, the local civil registrar will ask to see your original birth certificates or your baptismal certificates. Certified copies may be accepted. You need to provide the full name, residence, and citizenship of your parents or guardians.
If either of you is not a citizen of the Philippines, you have to provide your passport and a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage. An affidavit in lieu of the certificate may also be accepted. You need to check with a U.S. consular officer to make sure they are providing the affidavit.
Age Requirements, Parental Consent, and Parental Advice
If you are under the age of 18, you cannot get married in the Philippines even if your parents are OK with the marriage.
Individuals must be at least 21 years old to get married in the Philippines without written parental consent. If your parents cannot appear with you before the local civil registrar, a legal affidavit with the signatures of two witnesses may be accepted.
Individuals between the age of 21 and 25, must "... ask their parents or guardian for advice upon the intended marriage. If they do not obtain such advice, or if it is unfavorable, the marriage license shall not be issued until after three months following the completion of the publication of the application therefor. A sworn statement by the contracting parties to the effect that such advice has been sought, together with the written advice given, if any, shall be attached to the application for a marriage license. Should the parents or guardian refuse to give any advice, this fact shall be stated in the sworn statement."
There is a waiting period of 10 consecutive days while notice of the marriage application is posted on a bulletin board outside the local civil registrar's office.
Check with the local civil registrar for the fees charged for a marriage license. Fees for a marriage license may be waived if the couple applying has no visible means of income or has insufficient income.
Pre-Marital Counseling and Family Planning Seminar
If either of you is between the ages of 18 and 25, you will need to show proof to the local civil registrar that you have received marriage counseling. If you do not receive marriage counseling, your marriage license will not be issued for three months.
If you have been previously married, you will need to provide the death certificate of your deceased spouse or the judicial decree of your absolute divorce or the judicial decree of your annulment or declaration of nullity of your previous marriage.
Two witnesses are required. Witnesses must be of legal age.
Members of the local judiciary; priests, rabbis, imams, ministers of registered churches or religious sects; consul generals, consuls, vice-consuls. Military commanders in the absence of a chaplain and ship captains and airplane chiefs can solemnize a marriage in articulo mortis.
If you use a religious officiant, one of you must belong to the officiant's church or religious sect.
Marriages must be solemnized publicly in a church, chapel, temple, judicial chambers or offices of consuls. The only time a wedding can take place elsewhere is if the wedding is articulo mortis, in a remote location, or if the officiant receives a request for a different location.
The Republic of The Philippines does not allow marriage by proxy.
The Family Code of The Republic of The Philippines states: "No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties are found no legal impediment to the marriage. (76a)"
Cousin marriages are not allowed. "Section 1, Article 38 of the Family Code prohibits marriage of relatives up to the fourth civil degree (first cousins)."
The marriage license in the Philippines is valid for 120 days from the date of issue.
Please note that we make every effort to offer you common-sense marriage advice and helpful information about marriage on this website, but we are not attorneys and the articles on the site are not to be construed as legal advice. The information in this article was accurate when it was published. It is important that you verify all information with your local marriage license office or county clerk before making any wedding or travel plans. This Marriage site has a world-wide audience and marriage laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. When in doubt, seek legal counsel. Please notify us of any oversights or errors.