Marriage annulments in PH up 40%, says report

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The number of marriage annulment cases in the Philippines has risen by 40 percent in the last decade with at least 22 cases filed every day, according to a report by the Catholic bishops’ news agency.

Citing data from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), CBCPNews said the number of annulment cases had risen from 4,520 in 2001 to 8,282 in 2010.

“The data from the OSG showed that 82 percent of those who filed these cases had children and out of this, 59 percent had at least one or two children, 22 percent had three to four children and one percent had five to six children," the report said.

“The children of these marriages are likely to be affected by the separation of their parents," it added.

The report was based on a document sent to the Church news agency by the OSG and signed by Solicitor General Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz, Assistant Solicitor General Karl B. Miranda and lawyer Christer James Ray A. Gudiano

“It was learned that those who filed for annulment, 61 percent were women with 90 percent of them in their 20s, while only 4 percent were in their 30s," the report said.

“The same study revealed that only 39 percent of men initiated the filing of the complaint with 70 percent of them in their 20s," it said.

The report added that only 25 percent of the men who asked for an annulment were in their 30s or 40s.

It also noted that the longer the marriage, the less the chances of the parties to seek annulment.

“Some 35 percent of married couples filed their annulment cases within the first five years of their marriage," the report said.

The OSG report said that of marriages that lasted five years or more, only 26 percent ended in annulment, while those that lasted more than 10 years, only 17 percent opted for annulment.

The common ground cited for annulment was psychological incapacity. Other grounds included lack of authority of the solemnizing officer, bigamous or polygamous marriages and marriages where one or both parties were below the marrying age.

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