Article 34

A question was publicly posted by Syana on the social media account of this paper in a piece last June 2017. She said that she and her husband got married under Article 34 of the Family Code and that they no longer obtained a marriage license but instead executed an affidavit. They are now planning to get married again in their church and she wants to know if they will be required to obtain a marriage license before said marriage.

Civil Marriage

Syana, when you got married under Article 34 as you said, that marriage is presumed valid. If you plan to get married again (to the same person of course) under the rites of your church you are not required to show any marriage license anymore since you were actually and validly married. As long as you are qualified to marry each other under the rules of your church or congregation, then there is no legal impediment to your plan. Remember that the first valid marriage is the one recognized by our Family Code and a subsequent church wedding will just serve as “validation” of your civil marriage. What might be required of you by your pastor is to present a copy of your marriage contract to show that you are qualified under the Family Code to contract marriage.

No Marriage License

Article 34 of the Family Code is one of the exceptions to the license requirement under Article 3 which states: “The formal requisites of marriage are: … (2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided in Chapter 2 of this Title;…” Then Article 4 provides: The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35.” In other words, a marriage contracted without the parties obtaining a marriage license first is not valid. That is the general rule. The exception provided by article 34 allows a couple who have been living together as husband and wife for at least 5 years to get married without obtaining a license and all they have to do is execute an affidavit stating so.

You have stated that you contracted marriage but without a marriage license but you executed an affidavit instead. It appears that you were validly married under the exception provided by Article 34 and your marriage remains valid until the proper court declares it otherwise. A man can always promise: “Pakakasalan kita sa lahat ng simbahan” but we know that only one marriage is recognized by law- that which satisfies the requirements of the Family Code.

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