Chapter 1:

Requisites of Marriage

(The Family Code of the Philippines)

Article 1

Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life.  It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code.  (52a)

Article 2

No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:

  1. Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
  2. Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.  (53a)
Article 3

The formal requisites of marriage are:

  1. Authority of the solemnizing officer;
  2. A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title; and
  3. A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.  (53a, 55a)
Article 4

The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35 (2).

A defect in any of the essential requisites shall render the marriage voidable as provided in Article 45.  (n)

An irregularity in the formal requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.  (n)

Article 5

Any male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38, may contract marriage.  (54a)

Article 6

No prescribed form or religious rite for the solemnization of the marriage is required.  It shall be necessary, however, for the contracting parties to appear personally before the solemnizing officer and declare in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age that they take each other as husband and wife.  This declaration shall be contained in the marriage certificate which shall be signed by the contracting parties and their witnesses and attested by the solemnizing officer.

In case of a marriage in articulo mortis, when the party at the point of death is unable to sign the marriage certificate, it shall be sufficient for one of the witnesses to the marriage to write the name of said party, which fact shall be attested by the solemnizing officer.  (55a)

Article 7

Marriage may be solemnized by:

  1. Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court's jurisdiction;
  2. Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect duly authorized by his church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general, acting within the limits of the written authority granted by his church or religious sect and provided that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer's church or religious sect;
  3. Any ship captain or airplane chief only in the case mentioned in Article 31;
  4. Any military commander of a unit to which a chaplain is assigned, in the absence of the latter, during a military operation, likewise only in the cases mentioned in Article 32;
  5. Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul in the case provided in Article 10.  (56a)

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