Monday, March 12, 2012

Wedding onboard: Why invalid???

Is ship Captains authorized to solemnized weddings?

Maybe due to the case rarity that's why our City Registrar find our wedding onboard invalid. I'm actually freaking out when I heard her telling me about it, I just can't believe it. I've been working onboard International Cruise lines more than half a decade now and I witnessed a lot of weddings onboard officiated by ship's Captain so I was really shocked and can't accept that fact.She told us it's against the Philippine Family Code not unless one of us is "at the point of death" (articulo mortis).

I want somebody to enlighten me regarding this matter so I've asked fellow brides specially those who are related to legal practice ( attorneys) about what are their thoughts in our case...Thanks to some answers from a sis that made it  clearer in my view..


As a general rule, a ship captain, under Philippine laws, for marriages solemnized in the Philippines, may only celebrate marriages if one or both of the parties are at the point of death. However, as I understand it, the marriage was held in the Dominican Republic. If the wedding is valid in the Dominican Republic where you got married, then it's valid in the Philippines, too - it's no different from Filipinos who get married in Las Vegas, as long as under Philippine laws, hindi sila disqualified to marry. I assume both you and your husband were qualified to marry when you did. Sa facts na binigay mo ha, under the law, your marriage should be valid here. I think your registrar was under the impression that the marriage was celebrated in the Philippines thus, Philippine laws apply. If makulit siya, point out the following provision of the Family Code: Art. 26. All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4), (5) and (6), 3637 and 38.

and this too....

 I think you can find solace in the provision of the Family Code of the Philippines which states that "marriages solemnized outside the Philippines and VALID THERE AS SUCH, must also be considered valid in the Philippines."

Your civil registrar might have based her denial on the provision that allows ship captains to marry only during the time of death. she overlooks the fact, however, that the marriage is not celebrated in the Philippines, thus, Philippine laws find no application.

If the ship captain, under Dominican Republic laws, can solemnize a marriage regardless of whether or not the parties are dying, then the marriage is valid in the Philippines, save for a few exceptions expressly provided by law (which has to do with age, consent, etc.) The grounds that invalidate a foreign marriage does not have a thing to do with the authority of the solemnizing officer nor with the existence or non existence of a marriage license. I am saying all of these under the presumption that you and your husband were not disqualified to marry UNDER PHILIPPINE LAWS meaning you are of the right age and have voluntarily entered into the marriage.

The above is a discussion of the validity of your marriage. As to registrability in the Philippines, ask na lang NSO. All I'm saying, you can insist on the validity of your marriage as long as the same is valid under Dominican Republic laws.

So based on what is stated in the answers above our marriage onboard is valid. My Mom even asked NSO regarding this matter and they said it is absolutely valid.Inspite of the knowledge I've learned, I don't want to bother myself going back to the City registrar, I don't want to confront nor argue with her especially in my City where everyone knows everybody (Province, so expect it). We just decided to register it in Mexico, submit it in the nearest Philippine Embassy (as per NSO's advise) and they will automatically register our marriage. Yes, it's quite a long process but i guess it's better that way than to go back to the City Registrar and complain or just face the photo short back to zero...

We don't mind doing it, anyway we are getting married here, but why do it again when  we have one valid already. It would be easier for us to make our wedding a Sacramental Validation than doing it all over again. Alan is Mexican and you know how many requirements they would ask him to provide for a new Marriage license application plus instead of spending our time with my family while Alan is in the country, we'll be wasting it just complete all the requirements they needed.

We'll keeping this aside for the moment until I have the affidavit Alan needs to register it in Mexico. 

Disclaimer:  The answer above only came from a friend who have knowledge in such case, I just based my conclusion on the given facts. 

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