December 2, 2023

Immigration Marriage

Feel Good With Immigration

A marriage is valid even without love

Dear PAO,

A few months ago, I married an American citizen who I met online for the purpose of obtaining US citizenship. Right now, I would like to contest our marriage as invalid because I was not in love with him when we got married. Can I legally do so?


Dear Juana,

Please be informed of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Republic v. Albios, GR 198780, Oct. 16, 2013, Ponente: Justice Jose Mendoza, where it was held that:

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“Motives for entering into a marriage are varied and complex. The State does not and cannot dictate on the kind of life that a couple chooses to lead. Any attempt to regulate their lifestyle would go into the realm of their right to privacy and would raise serious constitutional questions. The right to marital privacy allows married couples to structure their marriages in almost any way they see fit, to live together or live apart, to have children or no children, to love one another or not, and so on. Thus, marriages entered into for other purposes, limited or otherwise, such as convenience, companionship, money, status, and title, provided that they comply with all the legal requisites, are equally valid. Love, though the ideal consideration in a marriage contract, is not the only valid cause for marriage.

“Other considerations, not precluded by law, may validly support a marriage.

“Although the Court views with disdain the respondent’s attempt to utilize marriage for dishonest purposes, It cannot declare the marriage void. Hence, though the respondent’s marriage may be considered a sham or fraudulent for the purposes of immigration, it is not void ab initio and continues to be valid and subsisting.”

As provided in the aforementioned jurisprudence, the legal requisites mentioned in the Family Code remains to be the only requirement to support a valid marriage. Other considerations such as convenience, companionship, money, status, and title are immaterial in determining the validity of marriage.

Hence, regardless of the presence or absence of love, a marriage entered into would remain valid provided that the legal requisites are complied with. Even if your sole purpose in entering a marriage is to obtain a US citizenship, such consideration would not affect the fact that you and your husband personally declared in front of the solemnizing officer your intention to be each other’s husband and wife.

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to [email protected]