The Girls' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

What is the advisable age for marriage here in the Philippines?

Answer

According to Filipino law, a person cannot marry if they are under the age of 18. People between the ages of 18 and 21 can marry if they have the consent of their parents or legal guardians. People between the ages of 22 and 25 can marry if they first have received parental advice. If one or both people seeking marriage are between the ages of 18 and 25, they also need proof that they have received marriage counseling together from a religious leader. If you are 26 or older you can chose to marry at any time.

In Filipino law, parental consent means that the person who is between 18 and 21 obtains a written document from his or her parent or legal guardian that gives approval to the marriage. And you can't pick the easiest parent, there is a legal order that must be followed: father, mother, surviving parent, guardian, or a person will legal charge over the person, in that order. The document must be attested to by two witnesses.

Parental advice, means asking your parents or legal guardian for advice in regards to getting married. If the advice is unfavorable or not given, then there is an automatic three month delay in issuing the license. The advice given must be in written form and it will be attached to the license. If a marriage takes place under a license that does not have favorable advice, the marriage will be considered valid, but the couple can be criminally prosecuted under Philippine law. Hence, since Christians must obey the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-7), it would be improper (sinful) for a Christian to marry without his or her parent's favorable advice if he or she is between ages 22 and 25.

See: Parental Consent vs. Parental Advice and The Family Code of the Philippines

Now, assuming you meet the legal qualifications to marry, my advice is not to marry until you have known the young man for at least a year. It is one thing to know of a person for a while, and quite another to really get to know someone personally with the intention of eventually marrying. Often times hidden issues do appear until after a couple have gotten over the excitement of deciding to eventually marry. Marriage is for a lifetime, so you should take time to decide that this is really the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

If you are seriously considering marriage, I would suggest studying Preparation for a Lifetime with your intended spouse.