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Some single guys out there might be having a problem. Their Filipina sweetheart they have chatted with online and have come to visit in the Philippines have been scamming them. The had said they were not married. However, it turns out they were.

One even told my friend that she was divorced because she has been separated for so many years. Folks, there is NO DIVORCE LAW in the Philippines. It doesn’t matter how long you have been separated.

Costly annulments are the only option for those trying to get out of a failed marriage. Good luck on getting one of those. Let me emphasize this: IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW LONG YOUR BEAUTIFUL FILIPINA HAS BEEN SEPARATED. SHE CANNOT LEGALLY MARRY IN THE PHILIPPINES NO MATTER HOW MANY YEARS SHE HAS BEEN SEPARATED.

Legal Capacity to Marry

But wait, maybe you know of some couples that have married in the Philippines even though they were separated from their spouse. Oh, sure, you CAN get married in the Philippines even though you still have a living spouse, but it is not a LEGAL marriage. Try to get your new bride over to the United States, Canada, the U.K. or wherever you live. The Philippine government requires a “Legal Capacity to Marry” from the Embassy if you are not a citizen of the Philippines. From the U.S. State Department website:

Any foreigner who wishes to marry in the Philippines is required by the Philippine Government to obtain from his/her Embassy an “Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry” before filing an application for a marriage license.

What’s the Problem?

So what’s the problem? Well, the problem is that if your future spouse is lying to you and is still married, there will probably be a record of that marriage in the Philippines. Consequently, you probably will not be able to bring her over to your home country.

But I know my sweetie isn’t lying to me. She’s a good girl,” you might be thinking. Well, tell that to the guys whose situation I mentioned earlier. Some of them already made the trip to the Philippines and found out their future brides were ALREADY MARRIED.

Listen guys. I’ve been married to a beautiful, patient Filipina for years. In my opinion the majority of Filipinas are like my wife: honest, caring, loyal and loving. However, if you want to be sure, if you have any doubts whatsoever, why waste your time and money? Is she married or not?

Thus, just go to the PSA, Philippine Statistics Authority in the Philippines website with your credit card in hand, and get a Certificate of No Marriage Record (CENOMAR.) A CENOMAR is a certification issued by the NSO stating that a person has not contracted any marriage. Also called a certificate of No Record of Marriage or Certificate of Singleness. The NSO will mail the document to you.

Filipina Beauty photo courtesy of Karl Joshua Bernal @ Unsplash

Contact PSA

Here’s the information you will need for the NSO. Anyone can request the certificate since it is a public document. Doesn’t have to be the person who is actually the object of the search.

  1. Complete name of the person
  2. Complete name of the father
  3. Complete maiden name of the mother
  4. Date of birth
  5. Place of birth
  6. Complete name and address of the requesting party
  7. Number of copies needed
  8. Purpose of the certification

But how do you tactfully ask your possible future Filipina spouse for this information? I asked my asawa if she would have been offended if I had made such a request from her.Absolutely, not,” my loving wife said. She had nothing to hide. If your loved one is not trying to conceal anything, it shouldn’t be a problem for her to give you that information.

Here’s more information:

In legal definitions for interpersonal status, a single person is someone who has never been married. A person who was previously married and is later  widowed, their status is usually considered as an “unmarried” person. If a marriage is annulled, however, or it is not valid in law to start with (such as being under the age of 18) that individual is single, rather than unmarried.

So if you have any doubts, why not use the CENOMAR process? Could save you a lot of grief and frustration and money in the future.


Lead Pretty Pinay in Bikini courtesy of Don Delfin Almonte @ Unsplash


  1. A bunch of good information about the ins and outs of relationships here. There is one last piece of the puzzle for all you single guys out there. Adultry is a crime here in the Philippines. You can be imprisioned/fined/deported/extorted if you are caught with a married woman here.

    Dave’s advice should be taken seriously. I too have seen firsthand the damage that scammers do.

    Like Dave, I too found and Married a wonderful woman and the majority are just that. It’s that 10% you really need to be careful about.

    Paul in Iloilo

  2. Ever hear of the tv show Locked up Abroad? Watch the episode “Forbidden Love”. About a British man that falls in love with a married, but separated filipina. She didn’t lie about her situation, but the jelous ex-husband made their lives miserable! They got charged with adultery. She got pregnant and the ex-husband filed charges. Unbelievable what they went through. Real eye opener.
    I’m married to a filipina. I never gave any of this stuff a thought. Thank God I found an honest woman!

    1. I watched that episode of “Locked up Abroad” I never saw so many mean looking Filipinos on TV at one time.

  3. I guess I lucked out also after being married for 43 years but I didn’t have to worry about scammers back when I got married because the military did a pretty good back ground check on the ladys which was wanting to marry military personel.

  4. Dave,

    How many people on your website have done the Cenomar?

    I went through the process. A friend did this for me and mailed it to me. Obviously, MBA (my beautiful asawa) was single and is here in the USA now. I felt guilty because I thought it was a trust issue but it was the right thing to do. I found it about a month ago in a book. Luckily, MBA didn’t see it.

    1. The CENOMAR was required with I went though the K-1 process in early 2008.

      1. Great advice Dave Starr with the Ronald Reagon quote. A long distance relationship is very difficult. There are many stories on the internet of men being scammed and the stories are very easy to believe. I feel very lucky with finding Jho. The cenomar gave me peace of mind that I found someone I could trust.

  5. Dave,

    How is Lyn Lyn? Sorry but I forgot to ask. I am guessing things didn’t work out between Brother Tom and her.

  6. Hi Dave,
    Here is another scenario that I heard about from an attorney that I know. There is a gay foriegner that thought he could set up a sham marriage between him and the sister of his partner. Things worked out for a while until I guess the sister realized she was damaged goods or thought that she could make demands of him as his wife. She gets mad and files charges to have him deported. I don’t see this as a winning situation for the foriegner since he commited fraud. Maybe this is just as stupid as the guys that think they can sneak off to another place with a married woman and her children and not face some legal issues at a later date. Jealousy is an ugly green eyed monster that no one can outsmart. I have recently also been asked by a few lesbians if had friends that I could introduce to them. It made me wonder if they had a plan to switch teams for 2 years. I did mention that I might be half lesbian as I enjoy many of the same things that they do.

  7. I was just wondering. My fiancé and I would like to get married in the states but she is still married
    In the Philippines. She told me that she was married before we even got together. Her husband is homosexual and she filed for annulment but is waiting now for it to go through. So my question is can she and I get married in the states while she is still married in the Philippines?

    1. I have a question regarding Drews question. I too am wanting to marry but she is married. If she can some how get here to the U.S. and get a divorce here would we be able to marry here?

  8. hi im a filipina married to an australian.we got married here in Philippines 3yrs ago. i need some help how to find out if he’s been married to any filipina here in philippines after me. i love him much but i feel he’s hiding something from so confused i wanted to know the truth.. hope someone there could help me

  9. Hi i like your page and im hoping to get an idea from other people that checks this page too. Im 43 y/0 married woman but separated. I have three teen kids ages 17,16,14. I met an american guy from online and he wants me to visit him the US. He said he will tour me to disneyland in florida and everywhere else. He said ill just stay there for two to three weeks but its up to me if i wanted to stay long too. He asked a lawyer’s advice in california and was charged $2,000 but didnt get the positive news from lawyer. Lawyer said i cant go visit him coz i am married. All im just asking is a tourist visa…Can anyone here help and give me some advice on what to do please?

  10. Hi Dave, I’m married and have a kid but separated for over 3yrs now. Me and my Filipino ex-husband are close relatives like first cousins and we found out about that just after we got married plus our marriage didn’t work out because of other issues. He’s living with his woman in the same roof for over a year now. He doesn’t care much about our son and even before when we were still together. He was occasionally hurting him since he was a month old baby, one big reason why we separated. Now, I met this American guy from an online dating site and fell in love with each other. I never lied to him about my status and everything. I truly, sincerely love him Dave and he loves me too despite of everything. He wants us to get married next year so we can be together for good. Our only problem is my status. If I’m going to go through annulment process it will take years till we can get married and though he’s willing to wait, we are still hoping we can find an easier, faster solution to get married on 2014. I hope you could help and give some advice on this. Thank you.

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