Prior to August 4, 1988, Philippine law provided that if one spouse has been absent
for 7 consecutive calendar years at the time of the remarriage and the deserted spouse
had no news of the absent spouse being alive, the first marriage was presumed dissolved.
No judicial declaration of annulment or dissolution was needed.
This law was changed effective August 4, 1988. A subsequent marriage shall not be
null and void if before the subsequent marriage takes place, the absent spouse has
been absent for 4 consecutive years and spouse has a well-founded belief that the
absent spouse is dead. The four-year period can be reduced to two years in cases involving
presumptive findings of death of the absent spouse.