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Legal experts weigh in: Can engaging in extra massage services lead to annulment? |

Health And Family

Legal experts weigh in: Can engaging in extra massage services lead to annulment?

Jan Milo Severo -
Legal experts weigh in: Can engaging in extra massage services lead to annulment?
Artist's rendition of separation
Image by Htc Erl from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino-American lawyer Marlene Gonzalez is advocating for the passage of a divorce law in the Philippines, emphasizing the importance of providing married couples with another chance at love.

In an exclusive interview with, Gonzalez was asked about the implications of engaging in a massage with extra services as grounds for annulment.

“I don't know about Philippine law, but over here [US], it will be. In denial ang Philippines sa katotohanan ng marital relationship. Dito, divorce is allowed, based on irreconcilable differences alone. 'Pag hindi na talaga magkasundo ang dalawang tao, okay lang mag-divorce,” she said.  

“The Philippines is still in denial about the reality of the necessity for a couple to split up and be done with their relationship, to terminate the marital bond. So, in my opinion, it's really the reason for that issue is it you're forcing it into the toll that the peg of having a massage service with extra services, you're trying to force it into that fat hole,” she added.  

Another lawyer, Bernice Piñol, also addressed the same question on her TikTok account when asked by social media users.

“Generally, no. Hindi ito ground for annulment or nullity of marriage. Pero kung ma-prove mo that availing of such extra service which is a form of infidelity is actually caused by a personality disorder that can fall under psychological incapacity as defined by the Supreme Court then, the wife can file for nullity of marriage,” she said. 

“If not, she can just file for legal separation or ipakulong na lang niya ang asawa niya if paulit-ulit na ginagawa ito because this may fall under psychological violence under the VAWC [Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004] Law,” she added. 

Gonzalez's primary goal is to provide assistance and raise awareness among Filipinos, both in the Philippines and abroad, particularly those who have experienced abuse in the United States. She firmly believes in her role as an instrument for helping her clients and does not want her attorney's fees to hinder her commitment.

With 23 years of experience as an immigration lawyer, Gonzalez has focused on her advocacy and actively collaborated with institutions such as the YWCA, Utah Sentencing Commission, Crime Victim Reparations, and the Utah Minority Bar Association. She served as a non-profit lawyer for six years, handling cases related to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Currently, she acts as legal counsel for the Asian Association of Utah-Refugee Immigrant Center.

Gonzalez intends to establish a law office in Arizona, where numerous Filipino-owned healthcare businesses are thriving, as part of her mission to provide assistance. Additionally, she is launching a recruiting company for nurses, furthering her commitment to helping others.

In October, Gonzalez will be visiting the Philippines, offering consultations and engaging in speaking engagements to promote her advocacy and raise awareness on the process of obtaining a Green Card and ensuring safety.

Stay tuned as Manila gets to know more about Gonzalez and her vital work in supporting and assisting immigrants, providing them with opportunities for a secure and improved life in the United States.

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