Chapter 2: Declaration of Absence (Title XIV, Book I, Civil Code)

Article 384. Two years having elapsed without any news about the absentee or since the receipt of the last news, and five years in case the absentee has left a person in charge of the administration of his property, his absence may be declared. (184)

Article 385. The following may ask for the declaration of absence:

(1) The spouse present;

(2) The heirs instituted in a will, who may present an authentic copy of the same;

(3) The relatives who may succeed by the law of intestacy;

(4) Those who may have over the property of the absentee some right subordinated to the condition of his death. (185)

Article 386. The judicial declaration of absence shall not take effect until six months after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. (186a)


1) Definition.

a. Judicial declaration of absence – refers to a court declaration on the absence of an individual or natural person.

2) Rules on judicial declaration of absence.

a. Pre-requisite number of years of absence. The petition for the declaration of absence requires that the absentee has been absent for these periods:

(1) 2 years – without leaving an administrator; or

(2) 5 years – if a property administrator was appointed prior to absence.

NB: The reckoning/counting starts: (a) from absence without any news; or, (b) from receipt of the last news.

b. Who may file petition. The following may file a declaration of absence:

(1) Spouse present;

(2) Heirs instituted in a...

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