Grounds for Legal Separation

Marriage not what you wished it would be?  Too bad there is no Divorce in the Philippines, however, there is Annulment which makes the union null or never to have existed to begin with.  If the budget just doesn’t cut it, then you can opt for a Legal Separation instead.    Under Article 55 of the Family Code of the Philippines, the grounds for Legal Separation are:

(1) Repeatedphysical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against thepetitioner,a common child, or a child of the petitioner;
(2)Physicalviolence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religiousor political affiliation;
(3)Attemptof respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or achild of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance insuchcorruption or inducement;
(4) Finaljudgmentsentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, evenif pardoned;
(5) Drugaddictionor habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
(6)Lesbianismor homosexuality of the respondent;
(7)Contractingby the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in thePhilippinesor abroad;
(8) Sexualinfidelityor perversion;
(9)Attemptby the respondent against the life of the petitioner; or
(10)Abandonmentof petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than oneyear.

You might find your self jumping for joy since you met one or two or worst, all of the categories but hold your horses dearies!  Under Article 57, an actionfor legal separation shall be filed within five years from the time ofthe occurrence of the cause.  You will be denied your petition if any one of the following is held true:

(1) Where theaggrieved party has condoned the offense or act complained of;
(2) Wheretheaggrieved party has consented to the commission of the offense or actcomplainedof;
(3) Wherethereis connivance between the parties in the commission of the offense oractconstituting the ground for legal separation;
(4) Wherebothparties have given ground for legal separation;
(5) Wherethereis collusion between the parties to obtain decree of legal separation;or
(6) Wheretheaction is barred by prescription. (100a)

Once you have been granted the green light, the effects on your marriage will be:

(1) Thespousesshall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the marriagebonds shall not be severed;
(2) Theabsolutecommunity or the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved and liquidatedbut the offending spouse shall have no right to any share of the netprofitsearned by the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, whichshallbe forfeited in accordance with the provisions of Article 43(2);
(3) Thecustodyof the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse, subjectto the provisions of Article 213 of this Code; and
(4) Theoffendingspouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spousebyintestate succession. Moreover, provisions in favor of the offendingspousemade in the will of the innocent spouse shall be revoked by operationoflaw. (106a)

Made up your mind about separating with the one you once tied the knot with?  Don’t worry, once you have already filed for Legal Separation, your case will not be held in a period of six months.  The reason for this is to give the you and your spouse time to reconcile your differences and save your marriage.  In the period of six months, the court will also take necessary steps to bring you back together.

So, do you still want to do this?  Think, think, think.

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