Grounds for Legal Separation

Monday, August 9, 2010

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) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner;
(2) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;
(3) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or connivance in such corruption or inducement;
(4) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more than six years, even if pardoned;
(5) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
(6) Lesbianism or homosexuality of the respondent;
(7) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage, whether in the Philippines or abroad;
(8) Sexual infidelity or perversion;
(9) Attempt by the respondent against the life of the petitioner; or
(10) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.
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 action for legal separation shall be filed within five years from the time of the occurrence of the cause.  You will be denied your petition if any one of the following is held true:
(1) Where the aggrieved party has condoned the offense or act complained of;
(2) Where the aggrieved party has consented to the commission of the offense or act complained of;
(3) Where there is connivance between the parties in the commission of the offense or act constituting the ground for legal separation;
(4) Where both parties have given ground for legal separation;
(5) Where there is collusion between the parties to obtain decree of legal separation; or
(6) Where the action is barred by prescription. (100a)
Once you have been granted the green light, the effects on your marriage will be:
(1) The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the marriage bonds shall not be severed;
(2) The absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved and liquidated but the offending spouse shall have no right to any share of the net profits earned by the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, which shall be forfeited in accordance with the provisions of Article 43(2);
(3) The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse, subject to the provisions of Article 213 of this Code; and
(4) The offending spouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spouse by intestate succession. Moreover, provisions in favor of the offending spouse made in the will of the innocent spouse shall be revoked by operation of law. (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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