Legal Separation In The Philippines

Legal separation is an action taken by one spouse who believes that the marriage has no more hope of working. There is no divorce in the Philippines, and so, to get out of an unhappy or failing marriage, legal separation is the only recourse.

A husband or a wife may file a petition for legal separation based on one or several of the reasons listed in the Family Code.   The first of these refers to repeated physical violence or abusive conduct. The receiver of such violence may be the petitioner, or the common child, or the child of the petitioner.

Another reason for filing a legal separation is moral pressure of physical violence to force the petitioner to change his religion or political affiliation. Another serious reason is when the respondent (the spouse of the petitioner) tries to induce or force their child (or the petitioner’s child) to be involved in prostitution.

A husband or wife may also file for legal separation if his or her spouse has been sentenced to imprisonment of more than six years.  Another reason for legal separation is when the respondents attempts to kill the petitioner, or is involved in drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, lesbianism or homosexuality, sexual infidelity or sexual perversion.  Still another reason is when the respondent has abandoned the petitioner, without justifiable cause, for more than a year.  Along with desertion, bigamy is also another good reason for filing legal separation.  This is when the respondent marries another while still married to the petitioner.

There are also grounds that will make a petition for legal separation is denied. First among these is when the petitioner (also called aggrieved party) has condoned to the offense that was being complained of. This means that when a woman marries a man, who already confessed his homosexuality before their marriage, the woman’s petition for legal separation on the grounds of homosexuality will be denied. Another reason is when the petitioner has consented to the offense of the respondent.

To exaggerate, a drug pusher’s petition for legal separation against his or her spouse who is a drug addict will be denied.  The court will also deny a petition if both parties wanted the legal separation. This will be taken as connivance between the parties.
Another thing to remember is that the petition for legal separation must be filed within five years of the occurrence of the complaint.

It is ridiculous to file a legal separation petition on the grounds of physical violence that happened ten years ago. Some would think that the process for this legal action is slow. Well, it may be slow. But Article 58 of the Family Code specifically stated that no action for a legal separation will be taken before six months have passed since the petition was filed. In the meantime, the court will attempt to reconcile the spouses.

[Tags]Legal Seperation, Philippines Divorce, Seperation, Family, Broken Family, Philippines[/Tags]


  1. Debbie Cooper

    Can a 68-year old husband still file for a separation from his wife? My brother has put up with this misery for 40-some years because he wanted to be there for his children. They all finished college and have their own lifes. You would think that everything is better now, as the years went by. Kids are grown up, and have their own kids. But the wife remains bitchy. My brother just wants to be free from that miserable existence, before he checks out of this world. If he only has a year before then, he would like to experience a different lifestyle, enjoy it. That is a lot better than getting stuck in that rut of an existence.

    I don’t think it is too late. He did his best to be a husband and father. Turns out that the wife and children are all ingrates! No appreciation of what this man has done to get them where they are now.

  2. portia besa

    i left my husband last february 7, 2008 because of infidelity and the kind of lifestyle he was living. it is been seven months now and no financial support is provided to our two children. one of our children is diagnosed in the spectrum of autism and that means special attention is very much need. i also do not have a regular income to support and provide for both kids. he claims he also do not have any job though he still lives a bachelor life, where he parties and drinks with friends and womanize i doubt that he does not have work, how does he supports his kind of life when he can not even provide for the basic needs of his children. please advise what must i do.

    i can be reached thru my email.

    thank you.

  3. Elle

    How long it usually takes for legal separation to take place? And what evidences do I need to submit if the ground is drug addiction that happens say, 5 yrs ago and until now, the husband has untowards behavior? Kindly advised! Thanks

  4. keisha

    i just wanted to ask if i can apply for legal separation since my husband physically violated me and attempts to kill me with a knife. there are also lots of times he is not listening to me and prefer to listen to his older siblings and mother tahn to his wife. he prefers to provide money or financial support for gambling of the mother’s boyfriend and debts, even if we don’t have enough money for our family, food and milk for the child. can i apply for legal separation if he hits me with a chair and attempt to kill me 5 months ago and wasn’t able to provide a medical evidence for future application for legal separation?
    and if i can, how much would a legal separation would cost me?

  5. kristoffer

    can i file a legal separation with my wife?we are separated for almost 3yrs.since my wife physically violated me,and so,to get out of an unhappy or failing marriage.

  6. janeth

    we have been separted with my husband for a year now, without any support for the kids, he had a child with oher woman… i am filing for a legal separation, cud the evidence make my petition fastre? and how long wud it take and how much wud it cost me?

  7. mitchel

    how long does a legal separation usually takes?..been separated from my husband for almost a year..been wanting to have legal separation w/ much will it take for me to undergo this procedure..really need your help pls do reply soon.


  8. Jennifer

    I have been separated with my husband for almost 9 years now and due to financial constraints, we were not able to file a legal separation. My ex-husband has a family of his own with three children. Under Philippine Law and based on the new family code, are we considered separated? though not legally. Our daughter has been with me since the separation and my ex-husband is not religiously giving allotment. What would be the best thing that I can do about this? My ex-husband is presently employed with the Philippine National Police, in case this info may help. If I will file for legal separation, will his cohabitation with another woman and having children with her, a valid ground for such? How long would it take and how much? Is it true that I can ask the help of DSWD so as not to spend that much on legal fees. Thank you very much for helping me out.

  9. joanna santos

    i have been separated with my husband for 4 years,we got 2 kids boy and girl one is 8 years old and one is 5 years old,because of infidelity of the kind of lifestyle,he is depending to his parents still,have no job,drinking too much alcohol no support since i left him last 4 years ago,he dont even support the basic need of our kids,till now he dont even have no job! once happened when he got drunk he tried to hit me my head with the alcohol bottle on his hand,and he is sex addict!and his parents is still depend on him when we was lived together before i left him,i been sacrifice to support my kids by myself and i want to get legally separated to him,pls give me advice what to do to get legally separated with my x husband?

  10. kristen

    hi can i file legal sep. with my husband were separted for 10 years now. we dont have coumunication. and howo much it cost for legal separation?

    if i file for annulment do i need to find my ex husband? to help for this annulment case.

  11. Cleofe C. Naman

    I was married for over 23 years already.But until now I never received a single a single a centavo from my husband.Since the beginning I am the the who support my family.He is an irresponsible Husband.He is always depending money what I can received during working.He is only after my money including his whole family.For how many times he cheated me.He played different woman.Until now our Family working not good because he let our children stay from another places.We are not leaving together since January 2004.I need a Legal Separation from our government Philippines because I plan to get my Children with myself and give the good support and education without himself.Please send me Application of Legal Separation so, I could file for it.Thanks…

  12. Maria

    I just want to know if I can file a legal separation to my husband. We are no longer living together for 3 years now because he is a womanizer. There are so many times I caught him with having an affair. He can’t even give a full support for his 3 children. He is depending always to his parents. Plus the fact pa po na manyak cya. Nagagawa nyang hipuan ang kamag-anak nya in front of me while sleeping. Even the maids daughter I caught him massaging her breast while sleeping. I am now working abroad trying to earn for my 3 kids. He already signed an agreement because I cannot live with him anymore. How can I file a separation? and how much will it cost? Can I apply here in abroad? Will this really expensive? Please help me. thank you so much.

  13. Francis De Dios

    i have been separated with my wife for years now. after leaving us (me and our 2 kids) for another man…. i have been having a hard time financially providing for our kids… i do have a stable job but it doesn’t pay enough. My wife is currently doing better than me. In the time she have been gone she hasn’t exerted any effort help out with the kids. Would it be possible for me, the husband, to file financial support for the kids? sounds crazy but i just need to know. Thanks.

  14. me

    good day! just want to ask kung ung simpleng unhappiness sa marriage ay enough na para mag file ng legal separation. my husband is 10 yrs older than me & when we got married i admit i just made a wrong decision of using him to get away from my parents. i was already 21 when we tied the knot. now im 25 w/one kid & he is currently an ofw. i have no other problems with him. maybe ako ung may problem but i knew i really wanted to be separated from him. para kasing nawalan nako ng identity nung naging misis niya ako. i am working naman,so financially were good. i just found out i wanted to do so many things in life pa pala. plus i met another man whom i became really happy with but he is also married kya forget na lang natin yung issue na yun.. pls give me legal advise & personal na din if you wont mind…im so confused email me na lang. thanks…

  15. jenny

    i have been separated with my husband for more than 4yrs now,he never supported my daughter needs,i shouldrerd all the expenses and i caught him with another girl and they were living in our old house,recently i asked him to file for a legal separation and he de didnt want to.can i still file for it without his approval?they were still living together and i wanted to free him for the rest of his life.

  16. jenny

    how much will it cost me on filing this legal separation,my husband also has connections with his family lawyers and said it wont work if i will attempt to file a case,will i get justice in it?

  17. China

    My husband left me and our five kids more than five years ago now. He wanted a liberated lifestyle and I wanted a responsible husband. He provided financial support in the beginning, but since last year his support started to diminish until it finally stopped in December, 2010. My kids are aged 17, 11, 10, 7 and 5. No matter how I beg, he just refuses to send money. This school year, my eldest is going to college and my youngest will start nursery. I am currently supporting them with my meager income of 500 to 1,000 a week as a home-based journal writer. Its been really difficult for us. I used to have full time employment but my employer lost confidence in me because of my frequent absences and tardiness resulting from loosing my helpers all the time. He can be a bit verbally abusive and so I had to resign. My husband claims he is jobless, but I know for sure that he has funds that can help us. Otherwise, how could he maintain his drinking and golfing lifestyle. What can I do to force him to send support? Thank you.

  18. Gina

    To whom it may concern,
    I have been separated from my husband since 1995,I actually did not put interest in having a legal separations but then I realized its time for me to have my total legal freedom, since all my daughters are all grown up,I have done my part as sole provider for my daughters education and still supporting my youngest…how can I achieve my legal separation from my ex husband? I am 51 years old and still working as a domestic helper here in Singapore,please help me.I am willing to give my personal declaration why I separated from my husband…
    Sincerely yours,

  19. Lynda Mari

    My husband and i are separated for more than 5 years now. He went abroad and we have no more contact with each other. I want to file a legal separation so if ever i want to get married again and to begin with a new life. Where can i get the application form and how much will it cost me?

    Thank u and please email me your answer please…

  20. agnes

    my husband and i have decided amicably to separate five years ago as we were fighting all the time about finances and his irresponsibility. he has moved out of my house four years ago. i have not hindered him from seeing our 8 yr old son until now and he provides financial support.

    my problem is that i am now dating someone and he claims he will take me to court for infidelity and immoral acts seen by my son as he claims we are still legally married. is this grounds for him to take me to court and to have custody of my son?


  21. blesie

    how much the cost of legal seperation? & how long will takes? please also give me a list of a lawyers in davao Philippines that will process legal seperation.

    Thank You

  22. sunshine

    how much will it cost me on filing this legal separation. my husband and i decided to end our relationship with this. i dont want an annulment. it is barely my husband who wants this because of his kabit. i dont know if i still love him but i dont want to be with him anymore. i chose legal separation so that my hub will never be married to anyone again…is it true that will we file this legal separation, neither one of us can marry again to any third party? because that,s the main reason i want only legal separation and to ask for support from my husband for my kids…thanks

  23. Vanna

    good day! where can we get a form for legal separation? how much can it take? my father has two mistresses and he has four children aside from us. he lived with his mistress in a conjugal property. we need legal advice.

  24. anne

    hi im anne,,i just want to get information about my situation,,i have a partner now we live in together already six years,,his a german citizen but he is already married with filipina also,but they are separated more than 10 years,,and no more contacts each other,,is it possible that we can married again,,without any legal paper separation from his first marriage?im glad and looking forward to get reply,,,thank you very much…

  25. Ma. Corazon Romero

    I have been married for 20 years now with a chronic womanizer husband. I endured the pain that long for fear that my children would grew up in a broken home. My husband is good and loving father that’s why i sacrificed the pain for my kids. Now, i believe I have to think of my own welfare. I don’t want to stay like this all my life that’s why i’m considering a legal separation.I’ve got a big deal comig up and i don’t want him to have any right to my earnings or to any of my investment, and legal separation is the best I could think of.How long does the process takes? thanks!!

  26. pam valencia

    im separated with my husband for more than a year now.. just want to know how to process a legal separation…how long will it take and how much it will cost..and what will be the benefit of this paper… can i have another relationship again or still my husband can sue me to court after knowing this? thanks a lot…

  27. fely

    hello i have been separated with my husband for 9yrs now and he is living with another woman in hongkong which i know they have kids i have three kids with my husband still he is supporting them but i am not happy to have him in my life i want to change my name so pls help me how to file a legal sepration how long will it takes me to wait and how much will it cost.thank you

  28. jane

    i discovered that my husband is having an affair with a married woman who has 4 kids, i thought they were just friends and work in the same place. anyway my husband confesses already but i want him out of our lives. he’s now with his parents and were living separately. im earning more than him but ca i ask for a financial support for our two kids? and how much will it cost for this kind of legal problem? can you recommend a law firm?

  29. Robert

    how much i can give to my children they only 2 years old and 8 months.. how many percent of my salary.. how can i apply a legal separation and how much it cost.. how many years that my request are approved.. thanks so much

  30. Mia

    Hi! I should have done this a long time ago but have severely tried to make my marriage work, forgiving my husband many many times has taken its toll. His numerary infidelities has finially did me in, I want to move on and live my life free of the pain and hurt. I want to file an annulment or legal separation, can this still work if he would not support my decision? Please advise. Can you recommend a lawyer here in Davao City?

  31. Olive

    Can i still file for legal separation? we’ve been separated for almost 9 years now and presently his living with his new partner in Oman, he told me his now a muslim convert and marries the other woman in muslim rites.

  32. beth

    hi gud separated for 8 years..i have 3 children..ang 2 po sa husband ko tapos ako yong sumusuporta ng kanilang allowance sa school..ang nagaalaga po ng anak ko yong sister in law ko po.wala po kaming communication ng husband ko mula nung akoy humiwalay sa kanya,dahil isa po syang iresponsible,adik,lasinggero,binabato nya po yong bahay sa tuwing lasing po sya at binabasag ang mga gamit.last 2012 Of nov. nagbakasyon po ako sa pinas dahil kasalukuyan dito po ako hongkong,ang nangyari po pina blatter ko sya dahil hinabol nya ng itak ang 3 kung anak dahl gusto nyang patayin nagkaharap po kame sa dswd pero ayaw nya magpaareglo kc gusto ko po makuha ang costudy ng 3 kung anak..kaya yong isa kung anak na sa akin ngayon sa pangangalaga ng kapatid ko..gusto kong humingi ng advice po kung anu po dapat kung gawin..gusto ko po magfile ng legal separation at magkano po ang cost nito?some other reason pa po gusto kung bumili ng property and i dont want my husband to be part of gusto ko na rin na hwag na gamitin ang kanyang apelyido..can you please help me about my situation?thank you and GOD BLESS..

  33. ann

    Hi im a married woman for a long time but im not happy with my husband ever since when i got married to him..i want to file legal separation can you please help me?thanks

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