Legal Separation vs. Annulment of Marriage
In legal separation, the husband and wife are still considered married to each other, and, thus, barred from marrying again.
Is legal separation faster and cheaper than annulment?
No. The petitioner in a legal separation, just like in an annulment, is still required to prove the allegations contained in the petition. More important is the mandatory 6-month “cooling off” period in legal separation cases. This is not required in annulment or declaration of nullity cases. The court is required to schedule the pre-trial conference not earlier than six (6) months from the filing of the petition. This period is meant to give the spouses an opportunity for reconciliation.
What are the grounds for legal separation?
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.
10. Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.
The term “child” shall include a child by nature or by adoption.