Separation of Property of Spouses during Marriage

How is separation of property of spouses during the marriage effected?

The system of Complete Separation of Property will only govern if there is an express declaration in the marriage settlement. Separation of property may also be ordered by the court upon finality of decree of legal separation, joint petition of the spouses or petition for Judicial Separation due to a sufficient cause. The spouse if prior to marriage did not stipulate in any written marital agreement their property relationship through separation of property, they cannot alter this relationship after the marriage without mandatory judicial approval. The following may be the cause:

Art. 135. Any of the following shall be considered sufficient cause for judicial separation of property:

  • That the spouse of the petitioner has been sentenced to a penalty which carries with it civil interdiction;
  • That the spouse of the petitioner has been judicially declared an absentee;
  • That loss of parental authority of the spouse of petitioner has been decreed by the court;
  • That the spouse of the petitioner has abandoned the latter or failed to comply with his or her obligations to the family as provided for in Article 101;
  • That the spouse granted the power of administration in the marriage settlements has abused that power; and
  • That at the time of the petition, the spouses have been separated in fact for at least one year and reconciliation is highly improbable.

In the cases provided for in Numbers (1), (2) and (3), the presentation of the final judgment against the guilty or absent spouse shall be enough basis for the grant of the decree of judicial separation of property. (191a)

What is separation-in-fact orseparation-de-facto?

Separation in fact is the cessation of the cohabitation or common life of the husband and wife under the same roof but are still providing for their mutual duty of support and their duty to support and maintain the children. The separation-in-fact between husband and wife shall not affect the regime of absolute community or conjugal partnership, if without judicial approval.


Family Code of the Philippines [Executive Order No. 209]

Jurado, D. (1999). Civil Law Reviewer. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Sta. Maria, M. (2010). Persons and Family Relations Law. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

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