What is the difference between de facto separation and legal separation?

Legal separation means a decree was issued by the court after going through the procedures prescribed by the Family Code.

A separation without the said process is a de facto separation. In other words, a husband and a wife living separately but have not obtained a court decree granting legal separation so they’re still married in the eyes of the law.

De facto separation will not allow you to have the same effect as prescribed in Art. 63 of the Family Code, e.g. liquidation of your properties and forfeiture of the share of the guilty spouse to the net profits earned by your conjugal properties; custody of the minor children in favor of the innocent spouse; disqualification of the guilty spouse from inheriting; revocation of donation in favor of the offending spouse, among others.

Go back to the main article: How to File Legal Separation in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide