Judicial Separation of Property: A Quick Guide

After learning the process of securing a decree of legal separation, you realized you do not want to go through the tedious, expensive, and emotional process of litigation.

You have been separated from your spouse for a very long time and what your intention is really just to dissolve your property relations so that all properties you will acquire in the future will be owned solely by you.

The alternative solution is to file a judicial separation of property under Chapter 5 of the Family Code.

 

Is legal separation the same as a judicial separation of property?

While legal separation and judicial separation of property are the same in the sense that the bonds of the marriage remain (meaning you can’t remarry), the effects and grounds of each are different.

 

What are the grounds for filing a petition for judicial separation of property?

Judicial separation of property may either be voluntary or for sufficient cause.

In the voluntary dissolution of properties, you and your spouse simply agree to separate your properties. You may do so by jointly filing a verified petition in court. This is the faster course of action given the agreement is voluntary and not adversarial.

On the other hand, if the filing of judicial separation of property is for sufficient cause, you may do so on any of the following grounds:

  • Your spouse has been sentenced to a penalty which carries with it civil interdiction which deprives the offender of parental authority or guardianship on the person or property of a child, or marital authority, and of the right to manage his property (Art. 34, Revised Penal Code)
  • Your spouse has been judicially declared an absentee
  • Loss of parental authority of your spouse as decreed by the court
  • Your spouse has abandoned you or failed to comply with his or her obligations to the family as provided for in Article 101, Family Code
  • Your spouse was granted the power of administration in the marriage settlements and has abused that power
  • That at the time of the petition, you have been separated in fact from your spouse for at least one year and reconciliation is highly improbable

Please take note that you may still revive the former property regime that existed prior to the separation of the property when the sufficient cause ceased to exist.

For voluntary dissolution, you can only revive your former property regime once. Thereafter, the same will no longer be granted.

In both cases, the provisions on complete separation of property shall apply once the court grants your petition.

 

What happens once the Complete Separation of Property becomes the property regime?

A property regime is also known as the property relations between spouses.

There are 4 kinds of property regimes:

  • System of Absolute Community
  • System of Conjugal Partnership of Gains
  • System of Complete Separation of Property
  • A combination of the three systems above

Once the absolute community or the conjugal partnership of gains is dissolved as what happens in the judicial separation of property, the provisions on complete separation of property shall apply.

Under this regime, you can now own, dispose of, possess, administer, and enjoy your separate property without the consent of your spouse. You now also exclusively own all the earnings from your profession, business, industry, as well as the profits gained from your separate property during the marriage.

In other words, you can now buy real property using your own funds without getting the consent of your spouse or having him/her participate in the transaction. 

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