Abandonment as Ground for Legal Separation

A petition for legal separation may be based on any of ten (10) grounds, one of which is “abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year,” provided in Article 55 of the Family Code. Abandonment as a ground for legal separation has three components:

  • 1. There is abandonment;
  • 2. It must be without justifiable cause; and
  • 3. It must last for more than one (1) year.

Abandonment implies a departure by one spouse with the avowed intent never to return, followed by prolonged absence without just cause, and without in the meantime providing in the least for one’s family although able to do so. There must be absolute cessation of marital relations, duties and rights, with the intention of perpetual separation. (Partosa-Jo vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 82606, 18 December 1992)

[Refer to the Rules of Procedure on Legal Separation; See also the related discussions on legal separation, annulment, and declaration of nullity.]


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