Annulment and Legal Separation

1. What is the difference between Annulment, Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, Divorce and Legal Separation?

Annulment is a court proceeding with the objective of severing marital relations between husband and wife. A Petition for Annulment of Marriage is filed when the marriage is considered voidable or if the marriage is valid but is susceptible of being voided pursuant to the grounds provided by law.
Declaration of Nullity of Marriage is a proceeding where the marriage is sought to be declared void ab intio or void from the beginning.
Divorce is a proceeding where the existence and validity of the Parties' marriage is recognized but such marital union is severed.
Legal Separation is a proceeding which merely seeks to declare the bed and board separation of husband and wife without affecting the validity and existence of their marital union.

2. Are all four proceedings allowed in the Philippines?

No. The Family Code of the Philippines allows the following proceedings: 1) Petition for Annulment of Marriage, 2) Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and 3) Legal Separation. The Philippines is one of the few countries left that do not allow Divorce.

3. How can I dissolve my marriage if there is no Divorce in the Philippines?

Under the Family Code of the Philippines, parties who wish to have their marriage dissolved have two options. They can either file:
1. Petition for annulment of marriage; or
2. Petition for nullity of marriage.

ANNULMENT

4. My 18 year old daughter married her boyfriend without our knowledge and consent last month. Can my husband and I file an annulment of their marriage?
     Yes, you may file a Petition for Annulment in behalf of your daughter. The grounds for annulment are exclusive.

"A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of marriage:
1) That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was eighteen years of age or over but below twenty-one, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parents, guardian or person having substitute parental authority over the party, in that order, unless after attaining the age of twenty-one, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;
2) That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
3) That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
4) That the consent of either party was obtained by force, intimidation or undue influence, unless the same having disappeared or ceased, such party thereafter freely cohabited with the other as husband and wife;
5) That either party was physically incapable of consummating the marriage with the other, and such incapacity continues and appears to be incurable; or
6) That either party was afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease found to be serious and appears to be incurable." (Article 45, The Family Code of the Philippines)

5. If under the law, I am already considered an adult at 18 years of age, why do I still need to get my parents' permission to get married?

Under Philippines laws, an eighteen year old is already considered an adult who is capacitated to act with legal effect. But when it concerns marital relations and conjugal responsibilities, the Family Code of the Philippines considers that a person of at least 18 years and below 21 years lacks the degree of maturity required to fully grasp and comprehend the reality and gravity, responsibilities and consequences that a marital relationship would entail.

6. My husband is diagnosed as having an unsound mind and is now incarcerated in a mental hospital. Would this be a ground to file for petition for annulment of my marriage to him?

It depends on when your husband was diagnosed with an unsound mind. If your husband was suffering from an unsound mind at the time of the celebration of your marriage, which renders him incapable of comprehension as to what he is getting into and making him unable to give his consent, then this could be a ground for annulment of marriage.

However, if your husband was of sound mind after the celebration of your marriage, then your marriage is valid, not voidable.

7. I am a Filipino man and I married my Filipino girlfriend A last December 10, 2015. My girlfriend and I both have brown skin and dark hair. We spent our honeymoon in Palawan. By March 2016, A told me that she was pregnant with our child. I was shocked when my wife A gave birth to our daughter in July 2016 and our daughter looked nothing like me. In fact, she looks Caucasian and has red hair. I confronted my wife about this and she admitted that she was already pregnant when we got married. Could I file an annulment case on the ground of fraud?

Yes non-disclosure of the wife that she is pregnant with the child of another man is considered as fraud under Article 45 of the Family code of the Philippines. "Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in Number 3 of the preceding Article:

1) Non-disclosure of a previous conviction by final judgment of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude;
2) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband;
3) Concealment of sexually transmissible disease, regardless of its nature, existing at the time of the marriage; or
4) Concealment of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism or homosexuality or lesbianism existing at the time of marriage.

No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage." (Article 46, The Family Code of the Philippines)

8. I was married 2 months ago and I just found out that my husband has a sexually transmissible disease and has passed it on to me. Is there a requirement that the STD be incurable to be able to successfully file a petition for annulment against him?


No. Your husband's omission of the fact that he has an STD at the moment of your marriage constitutes as an act of fraud. Thus, fraud is a ground for annulment of a marriage and the STD is not required to be incurable.

9. I met A during a party. After I rejected A's advances to me, A and his relatives went to my house and told me that they will kill my parents if I did not agree to marry A right away. I believed A and his parents as they carried guns into my house. I had no choice but to agree to marry A. May I use the ground of force, intimidation and undue influence in filing a petition for annulment against my husband?


Yes. If the force and intimidation employed was serious enough or it was so irresistible that you had no other choice but to give your consent, then a petition for annulment may succeed.

Force, intimidation and undue influence as contemplated under the Family Code and defined by the Civil Code of the Philippines, must be established clearly and distinctively.

Force refers to physical violence. There is violence when in order to wrest consent, serious or irresistible force is employed (Article 1335 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines)

There is intimidation when one of the contracting parties is compelled by a reasonable and well-grounded fear of an imminent and grave evil upon his person or property, or upon the person or property of his spouse, descendants or ascendants, to give his consent. (Article 1336 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines)

There is undue influence when a person takes improper advantage of his power over the will of another, depriving the latter of a reasonable freedom of choice. (Article 1337 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines)

10. My sister confided in me that her husband was incapable of consummating their marriage. What does that mean?

Incapacity to consummate a marriage means that a party to the marriage is unable to physically perform and complete the act of sexual intercourse. The sexual intercourse which is performed by the newly wed after the marriage ceremony signifies as the ceremonial act that the marriage had been consummated and it establishes that the marriage is valid and binding between them.

"Incapacity to consummate denotes the permanent inability on the part of the spouses to perform the complete act of sexual intercourse." (Persons and Family Relations Law (2004 Edition), Melencio S. Sta. Maria, Jr., p. 278.)

11. Would the incapacity to consummate a marriage mean the physical incapacity or the psychological incapacity?

Under Article 45 of the Family Code, incapacity to consummate marriage appears to only pertain to physical incapacity. But it may also cover psychological incapacity to consummate the marriage.

"Non-consummation of a marriage may be on the part of the husband or of the wife and may be caused by a physical or structural defect in the anatomy of one of the parties or it may be due to chronic illness and inhibitions or fears arising in whole or in part from psychophysical conditions. It may be caused by psychogenic causes, where such mental block or disturbance has the result of making the spouse physically incapable of performing the marriage act." (Persons and Family Relations Law (2004 Edition), Melencio S. Sta. Maria, Jr., p.279)

12. I have been married to my wife for over 15 years and she still hasn't given me a child. Can I use the ground of sterility in filing a petition for annulment of our marriage?

No. Sterility is not the same as impotency. Sterility does not bar a person from successfully engaging in sexual acts, so it is not a ground for annulment of marriage. On the other hand, impotency renders a person incapable of performing a sexual act which makes it a ground for annulment.

13. I had been married for 13 years. Just recently, I just found out that my husband had an STD at the time of our marriage which he passed on to me and caused my infertility. Can I file a petition for annulment against my husband on this ground?


Yes, your husband's STD may be used as ground for annulment provided that the STD is found to have existed at the time of the celebration of your marriage.

14. I discovered after the marriage that my husband/wife's character is vastly different from when we were dating. Can I file for annulment?


No, misrepresentation or deceit as to character, health, rank, fortune or chastity is not considered as fraud and it cannot be used as a ground for action for the annulment of marriage. (Article 46 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

DECLARATION OF ABSOLUTE NULLITY OF MARRIAGE

15. What are the grounds for a Judicial Declaration of Nullity of Marriage?

1) The absence of essential or formal requisites of marriage (Art. 4, Family Code of the Philippines)
2) The grounds enumerated in Article 35 of the Family Code of the Philippines
3) Psychological incapacity (Art. 36, Family Code of the Philippines)
4) Incestuous marriages (Art. 37, Family Code of the Philippines)
5) Contrary to law or public policy (Art. 38, Family Code of the Philippines)
6) Void subsequent marriages (Arts. 40, 41, 44, 53, Family Code of the Philippines)

16. If I filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage and the court granted it, what will be the effect of the court's decision on me and my marriage?

The court's Decision declaring the nullity of your marriage shall have the following results:
1. Your marital bond is declared void from the beginning;
2. Either spouse can remarry;
3. Children born during the existence of the marriage are still deemed legitimate;
4. Custody of the common children shall be awarded to either or both parents, and;
5. The property regime shall be dissolved and liquidated. (Article 50 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

17. I married my husband when I was just 17 years old. Could I file a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage?

Yes, you may file a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage due to the absence of legal capacity to contract marriage. The absence of the essential or formal requisites of marriage will render your marriage void from the beginning. The essential and formal requisites of marriage are as follows:

The essential requisites of marriage are:
1. Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and
2. Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer. (Article 2, Family Code of the Philippines)

The formal requisites of marriage are:
1. Authority of the solemnizing officer;
2. A valid marriage license; and
3. A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age. (Article 3, Family Code of the Philippines)

18. My husband and I secured the help of a friend to secure a marriage license before we got married. After we gave him all our documents, he showed us the Marriage License. We submitted this to the church and we got married infront of a priest. However, 5 years later I learned that we did not have a valid marriage license. What is the status of our marriage?

Your marriage is considered void ab initio. A valid marriage license is one of the formal requisites of marriage. Absence of such would render the marriage void ab initio.

"The records reveal that the marriage contract of petitioner and the deceased bears no marriage license number and, as certified by the Local Civil Registrar of San Juan, Metro Manila, their office has no record of such marriage license. The court held that the certification issued by the local civil registrar is adequate to prove the non-issuance of the marriage license. Their marriage having been solemnized without the necessary marriage license and not being one of the marriages exempt from the marriage license requirement, the marriage of the petitioner and the deceased is undoubtedly void ab initio."(Susan Nicdao Cariño vs. Susan Yee Cariño, G.R. No. 132529, 02 February 2001)

19. After we learned that our marriage is void ab initio because of the absence of a valid marriage license, my husband took it as a sign and left me. After a few years, I found the love of my life and he proposed marriage. Can I remarry again since my first marriage is void anyway?

No, there must be an actual declaration of nullity of marriage first before a party can remarry. In your case, if you discovered that your marriage is void from the start, you still need to file a Petition for Declaration of Marriage first before you can validly re-marry.

"The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void." (Article 40, The Family Code of the Philippines)

20. How will I know if my marriage is void from the beginning?

Article 35 of the Family Code of the Philippines provides for those marriages which are considered void from the beginning, to wit:
1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians;
2) Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages unless such marriages were contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer had the legal authority to do so;
3) Those solemnized without license, except those covered the preceding Chapter;
4) Those bigamous or polygamous marriages not falling under Article 41;
5) Those contracted through mistake of one contracting party as to the identity of the other; and
6) Those subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53.

21. What is psychological incapacity?

"Psychological incapacity refer to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed by Article 68 of the Family Code, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and support." (Santos v. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 112019, 04 January 1995)

Simply put, psychological incapacity is the failure of one of the spouses to assume and comply with the essential obligations of marriage.

22. How do I know that the reason why my marriage failed was because of psychological incapacity?

You or your husband may be suffering from psychological incapacity if your failure to comply with your marital obligations is characterized by the following (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. The incapacity must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage; it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage; and it must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved." (Santos v. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 112019, 04 January 1995)

23. After 15 years of marriage, I'm no longer in love with my husband. We don't have any problems but the love and affection required of me as a wife is no longer present. Can I file a petition for nullity on such ground?


No, lack of affection or love is not a ground to file a petition for nullity against your husband.

"To be tired and give up on one's situation and on one's spouse are not necessarily signs of psychological illness; neither can falling out of love be so labeled. When these happen, the remedy for some is to cut the marital knot to allow the parties to go their separate ways. This simple remedy, however, is not available to us under our laws. Ours is a limited remedy that addresses only a very specific situation – a relationship where no marriage could have validly been concluded because the parties; or where one of them, by reason of a grave and incurable psychological illness existing when the marriage was celebrated, did not appreciate the obligations of marital life and, thus, could not have validly entered into a marriage." (Renato Reyes So vs. Valera, G.R. No. 150677, 05 June 2009)

24. My husband and I fight all the time such that our marital relation is extremely strained, can I file for nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity?

No, personal differences do not reflect a personality disorder tantamount to psychological incapacity. (Marable vs. Marable, G.R. No. 178741, 17 January 2011)

Mere showing of "irreconcilable differences" and "conflicting personalities" in no wise constitutes psychological incapacity. It is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some psychological (nor physical) illness. (Republic of the Philippines vs. CA, G.R. No. 108763, 13 February 1997)

25. My wife and I were married in 1990 when we were both 17 years old. She left me for another man in 1993 and I have not heard from her or seen her since then. Could I still file a case for declaration of nullity of our marriage?

Yes, the action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage does not prescribe. In your case, the declaration of absolute nullity of your marriage is based on the lack of legal capacity to contract marriage. (Article 39 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

26. Do I need to undergo personal examination by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist before I could file a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage based on psychological incapacity?

"No, there is no requirement that the defendant/respondent spouse should be personally examined by a physician or psychologist as a condition sine qua non for the declaration of nullity of marriage based on psychological incapacity." (Marcos vs. Marcos, G.R. No. 136490. 19 October 2000)

27. My husband is physically unable to comply with his marital obligations; can I have my marriage annulled on the basis of his psychological incapacity?

No, mere inability to physically comply with his marital obligations does not necessarily mean that your husband is psychologically incapacitated.

The psychologically incapacity refers to the mental incapacity that prevents the party from complying with his basic marital covenants. (Santos v. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 112019, 04 January 1995)

It bears stressing that psychological incapacity must be more than just a "difficulty," "refusal" or "neglect" in the performance of some marital obligations. Rather, it is essential that the concerned party was incapable of doing so, due to some psychological illness existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage. (Marable vs. Marable, G.R. No. 178741, 17 January 2011)

It is indispensable that the evidence must show a link, medical or the like, between the acts that manifest psychological incapacity and the psychological disorder itself. (Marable vs. Marable, G.R. No. 178741, 17 January 2011)

28. I recently discovered that my husband had been having an affair for two years. Will knowledge of his infidelity be sufficient to prove that he has psychological incapacity and file a petition for nullity against him?

No, infidelity per se is not enough to illustrate or establish that the guilty party is psychologically incapacitated. However, if your husband's infidelity is shown to be stemming from a psychological condition which makes him unable to discharge the essential marital obligations, then you may file the Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage based on this ground.

"It has been held in various cases that sexual infidelity, by itself, is not sufficient proof that petitioner is suffering from psychological incapacity. It must be shown that the acts of unfaithfulness are manifestations of a disordered personality which make petitioner completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of marriage." (Villalon vs. Villalon, G.R. No. 167206, 18 November 2005)

Furthermore, in the case of Toring vs. Toring, "To constitute psychological incapacity, it must be shown that the unfaithfulness and abandonment are manifestations of a disordered personality that completely prevented the erring spouse from discharging the essential marital obligations." (G.R. No. 165321, 03 August 2010)

29. Is the opinion and testimony of the Psychologist sufficient to establish the existence of Psychological Incapacity?

No, psychological incapacity must be established by the totality of the evidence presented during the trial. (Marcos vs. Marcos, G.R. No. 136490. 19 October 2000) This means that you must present other pieces of evidence which indicate the manifestations of the psychological incapacity.

30. My spouse and I mutually agree to have an annulment; can we file the case for nullity of marriage?

No, in cases of annulment and declaration of absolute nullity of marriage, collusion between parties is prohibited. (Article 48 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

This prohibition is due to the fact that "our family law is based on the policy that marriage is not a mere contract, but a social institution in which the state is vitally interested. The state can find no stronger anchor than on good, solid and happy families. The breakup of families weakens our social and moral fabric and, hence, their preservation is not the concern alone of the family members." (Tuason vs. Tuason, G.R. No. 116607, 10 April 1996)

31. Who can file the action to declare the marriage void?
Either party, even the psychologically incapacitated, can file the action. (Edward Kenneth Ngo Te vs. Rowena Ong Gutierrez Yu-Te, G.R. No. 161793, 13 February 2009)

Furthermore, in cases of bigamous marriages, the first spouse has the legal standing to file the nullity of the second marriage of his spouse.

"When the right of the spouse to protect his marriage is violated, the spouse is clearly an injured party and is therefore interested in the judgment of the suit. Juliano-Llave ruled that the prior spouse "is clearly the aggrieved party as the bigamous marriage not only threatens the financial and the property ownership aspect of the prior marriage but most of all, it causes an emotional burden to the prior spouse." Being a real party in interest, the prior spouse is entitled to sue in order to declare a bigamous marriage void. For this purpose, he can petition a court to recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the bigamous marriage and judicially declare as a fact that such judgment is effective in the Philippines. Once established, there should be no more impediment to cancel the entry of the bigamous marriage in the civil registry." (Fujiki v. Marinay G.R. No. 196049, June 26 2013)

DIVORCE

32. Since divorce is not allowed in the Philippines, what if my Filipino husband and I get a divorce abroad? Will the divorce decree be valid and recognized in the Philippines?

No, since divorce is not allowed here in the Philippines, what cannot be done directly here cannot be done indirectly abroad. This is due to the fact that "laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad." (Article 15 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines)

33. What if we married abroad in a country where divorce is allowed, will the divorce decree which we secured in the same country be sufficient to sever our marital relations?

No. The divorce decree will not attach to your marriage and will not affect your marital status when you return to the Philippines. Filipino citizens are covered by the "nationality principle" which states that the national law of the citizen is binding upon him even if abroad.

34. What if I married a foreigner in the Philippines and during our life abroad, I decided to obtain a divorce decree abroad, will the divorce decree be recognized in the Philippines?

No, Philippine law will only recognize a Divorce Decree obtained abroad if such decree was obtained by the alien spouse and not the Filipino spouse. This is for the reason that divorce is not allowed in the Philippines. Philippine laws affect Filipino citizens even they are living abroad.

35. Does that mean if a divorce decree was obtained by my foreigner spouse, it will automatically apply to me and therefore, I can remarry as well?

The Decree of Judgment of Divorce between Filipinos and their foreign spouses, which had been initiated by the foreign spouse, may be recognized in the Philippines. This is because "where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have capacity to remarry under Philippine law." (Article 26 of the Family Code)

In Republic v. Orbecido, this Court recognized the legislative intent of the second paragraph of Article 26 which is "to avoid the absurd situation where the Filipino spouse remains married to the alien spouse who, after obtaining a divorce, is no longer married to the Filipino spouse under the laws of his or her country." (G.R. No. 154380, 05 October 2005)

"The second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code only authorizes Philippine courts to adopt the effects of a foreign divorce decree precisely because the Philippines does not allow divorce. Philippine courts cannot try the case on the merits because it is tantamount to trying a case for divorce." (Fujiki v. Marinay G.R. No. 196049, June 26 2013)

However, this divorce decree does not automatically entitle the Filipino spouse to remarry in the Philippines. A Petition for Judicial Recognition of Foreign Divorce must first be secured by the Filipino spouse to entitle him/her to remarry.

36. My American husband obtained a divorce decree from his own country which allowed him to re-marry. Can I now re-marry in the Philippines?

Not yet. You still need to have the divorce decree recognized here in the Philippines before you are able to enjoy its effects. After a Decision is rendered by the court recognizing the divorce decree between you and your former spouse, only then will you be able to re-marry.

37. Once I have presented the divorce decree in court, will that be sufficient to sever my marital relations with my spouse and entitle me to remarry?

Unfortunately, the presentation of the divorce decree is not enough. You must satisfy the courts of the authenticity and due execution of the decree. This would mean that you would have to prove the applicable laws involved in your divorce. Remember that Article 26 of the Family Code of the Philippines specifically state that such divorce must be valid according to the foreigner spouse's national law.

LEGAL SEPARATION

38. What are the effects of a Decree of Legal Separation?

1. The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the marriage bonds shall not be severed;
2. The absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved and liquidated but the offending spouse shall have no right to any share of the net profits earned by the absolute community or the conjugal partnership;
3. The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse; and
4. The offending spouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spouse by intestate succession. (Article 63 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

39. Can I remarry after my Legal Separation is granted?

No, while it permits the partial suspension of marital relations, the marriage bond still exists as the marital bonds are not severed as in the case of annulment or petition for nullity.

40. My husband and I got married in 2010. Every time we fight, my husband hits and punches me and I always end up black and blue. After 5 years of treating me like a punching bag, I decided to kick him out of the house. Do I have grounds for filing Legal Separation?

Yes, repeated physical violence is one of the grounds for legal separation. The grounds provided by law is exclusive, to wit:

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; or
10. Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year. (Article 55 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

41. While we were married, I donated a condo unit in Taguig City in favor of my husband. But then a couple of years later, I discovered that he used the condo unit to fulfill his perverted sexual fantasies with other men and women. So I filed for Legal Separation which the court granted. What would happen to the donation I made in my husband's favor before the Decision granting our Legal Separation?

The innocent spouse may revoke the donations he/she made in favor of the offending spouse. If such donations involve property, such revocations should be recorded in the Register of Deeds in the places where the properties are located. (Article 64 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

Note however that such revocation must be done within five years from the time the decree of legal separation become final.

42. My spouse and I agreed to have a legal separation, will there be any consequences if the State found out about our agreement?

Yes, the court may deny the petition for legal separation once it has been proved that there was an agreement between the parties in aiming to get legally separated.

Collusion or connivance between parties is a ground for the denial of the petition for legal separation. (Article 56 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

43. When should I file for Legal Separation?

The action for legal separation should be filed within five (5) years from the time of the occurrence of the cause. (Article 57 of the Family Code of the Philippines; A.M. No. 02-11-11-SC, 15 March 2003)

44. What would happen if my spouse and I choose to reconcile and get back together during the pendency of the proceedings?

"If the spouses should reconcile, a corresponding joint manifestation under oath duly signed by them shall be filed with the court in the same proceeding for legal separation." (Article 65 of the Family Code of the Philippines)