Since the Philippines does not allow for dissolution of a valid marriage, it gives a solution to its citizens whose marriages are no longer capable of providing a harmonious atmosphere to the husband, the wife and their children – Legal Separation.
The Family Code lays down ten (10) grounds for a petition for legal separation. If these grounds are to be summed up, it can be seen that they all have something in common: they may be brought about by violence, whether physical, emotional or psychological, employed by one of the spouses against the other, or to their children, or they may either be due to the wrongful conduct and behavior of the other spouse.
For instance, one very common ground for legal separation is repeated physical violence against the other spouse, or against their common children, or against the child of the violent spouse. As can be seen, neither declaration of nullity of marriage nor divorce makes use of this ground as a basis for filing the petition. That is because the repeated physical violence that is contemplated in legal separation usually occurs or begins after a valid marriage has been celebrated. This goes the same for the other grounds for legal separation.
Unlike in declaration of nullity of marriage, legal separation does not sever the marital ties between the spouses. It just legally allows for the spouses to be physically separated from one another so as to give them time and space apart, in order to prevent them from causing more damage to the other.
This is the ultimate goal of legal separation – to simply keep the spouses away from each other to stop them from further hurting each other. Thus, still helping them preserve their vows to one another. This is perhaps the reason why legal separation remains to be one effective remedy in mending a broken marriage.