Wife can’t seek husband’s support if vows nulled, voided

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
My husband and I have been separated for 20 years now. Can I still demand support from him?
Herminia

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Dear Herminia,
Spouses are obliged to support each other pursuant to Article 195 of the Family Code, which provides that the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in Article 194 of the Family Code: (1) The spouses; (2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants; (3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; (4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and (5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether full or half-blood.

The obligation of the spouse to provide support to his/her spouse does not cease until their marriage is dissolved or terminated by the declaration of the court annulling their marriage or declaring it as null and void. In case the spouses obtained a decree of legal separation, the obligation to provide support to each other also ceases unless the court orders the guilty spouse to support the innocent spouse, specifying the terms of such order. But during the proceedings for legal separation or for annulment of marriage or for declaration of nullity of marriage, the spouses and their children shall be supported from the pieces of property of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership (Article 198, Family Code).

Based from the foregoing, you may still demand support from your husband despite being separated for twenty (20) years unless your separation was due to a decree for legal separation issued by the court wherein the same did not order any provision for support. Also, you are no longer entitled to support if your marriage was already annulled or declared as null and void.

We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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