My husband and I have been married for 7 years now and we have two sons. We are not separated, though I am staying at my parents’ house since the school where my sons go to is much nearer there. I just learned that my husband is having an affair with another woman in our very own house. My sister-in-law even caught them inside our bedroom.
Now, this woman is pregnant but they are living in a different house. I tried contacting my husband but he refuses to see me. I just want to know if I can file a case against them. Is it also possible to file a complaint for bigamy? He also neglects our children and refuses to give support. What can I do about this? I hope you can enlighten me.
If you are certain that your husband is maintaining a relationship with another woman and they are living together in a different house, you may opt to file a criminal complaint for concubinage against him and his mistress because their acts constitute a violation of our criminal laws. As provided for under Article 334 of the Revised Penal Code, “Any husband who shall keep a mistress in the conjugal dwelling, or shall have sexual intercourse, under scandalous circumstances, with a woman who is not his wife, or shall cohabit with her in any other place, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods. x x x The concubine shall suffer the penalty of destierro.”
You may likewise consider filing a complaint for violation of the provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262, otherwise known as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.” This law penalizes the commission of abusive acts against a woman and her child. Since your husband is neglecting his responsibilities and he refuses to provide support for you and your children, as you have mentioned in your letter, you have a cause of action against him. As provided for under Section 5, id, “The crime of violence against women and their children is committed through any of the following acts: x x x (i) Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody of minor children or access to the woman’s child/children.” Your husband may suffer the penalty of prision mayor if found to be guilty of the aforementioned crime (Section 6 (f), id).
As to your question relative to bigamy, please be informed that you cannot file a complaint for bigamy against your husband. Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes a person who shall contract a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings. There is no showing that he and his mistress have already entered into a contract of marriage. What is only apparent from your letter is the fact that they are cohabiting with each other. Hence, a case for bigamy will not prosper.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.