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Gandionco vs Pearanda November 27, 1987 Ponente: Reyes J.B.L., J.

Topic: The Law on Separation of Spouses; Concept of Legal Separation; Grounds for Legal Separation; Sexual Infidelity or Perversion Facts:

May 29, 1986 Teresita Gandionco, wife of petitioner, filed with the RTC of Misamis Oriental, presided over by respondent judge, Judge Senen Pearanda, a petition for legal separation on the ground of concubinage. October 13, 1986 Teresita filed a criminal case for concubinage against her husband. November 14, 1986 Teresita filed for a provisional remedy of support pendente lite. December 10, 1986 Respondent Judge ordered the payment of Pendente Lite. Petitioner contends the order of the judge, saying, that, the course of the civil action, in this case, Legal Separation, is tied with the criminal charge, in this case, concubinage. Thus any action on the civil case should be postponed until the criminal case, on which it is based, is finalized.

Family Code - Art. 55. A petition for legal separation may be filed on any of the following grounds: (8) Sexual infidelity or perversion; 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure - Art. III. Sec. 3. Other Civil action arising from offenses. Whenever the offended party shall have instituted the civil action to enforce the civil liability arising from the offense. as contemplated in the first Section 1 hereof, the following rules shall be observed: (a) After a criminal action has been commenced the pending civil action arising from the same offense shall be suspended, in whatever stage it may be found, until final judgment in the criminal proceeding has been rendered. . . .

Pendente Lite: while the litigation is pending

Issues: Whether or not Legal Separation on the grounds of concubinage of requires the finding guilty of concubinage of the same? Decision: Petition Denied. Held Legal Separation on the grounds of Concubinage does not require that the husband be found guilty of the same. Ratio A decree of legal separation, on the ground of concubinage, may be issued upon proof by preponderance of evidence in the action for legal separation. No criminal proceeding or conviction is necessary. (Back when absolute divorce was allowed in the country, Act. 2710, the law prescribes the grounds on which it can be availed. One of which is that the husband be found guilty of concubinage.)

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