Experience makes you, well, really old. It also makes you realize a couple of things — like people asking a question that was asked and answered before. It’s human nature, I guess, and it would be ok if we have all the time in the world to sift through questions (again, sorry if I rarely reply to questions). We recently received this query: “Can a married man re-marry after 10 yrs. separation?” You helpful folks out there must have noticed that this question, and shades thereof, had been asked so many times before. This is tackled in our previous discussion:
If you’re separated from your spouse for 4 years, is that a sufficient ground for annulment?
No. De facto separation is not a ground for annulment. It doesn’t matter if the spouses lived apart or did not see each other for 2, 10, 20 or more years. However, the absence of 2 or 4 years, depending on the circumstances, may be enough to ask the court for a declaration of presumptive death of the “absent spouse”, in which case the petitioner may again re-marry.
I also realized that it would probably be better to have a single question per post (not a single TOPIC per post, because a single topic could give birth to so many questions). So, moving forward, let’s take this route.
Going back to the question, the mere fact of separation between the spouses, also labelled as de facto separation, does NOT automatically allow both husband and wife to remarry. The interested party has to go through the proper procedure allowing him/her to remarry. That “proper procedure” could take different forms (for example: annulment, declaration of nullity, recognition of foreign divorce, presumptive death). The appropriate procedure or remedy is best discussed with your retained counsel because only he/she can probe the details of your case.