What Case Can Be Filed Against A Cheating Spouse?

In the Philippines, a cheating husband can be charged with concubinage, while a cheating wife can be charged with adultery if they sleep with other people while they are still legally married. Both charges are criminal offenses and are punishable by imprisonment.

If that is not enough to keep a husband or wife from seeking solace in someone else’s arms, I don’t know what will.

What case can a wife file against her cheating husband?

There is concubinage, which is when a married man takes on a mistress through scandalous means and cohabits with her in a conjugal property or any other place they choose to live in. And then there is unfaithfulness, or repeated marital infidelity.

What is the difference between concubinage and unfaithfulness?

As defined in the website of Nicolas & De Vera Law Offices: Concubinage is a private crime. The complain must come only from the wife and must be proven with hard evidences before it can become a full-blown case in court. The wife needs to prove that her husband has an illicit relationship with another woman and that it was done under scandalous circumstances, such as they would go on dates in public places, causing offense on modesty and innate sense of morality and decency of the community (in Filipino, this is more popularly known as eskandalo).

Concubinage is punishable by imprisonment, while the husband’s mistress may be imposed with a restraining order where she will be prohibited to be present at designated areas specified by law.

Unfaithfulness is punishable under RA 9262 of the Anti-violence Against Women and Children. Unfaithfulness or repeated marital infidelity that causes psychological violence on the aggrieved party is punishable with imprisonment of 6 years up to 12 years. When a man is unfaithful to his wife because of his habitual pambababae, he violates RA 9262 which is a public crime. A babaero may be charged with VAWC by anyone who has personal knowledge of the circumstances of his pambababae.

What if it is the wife who is unfaithful?

When the wife engages in a relationship with another man, that is called adultery. Similar to concubinage, hard evidences must be presented so that a case may be filed against the guilty spouse (wife). It is also a private crime and therefore, only the offended husband can file the adultery case against his wife.


There are no hard and fast rules when defining the causes of unfaithfulness in marital relationships. But most people who have been there would almost always say that had they given it more time and careful thinking, they would have managed to save the relationship. If one or both parties truly feel that the situation is beyond redemption, then the next best and wise thing to do is sit down and calmly talk about their options. In most cases, a family lawyer’s advise will go a long way in saving everyone’s peace of mind and heart as they go through the process of separation.

Choose your spouse wisely.


Nicolas and De Vera Law Offices

RA 9262 – Violence Against Women and Their Children Act

Published by MasterCitizen

I collect citizen facts and the usual stuff that might be important for a Pinoy's everyday life....Subscribe to get updates, opinions, and news.

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