Here’s What the Supreme Court Has to Say About Breakups

Does it really take two partners' decision for relationships to fail?

When Gerald Anderson said on January 21 that “…a relationship doesn’t fail just because of one person. It really takes two, because both of you are there,” he triggered a national debate on whether a breakup is a joint undertaking.

Thankfully, a little wisdom can be gleaned from a Supreme Court decision from 1995 regarding the dissolution of partnership of two lawyers, which you can use the next time your ex says your breakup was a mutual decision when it wasn’t.

Below is an excerpt from an annotated Supreme Court report, Ortega vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 109248, July 3, 1995:

“The birth and life of a partnership at will is predicated on the mutual desire and consent of the partners. The right to choose with whom a person wishes to associate himself is the very foundation and essence of that partnership.

Its continued existence is, in turn, dependent on the constancy of that mutual resolve, along with each partner's capability to give it, and the absence of a cause for dissolution provided by the law itself.

Verily, any one of the partners may, at his sole pleasure, dictate a dissolution of the partnership at will.”

In layman’s terms, it says that for partnerships or relationships to work, both partners need to exert effort to sustain it, but needs only the decision or action of one to end it.

The Supreme Court has spoken.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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