● Legal separation alone is not a ground forwife's change of name. A woman’s marriedstatus is not affected by a decree of legalseparation, there being no severance of thevinculum, and under Article 372 of the New CivilCode, she must continue using the name andsurname employed by her before theseparation. ● It is doubtful whether Rule 103 of the Rules ofCourt, which refers to change of name ingeneral, may prevail over the specific provisionsof Article 372 of the New Civil Code with regardto married women legally separated from theirhusbands. Even, however, applying Rule 103,the fact of legal separation alone is not sufficientground to justify a change of name, because tohold otherwise, would be to provide an easycircumvention of the mandatory provisions ofsaid Article 372.Facts:In 1958, petitioner Elisea L. Santamariawas decreed legally separated from her husbandEnrique R. Santamaria. In 1960, she filed apetition to be allowed to change her nameand/or be permitted to resume using her maidenname Elisea Laperal. The City Attorney ofBaguio opposed the petition on the ground thatthe same violates the provisions of Article 370(should be 372) of the Civil Code, and that it isnot sanctioned by the Rules of Court.The court denied the petition. Upon petitioner'smotion, however, the court, treating the petitionas one for change of name, reconsidered itsdecision and granted the petition on the groundthat to allow petitioner, who is a businesswomandecreed legally separated from her husband, tocontinue using her married name would give riseto confusion in her finances and the eventualliquidation of the conjugal assets. Hence, thisappeal by the State.Issues: Should petitioner be allowed to change hername or be permitted to resume using hermaiden name?Held: No. Article 372 of the Civil Code reads:ART. 372. When legal separation has beengranted, the wife shall continue using her nameand surname employed before the legalseparation. The language of the statute is mandatory thatthe wife, even after the legal separation hasbeen decreed, shall continue using her nameand surname employed before the legalseparation. This is so because her marriedstatus is unaffected by the separation, therebeing no severance of the vinculum. It seems tobe the policy of the law that the wife shouldcontinue to use the name indicative of herunchanged status for the benefit of allconcerned.Even applying Rule 103, the fact of legalseparation alone — which is the only basis forthe petition — is, not a sufficient ground to justifya change of the name of petitioner, for to holdotherwise would be to provide an easycircumvention of the mandatory provisions ofArticle 372.The finding that petitioner’s continued use of herhusband surname may cause undue confusionin her finances was without basis. It must beconsidered that the issuance of the decree oflegal separation in 1958, necessitate that theconjugal partnership between her and Enriquehad automatically been dissolved and liquidated.