Filipinos aren’t only romantic but also value family more than anything else. The sanctity of marriage definitely precious to us and it’s the reason why divorce isn’t allowed in the Philippines.
To preserve and save the marriage, many couples are trying their best to avoid anything that can ruin their marriage. One of the common issues that are commonly the cause of separation between couples is about money and properties.
Who would not want a blissful marriage? According to a survey conducted by the National Statistics Office, big percentage of marriages in the Philippines ended in separation or annulment.
As we want to preserve marriage, it also makes sense knowing the rights and responsibilities of both spouses regarding their properties.
Do you know how married couples will share their properties obtained prior and after getting married? How these properties are will be divided when time comes that their marriage ends?
These are legal issues and it’s important to seek help from a lawyer. According to a real property attorney, the couple’s marital properties are covered by two regimes.
The marriage settlements or conjugal property gains is applicable to marriages before 1988 prior the implementation of the Family Code of the Philippines. Under this regime, the properties of the couple are subjected to:
- The properties owned by either the husband or wife and acquired prior of the marriage shall be exclusively her or his.
- The individual properties of the couple will be joined as one and the “fruits” of the properties will be shared and be known as conjugal property. This is also applicable with any property obtained after the marriage and both the husband and wife own it.
- In case the marriage ends to annulment or separation, the individual properties obtained before marriage will be divided again including the “fruits”.
- In the same manner, the conjugal properties of the couple will be divided into half.
Under this regime, each of the estranged couple has the right to dispose by any means her or his properties acquired before marriage without asking for permission from the other spouse. For properties obtained during marriage, both spouses will provide notarized written consent.
Absolute Community of Property
Marriages that took place on August 3, 1988 onwards are no longer covered by the conjugal law property. Instead, the properties are under the provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines that was signed by former president Corazon Aquino.
The marriage settlement is no longer applicable in this regime, but rather the properties acquired by the couple before and during the marriage will be under absolute community of property.
- All the properties obtained prior and during the marriage as well as those inherited or donated will be part of the ACP.
- In case of annulment or separation, the spouses should file judicial separation of properties before it can be divided between spouses.
However, there are exclusions in the ACP regime such as properties that are considered as personal use, properties acquired during former marriage along with the fruits.
More couples nowadays are aware about their rights to keep their properties and assets separated before getting married.
On the other hand, couples who owned numerous properties should consider prenup or marriage settlements. This kind of agreement can help spouses to manage their individual properties especially if both of them were running business prior to getting married.
Other Issues that Couples May Encounter
- Is the community property can be used to pay for the gambling debts incurred by the other spouse?
Legally, it is cited by the law that any gambling debts should not be charged against the community property. It should be shouldered by the loser, but any winnings earned will be included in the community property.
- Who will administer the community property?
Both spouses have the right to administer the community property.
- Is selling property legal without the knowledge and consent of the other spouse?
Under the law, the sale is void. But, if the other spouse accepted the offer it may become legal.