There is no doubt that you love your husband or your wife. However, you sometimes wonder what properties you own exclusively that are beyond the reach of your spouse. Not that you don’t trust your wife. After all, almost every time, you give her all your wages. You just simply want to know for your peace of mind. Here are some things you wonder about conjugal properties but were afraid to ask.
A. What governs the property relations between husband and wife?
— Marriage settlement, provisions of the Family Code or local custom
B. What are the requisites for the validity of a marriage settlement?
1. It must be made by future spouses (not yet married)
2. It must be in writing
3. It must be executed before the celebration of the marriage
4. It must be recorded in the local civil registry where marriage contract was recorded (only to be binding on 3rd persons)
C. In the absence of a marriage settlement, what is the property regime of spouses?
— If marriage was contracted before the Family Code (before 03 August 1988), then the conjugal partnership of gains (CPG) will govern.
— If marriage contracted after the effectivity of the Family Code (after 03 August 1988), then the absolute community of property (ACP) will apply.
D. What is the absolute community of property (ACP)?
— It means that all property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the marriage or acquired thereafter shall form part of the community property.
E. What are excluded from the ACP?
1. Property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title, as well as the fruits and income thereof;
2. Property for exclusive or personal use of each spouse (except jewelry)
3. Property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former marriage, as well as the fruits or income thereof.
F. What is the conjugal partnership of gains (CPG)?
— Under this regime, the proceeds, products, fruits and income from separate properties of the spouses and those acquired by either or both spouses through their efforts or chance shall belong to the partnership.
G. What are included in the CPG?
1. Those acquired by onerous title during the marriage at the expense of the common fund, whether the acquisition be for the partnership, or for only one of the spouses;
2. Those obtained from the labor, industry, work or profession of either or both of the spouses;
3. The fruits, natural, industrial, or civil, due or received during the marriage from the common property, as well as the net fruits from the exclusive property of each spouse;
4. The share of either spouse in the hidden treasure which the law awards to the finder or owner of the property where the treasure is found;
5. Those acquired through occupation such as fishing or hunting;
6. Livestock existing upon the dissolution of the partnership in excess of the number of each kind brought to the marriage by either spouse; and
7. Those which are acquired by chance, such as winnings from gambling or betting. However, losses therefrom shall be borne exclusively by the loser-spouse.
H. What are excluded from the CPG?
1. That which is brought to the marriage as his or her own;
2. That which each acquires during the marriage by gratuitous title;
3. That which is acquired by right of redemption, by barter or by exchange with property belonging to only one of the spouses; and
4. That which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband.
I. What is the liability of the ACP?
1. The support of the spouses, their common children, and legitimate children of either spouse; however, the support of illegitimate children shall be governed by the provisions of the Family Code on Support;
2. All debts and obligations contracted during the marriage by the designated administrator-spouse for the benefit of the community, or by both spouses, or by one spouse with the consent of the other;
3. Debts and obligations contracted by either spouse without the consent of the other to the extent that the family may have been benefited;
4. All taxes, liens, charges and expenses, including major or minor repairs, upon the community property;
5. All taxes and expenses for mere preservation made during marriage upon the separate property of either spouse used by the family;
6. Expenses to enable either spouse to commence or complete a professional or vocational course, or other activity for self-improvement;
7. Ante-nuptial debts of either spouse insofar as they have redounded to the benefit of the family;
8. The value of what is donated or promised by both spouses in favor of their common legitimate children for the exclusive purpose of commencing or completing a professional or vocational course or other activity for self-improvement;
9. Ante-nuptial debts of either spouse other than those falling under paragraph (7) of this Article, the support of illegitimate children of either spouse, and liabilities incurred by either spouse by reason of a crime or a quasi-delict, in case of absence or insufficiency of the exclusive property of the debtor-spouse, the payment of which shall be considered as advances to be deducted from the share of the debtor-spouse upon liquidation of the community; and
10. Expenses of litigation between the spouses unless the suit is found to be groundless
J. What happens if the community property is insufficient to cover the costs stated above?
— Except for antenuptial debts and the other liabilities under sub-paragraph 9 above, the spouses shall be solidarily liable for the unpaid balance with their separate properties.
K. Is the community property liable for the gambling debts of the other spouse?
— No. The law is explicit that whatever may be lost in any game of chance shall be borne by the loser and shall not be chargeable against the community property. However, any winnings shall form part of the community property.
L. Who is the administrator of the community property?
— The administration of the community property shall belong to both spouses jointly.
M. What happens if the husband sold the property without the consent and knowledge of the wife?
— The sale is void. However, the transaction shall be considered as a continuing offer and may be perfected upon acceptance of the other spouse.
N. What happens if the husband sold the community property with the knowledge but without the consent of the wife?
— Contract is merely annullable. The wife has 5 years from the date of the contract to go to court and seek the annulment of the contract.
Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices is a full-service law firm in the Philippines. You may visit us at the 16th Flr., Suite 1607 AIC Burgundy Empire Tower, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, 1605 Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. You may also call us at +632 4706126, +632 4706130, +632 4016392 or e-mail us at [email protected] .