Exclusive Property: Administration, Ownership and Possession

Married couples who decide to call it quits often argue about the properties acquired before and during marriage. Matters regarding splitting properties in half between husband and wife are brought to court as couples cannot seem to meet half way. The law has different take on this matter, depending on the circumstances. The Family Code of the Philippines provides a detailed explanation about the law governing marital properties. Since it took effect in 1988, revisions must be taken into account. Hence, couples who got married on August 3, 1988 up to present will no longer follow the law of conjugal property. This is because former-president Corazon Aquino signed the provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines. Under the provisions of this law, without marriage settlement or more commonly referred to as prenuptial agreement, a married couple's properties, which are acquired before and during marriage will be considered to be co-owned by the couple. This is called absolute community of property. 

Even properties which have been inherited or donated by either spouse will still be part of the absolute community of property. If couples decide to file a petition for legal separation, annulment or divorce, the legal action will have no effect on the property regime unless judicial separation of properties (where couples are required to split properties in half) has been filed. 

Exclusive Property of Each Spouse

Art. 109. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse:

(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.

Art. 110. The spouses retain the ownership, possession, administration and enjoyment of their exclusive properties.

Either spouse may, during the marriage, transfer the administration of his or her exclusive property to the other by means of a public instrument, which shall be recorded in the registry of property of the place the property is located.

Art. 111. A spouse of age may mortgage, encumber, alienate or otherwise dispose of his or her exclusive property, without the consent of the other spouse, and appear alone in court to litigate with regard to the same.

Art. 112. The alienation of any exclusive property of a spouse administered by the other automatically terminates the administration over such property and the proceeds of the alienation shall be turned over to the owner-spouse.

Art. 113. Property donated or left by will to the spouses, jointly and with designation of determinate shares, shall pertain to the donee-spouses as his or her own exclusive property, and in the absence of designation, share and share alike, without prejudice to the right of accretion when proper.

Art. 114. If the donations are onerous, the amount of the charges shall be borne by the exclusive property of the donee spouse, whenever they have been advanced by the conjugal partnership of gains.

Art. 115. Retirement benefits, pensions, annuities, gratuities, usufructs and similar benefits shall be governed by the rules on gratuitous or onerous acquisitions as may be proper in each case.

Pinoy Attorney

Written by : Pinoy Attorney