Bar Q and A #12

a. Since the marriage was declared void ab initio in 2001, no absolute community or conjugal partnership was ever established between B and G. Their property relation is governed by a “special co-ownership” under Article 147 of the Family Code because they were capacitated to marry each other.

Under Article 147, wages and salaries of the “former spouses” earned during their cohabitation shall be owned by them in equal shares while properties acquired thru their work for industry shall be owned by them in proportion to their respective contributions. Care and maintenance of the family is recognized as a valuable contribution. In the absence of proof as to the value of their respective contributions, they shall share equally.
If ownership of the house and lot was acquired by B on August 3, 1988 at the time he bought it on installment before he got married, he shall remain owner of the house and lot but he must reimburse G for all the amounts she advanced to pay the purchase price and for one-half share in the last payment from their joint income. In such case, the house and lot were not acquired during their cohabitation, hence, are not co-owned by B and G.

But if the ownership of the house and lot was acquired during the cohabitation, the house and lot will be owned as follows:

i. 1/3 of the house and lot is owned by B. He is an undivided co-owner to that extent for his contributions in its acquisition in the form of the down payment he made before the celebration of the marriage. The money he used to pay the down payment was not earned during the cohabitation, hence, it is his exclusive property.

ii. 1/3 of the house and lot is owned by G. She is an undivided co-owner to the extent for her contribution in its acquisition when she paid 1/3 of the purchase price using the gift from her parents. Although the gift was acquired by G during her cohabitation with B, it is her exclusive property. It did not consist of wage or salary or fruit of her work or industry.

iii. 1/3 of the house is co-owned by B and G because the payment came from their co- owned funds, i.e., their joint income during their cohabitation which is shared by them equally in the absence of any proof to the contrary.

After summing up their prospective shares, B and G are undivided co-owners of the house and lot in equal shares.

As to the apartment, it is owned exclusive by B because he acquired it before their cohabitation. Even if he acquired it during their cohabitation, it will still be his exclusive property because it did not come from his wage or salary, or from his work or industry. It was acquired gratuitously from his uncle.

b. The answer is the same as in letter A. Since the parties to the marriage which was later declared void ab initio were capacitated to marry each other, the applicable law under the New Civil Code was Article 144.This Article is substantially the same as Article 147 of the FamilyCode.

Hence, the determination of ownership will remain the same as in question A. And even assuming that the two provisions are not the same, Article 147 of the Family Code is still the law that will govern the property relations of B and G because under Article 256, the Family Code has retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights under the new Civil Code or other laws. Applying Article 147 retroactively to the case of G and B will not impair any vested right. Until the declaration of nullity of the marriage under the Family Code, B and G have not yet acquired any vested right over the properties acquired during their cohabitation.

Since the marriage was null and void, no Absolute Community or Conjugal Partnership was established between B and G. Their properties are governed by the “special co-ownership” provision of Article 147 of the Family Code because both B and G were capacitated to marry each other. The said Article provides that when a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage, or under a void marriage: (1) their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares; and (2) property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. In co-ownership, the parties are co-owners if they contributed something of value in the acquisition of the property. Their share is in proportion to their respective contributions. In an ordinary co-ownership, the care and maintenance of the family is not recognized as a valuable contribution for the acquisition of a property. In the Article 147 “special co-ownership”, however, care and maintenance is recognized as a valuable contribution which will entitle the contributor to half of the property acquired.

Having been acquired during their cohabitation, the residential lot is presumed acquired through their joint work and industry under Art. 147, hence B and G are co-owners of the said property in equalshares.

Art. 147 also provides that when a party to the void marriage was in bad faith, he forfeits his share in the co-ownership in favor of the common children or descendants. In default of children or descendants, the forfeited share shall belong to the innocent party. In the foregoing problem, there is no showing that one party was in bad faith. Hence, both shall be presumed in good faith and no forfeiture shall take place.

The provisions of Art. 148 of the Family Code shall govern:

Art. 148. In cases of cohabitation not falling under the preceding Article, only the properties acquired by both of the parties through their actual joint contribution of money property, or industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. In the absence of proof to the contrary, their contributions and corresponding shares are presumed to be equal. The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint deposits of money and evidence of credit.

Under Art. 148 of the Family Code, which applies to bigamous marriages, only the properties through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. Moreover, if one of the parties is validly married to another, his share in the co-ownership shall accrue to the absolute community/conjugal partnership existing in such valid marriage.

Thus, in this case, since Erlinda failed to prove that she used her own money to buy the Riceland and house and lot, she cannot claim to be the co-owner of the Riceland nor the exclusive owner of the house and lot. Such properties are Mauricio’s. And since his share accrues to the conjugal partnership with Carol, Carol can validly claim such properties to the exclusion of Erlinda. (Art. 144, Civil Code)

The sale of the parcel of land is void. There is no indication in the facts that Danny and Elsa executed a marriage settlement prior to their marriage. As the marriage was celebrated during the effectivity of the Family Code and absent a marriage settlement, the property regime between the spouses is the Absolute Community of Property. [Article 75, FC]

Under the Absolute Community of Property regime, the parcel of land belongs to the community property as the property he had brought into the marriage even if said property were registered in the name of Danny. [Article 91, FC] In addition, said property do not fall under any of the exceptions under Article 92. Therefore, the sale of the property is void, because it was executed without the authority of the court or the written consent of the other spouse. [Article 96, 100, FC]

1. Ed is the father of Alvin because Alvin was conceived and born during the marriage of his mother to Ed. Under the law, the child born during the marriage of the mother to her husband is presumed to be the legitimate child of the husband. (Concepcion
v. Almonte, 468 SCRA 438 [2005]) While it is true that there was no written consent by the husband to the artificial insemination, absence of such consent may only give the husband a ground to impugn the legitimacy of the child but will not prevent the child from acquiring the status of legitimate child of the husband at the time of its birth.

2. To establish Ed’s paternity over Alvin, only two requirements must concur: (1) the fact that Ed and the mother of Alvin are validly married, and (2) the fact that Alvin was conceived or born during the subsistence of such marriage.

  1. Having been born during the marriage of Faye and Brad, she is presumed to be the legitimate child of Faye and This presumption had become conclusive because the period of time to impugn her filiation had already prescribed.

  2. No, she cannot impugn her own The law does not allow a child to impugn his or her own filiation. In the problem, Laica’s legitimate filiation was accorded to her by operation of law which may be impugned only by Brad, or his heirs in the cases provided by law within the prescriptive period.

  3. No, she cannot be legitimated by the marriage of her biological In the first place she is not, under the law, the child of Roderick, in the second place, her biological parents could not have validly married each other at the time she was conceived and born simply because Faye was still married to Roderick at that time. Under Article 177 of the Family Code, only children conceived or born outside of wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the child were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other, may be legitimated.

A. B can impugn the status of G's daughter by another man as his legitimate daughter on the ground that for biological reason he could not have been the father of the child, a fact that may be proven by the DNA test. Having been born during the marriage between B and G, G's daughter by another man is presumed as the child of B under Article 164 of the Family Code. In the same action to impugn, B can pray for the correction of the status of the said daughter in her record of birth.

B. If B acquiesces and does not file the action to impugn the legitimacy of the child within the prescriptive period for doing so under Article 170 of the Family Code, G's daughter by another man shall be conclusively presumed as the legitimate daughter of B by G.

James and John are the illegitimate children of Sonny and Auring because they were conceived and born outside a valid marriage. Verna is an illegitimate child of Lulu and Tirso having been conceived and born to the invalid marriage of Lulu and Tirso. Verna cannot be presumed as the legitimate child of Sonny because of the supervening marriage that was celebrated between Lulu and Tirso even though such marriage is void ab initio. The case of Liyao v. Liyao is not applicable because in that case the wife begot a child by another man during her marriage to her estranged husband but no marriage was celebrated between the wife the father of the child. The child in that case was presumed to be the legitimate child of the estranged husband.

Venus is illegitimate. She was conceived and born outside a valid marriage. Thus, she is considered illegitimate. (Art 165, FC) While Venus was legitimated by the subsequent marriage of her parents, such legitimation was rendered ineffective when the said marriage was later on declared null and void due to absence of a marriage license.

Under Article 178 of the Family Code, “legitimation shall take place by a subsequent valid marriage between parents. The annulment of a voidable marriage shall not affect the legitimation.” The inclusion of the underscored portion in the Article necessarily implies that the Article's application is limited to voidable marriages. It follows that when the subsequent marriage is null or void, the legitimation  must also be null and void. In the present problem, the marriage between B and G was not voidable but void. Hence, Venus has remained an illegitimate child.