Monday, March 06, 2006

Laban o Bawi : Parents’ obligations in handling their children’s property

You probably saw more than a week ago that Channel 7 news broadcast about two grade schoolers who won a million pesos each in the very popular “Laban o Bawi” portion of the noontime show Eat Bulaga.

In the news broadcast, the boy, from his young mind, enumerated all the things that he planned to do with his windfall. Because of his young age, it is most probably his parents who will make decisions on the disposition of that money.

The Family Code, in Articles 225 up to 227, enumerates the legal obligations of parents in handling the property of their children.

Art. 225. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise legal guardianship over the property of the unemancipated common child without the necessity of a court appointment. In case of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.

Where the market value of the property or the annual income of the child exceeds P50,000, the parent concerned shall be required to furnish a bond in such amount as the court may determine, but not less than ten per centum (10%) of the value of the property or annual income, to guarantee the performance of the obligations prescribed for general guardians. [emphasis by boldfacing supplied ]

A verified petition for approval of the bond shall be filed in the proper court of the place where the child resides, or, if the child resides in a foreign country, in the proper court of the place where the property or any part thereof is situated.

The petition shall be docketed as a summary special proceeding in which all incidents and issues regarding the performance of the obligations referred to in the second paragraph of this Article shall be heard and resolved.

The ordinary rules on guardianship shall be merely suppletory except when the child is under substitute parental authority, or the guardian is a stranger, or a parent has remarried, in which case the ordinary rules on guardianship shall apply.
Art. 226. The property of the unemancipated child earned or acquired with his work or industry or by onerous or gratuitous title shall belong to the child in ownership and shall be devoted exclusively to the latter's support and education, unless the title or transfer provides otherwise.

The right of the parents over the fruits and income of the child's property shall be limited primarily to the child's support and secondarily to the collective daily needs of the family.
[emphasis by boldfacing supplied ]

Art. 227. If the parents entrust the management or administration of any of their properties to an unemancipated child, the net proceeds of such property shall belong to the owner. The child shall be given a reasonable monthly allowance in an amount not less than that which the owner would have paid if the administrator were a stranger, unless the owner, grants the entire proceeds to the child. In any case, the proceeds thus given in whole or in part shall not be charged to the child's legitime.


Anonymous said...

In filing a verified petition for approval of a guardian's bond do we need to implead anybody? Parents of the deceased father? Do you have any forms that I may use for filing the same in court? I am the mother of two minors whose father recently died and I was told that I need a guardianship bond to get the measly insurance proceeds of my deceased husband but the amount exceeded P 50, 000.00?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

“Letters of guardianship” over your children and their property must be obtained from the court. You need to retain the services of a lawyer in order to file this petition in court.

If you are from Metro Manila, you can try to ask for free legal help from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) of the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City. You can also try to ask for free help from the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) or the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your town or city. These offices usually help only indigents or those below a certain monthly income BUT you can say that you do not have enough financial means to retain the services of a private lawyer.

This provision of the Family Code is meant for the protection of the children.