Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A unique way of dividing the conjugal property: Cambodian husband saws house in half

The Family Code of the Philippines provides for the grounds and procedures in the dissolution and liquidation of the community property or the conjugal partnership. These provisions are:

Dissolution of Absolute Community Regime

Article 99 Causes and effects of termination of ACP
Article 100 Effects of separation de facto on the ACP
Article 101 Abandonment or failure to comply with obligations

Liquidation of the Absolute Community Assets and Liabilities


Article 102 Procedure in liquidation, inventory and payment of obligations of the ACP
Article 103 Liquidation of ACP upon death of either spouse
Article 104 Liquidation of community properties of two or more marriages

Dissolution of Conjugal Partnership of Gains

Article 126 Causes and effects of termination of CPG
Article 127 Separation in fact, effects on CPG
Article 128 Situations under this Article; abandonment

Liquidation of the Conjugal Partnership Assets and Liabilities

Article 129 Steps in liquidating the CPG
Article 130 Liquidation of CPG upon death of either spouse
Article 131 Liquidation of CPG properties of two or more marriages
Article 132 Applicability of Rules of Court
Article 133 Support during liquidation of CPG
What happens to the conjugal property if a marriage is declared null and void?

Please take note that annulment refers to voidable marriages, while declaration of nullity refers to void marriages. When a marriage is annulled or declared null and void, the Supreme Court Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages provides in Section 21 that:
Liquidation, partition and distribution, custody, support of common children and delivery of their presumptive legitimes.

Upon entry of the judgment granting the petition, or, in case of appeal, upon receipt of the entry of judgment of the appellate court granting the petition, the Family Court, on motion of either party, shall proceed with the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, including custody, support of common children and delivery of their presumptive legitimes pursuant to Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings.
Articles 50 and 51 of the Family Code mentioned above state:
Art. 50. The effects provided for by paragraphs (2), (3), (4) and (5) of Article 43 and by Article 44 shall also apply in the proper cases to marriages which are declared ab initio or annulled by final judgment under Articles 40 and 45.

The final judgment in such cases shall provide for the liquidation, partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses, the custody and support of the common children, and the delivery of their presumptive legitimes, unless such matters had been adjudicated in previous judicial proceedings.

All creditors of the spouses as well as of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be notified of the proceedings for liquidation.

In the partition, the conjugal dwelling and the lot on which it is situated, shall be adjudicated in accordance with the provisions of Articles 102 and 129.

Art. 51. In said partition, the value of the presumptive legitimes of all common children, computed as of the date of the final judgment of the trial court, shall be delivered in cash, property or sound securities, unless the parties, by mutual agreement judicially approved, had already provided for such matters.

The children or their guardian or the trustee of their property may ask for the enforcement of the judgment.

The delivery of the presumptive legitimes herein prescribed shall in no way prejudice the ultimate successional rights of the children accruing upon the death of either of both of the parents; but the value of the properties already received under the decree of annulment or absolute nullity shall be considered as advances on their legitime.
What does “presumptive legitime” mean?

The term “presumptive legitime” was mentioned several times above. Simply stated, whatever the children are entitled to receive by way of inheritance “computed as of the date of the final judgment of the trial court” must be given to them. Otherwise, the decree of nullity will not be issued or set aside if already issued.

What about if the parents live on for a number of years and then die? Well, then, the children will still receive what they are entitled to inherit minus what they have already received as their presumptive legitimes.

Here’s an interesting way of dividing the conjugal property

These provisions of the Family Code are quite clear. You might be interested however in a unique way a couple in Cambodia solved their problem of dividing up their property (a wooden house). According to an Associated Press report published in USA Today, the man brought his relatives, sawed the house in half and brought his share of the house to his parents’ place nearby. The 18-year marriage ended in divorce over the mans allegations about his wife’s extramarital affair. Read the complete story of this Cambodian couple.

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