(Question II, Civil Law, 2018 Bar Exam)
After finding out that his girlfriend Sandy was four (4) months pregnant, Sancho married Sandy. Both were single and had never been in any serious relationship in the past. Prior to the marriage, they agreed in a marriage settlement that the regime of conjugal partnership of gains shall govern their property relations during marriage. Shortly after the marriage, their daughter, Shalimar, was born.
Before they met and got married, Sancho purchased a parcel of land on installment, under a Contract of Sale, with the full purchase price payable in equal annual amortizations over a period of ten (10) years, with no down payment, and secured by a mortgage on the land. The full purchase price was PhP1 million, with interest at the rate of 6% per annum. After paying the fourth (4th) annual installment, Sancho and Sandy got married, and Sancho completed the payments in the subsequent years from his salary as an accountant. The previous payments were also paid out of his salary. During their marriage, Sandy also won PhP1 million in the lottery and used it to purchase jewelry. When things didn’t work out for the couple, they filed an action for declaration of nullity of their marriage based on the psychological incapacity of both of them. When the petition was granted, the parcel of land and the jewelry bought by Sandy were found to be the only properties of the couple.
(a) What is the filiation status of Shalimar? (2.5%)
(b) What system of property relationship will be liquidated following the declaration of nullity of their marriage? (2.5%)
(c) In the liquidation, who should get the parcel of land? The jewelry? (2.5%)
(d) Is Shalimar entitled to payment of presumptive legitime? If yes, how much should be her share and from where should this be taken? (2.5%)
(a) Shalimar is a legitimate child. Answer
Under the Family Code, children conceived or born during the marriage of the parents are legitimate. In case of a declaration of nullity of marriage, children conceived or born before the judgment of annulment or absolute nullity of the marriage under Article 36 has become final and executory shall be considered legitimate. Rule
In the case at bar, Shallmar was born during the marriage of her parents Sancho and Sandy. When he parents was granted the nullity of their marriage, Shallma’s status as a legitimate child remains and is not affected. Apply
Thus, the filiation status of Shallmar is that she is a legitimate child. Conclusion
(b) Co-ownership under Article 147 of the Family Code shall be the system of property relationship that will be liquidated following the declaration of nullity of their marriage.
Under the Family Code, 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, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.
In the case at bar, Sancho and Sandy were legally capacitated to marry each other. However, their marriage was declared void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity. Thus, co-ownership under Article 147 of the Family Code applies to them.
(c) Both Sancho and Sandy as co-owners have equal share or interest on the parcel of land and jewelry. Answer
Under the Family Code, in void marriages, properties acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. Further, a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the former’s efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and of the household. Rule
In the case at bar, both the parcel of land the jewelry were acquired during the marriage prior to it being declared in void. As there is a presumption in favor of co-ownership, both properties belong to them in equal parts as co-owners. Apply
Thus, Sancho and Sandy as co-owners have equal shares or interest in both the parcel of land and jewelry. Conclusion
(d) No. Answer
Under the Family Code, where a marriage is found to be void on the ground of psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code, liquidation shall be subject to the provisions of Article 147 of the Family Code. Under Article 147, there is no provision for turning over presumptive legitimes. Rule
In the case at bar, the nullity of the marriage is based on psychological incapacity under Article 136 of the Family Code. Accordingly, the liquidation of the properties shall be subject to Article 147. Unfortunately, the said article does not have provisions on turning over legitimes.
Thus, Shalimar is not entitled to presumptive legitime. Conclusion
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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