(Question XVII, Civil Law, 2018 Bar Exam)
Sofia and Semuel, both unmarried, lived together for many years in the Philippines and begot three children. While Sofia stayed in the Philippines with the children, Semuel went abroad to work and became a naturalized German citizen. He met someone in Germany whom he wanted to marry. Semuel thereafter came home and filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) for partition of the common properties acquired during his union with Sofia in the Philippines. The properties acquired during the union consisted of a house and lot in Cavite worth PhP2 million, and some personal properties, including cash in bank amounting to PhP1 million. All these properties were acquired using Samuel’s salaries and wages since Sofia was a stay-at-home mother. In retaliation, Sofia filed an action, on behalf of their minor children, for support.
(a) How should the properties be partitioned? (2.5%)
(b) Should Semuel be required to support the minor children? (2.5%)
(a) The properties would be partitioned equally. 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. Further, in the absence of proof to the contrary, 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.
(b) Yes. Answer
Under the Family Code, parents are obliged to give support to their illegitimate children. Rule
In the case at bar, it is undisputed that Semeul is the father of the minor children. Apply
Thus, Semuel should be required to give support the minor children. 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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