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MARITAL PROPERTY

RELATIONS AND
SUCCESSION
(CLE FOR COURT ATTORNEYS)
HON. MARIA FILOMENA D. SINGH
Regional Trial Court, Branch 85, Quezon City
Professor, Ateneo de Manila School of Law
Professor, Philippine Judicial Academy

FACTS: Antonio and Consuelo wed on January 5,


1971 and had five children. The RTC declared the
marriage null and void under Article 36 and
ordered the parties to start proceedings on the
liquidation of their common properties as defined
by Article 147 of the Family Code, and to comply
with the provisions of Articles 50, 51 and 52 within
30 days from notice of the decision. On
clarification by Consuelo, the RTC issued an order
stating Considering that this Court has already
declared the marriage between petitioner and
Antonio Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon
City et al., GR No. 122749, July 31, 1996

respondent as null and void ab initio, pursuant to


Article 147, the property regime of petitioner and
respondent shall be governed by the rules on coownership. Petitioner argues that Articles 50, 51
and 52 should apply.

Antonio Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon


City et al., GR No. 122749, July 31, 1996

In a void marriage, regardless of the cause, the


property relations of the parties during the period
of cohabitation is governed by the provisions of
Article 147 or Article 148 of the Family Code.
Article 147 provides: 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.
Antonio Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon
City et al., GR No. 122749, July 31, 1996

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. For purposes of this Article,
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.
Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts
Antonio Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon
City et al., GR No. 122749, July 31, 1996

inter vivos of his or her share in the property


acquired during cohabitation and owned in
common, without the consent of the other, until
after the termination of their cohabitation.
When only one of the parties to a void marriage is
in good faith, the share of the party in bad faith in
the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their
common children or their descendants, each
vacant share shall belong to the respective
surviving descendants. In the absence of
descendants, such share shall belong to the
innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall
take place upon the termination of cohabitation.
Antonio Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon
City et al., GR No. 122749, July 31, 1996

This applies when a man and a woman, suffering


no legal impediment to marry each other,
exclusively live together as husband and wife
under a void marriage or without the benefit of
marriage.
When the common-law spouses suffer from a
legal impediment to marry or when they do not live
exclusively with each other as husband and wife,
only the property acquired by both of them
through their actual joint contribution of money,
property or industry, shall be owned in common
and in proportion to their respective contributions.
Antonio Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon
City et al., GR No. 122749, July 31, 1996

Such contributions and corresponding shares,


however, are prima facie presumed to be equal.
The share of any party who is married to another
shall accrue to the absolute community or
conjugal partnership, as the case may be, if so
existing under a valid marriage. If the party who
has acted in bad faith is not validly married to
another, his or her share shall be forfeited in the
manner alreay expressed. (Article 148)
In the liquidation and partition of property owned
in common by Antonio and Consuelo, the
provisions on co-ownership under the Civil Code,
Antonio Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon
City et al., GR No. 122749, July 31, 1996

not Articles 50, 51 and 52, in relation to Articles


102 and 129 of the Family Code, should prevail.

Antonio Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon


City et al., GR No. 122749, July 31, 1996

FACTS: Hadji, a Muslim, married Aida. After Hadji


and Aida had their 2nd child, Hadji married
Jubaida, but the latter bore him no child. When
Aida was pregnant with Hadji's 4th child, Hadji
divorced her. Then Hadji Married Nayo, but she
also did not have a child. Hadji then married
Mabai who bore him a daughter, Fatima. Hadji
also married Saaga, Mayumbai and Sabai, but he
eventually divorced all 3 of them. Hadji then
married Neng but they were childless until Hadji's
death on December 18, 1993. Neng filed a petition
with the Shari'a District Court for the settlement of
the estate of Hadji and letters of administration.
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

Hadji's eldest son by Aida opposed the petition,


later joined by the other children and wives of
Hadji. The Shari'a court ruled that Islamic law
should be applied in the distribution of the estate
of Hadji, apportioning it proportionately among the
4 wives and 5 children.
Hadji married 8 times all celebrated during the
effectivity of the Civil Code and before the
enactment of the Muslim Code. He divorced 4
times, all also before the Muslim Code. He died in
1993 when both the Family Code and the Muslim
Code were already in effect.
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

Q.1:Law governing validity of Muslim Marriages


celebrated before the Muslim Code of 1977
Since all 8 marriages of Hadji were celebrated
before the Muslim Code, the Civil Code applies.
Article 78 provides: Marriages between
Mohammedans or pagans who live in the nonChristian provinces may be performed in
accordance with their customs, rites or
practices. This recognized the right of Muslims
to contract marriage in accordance with their
customs and rites.
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

Q.2: Validity of Muslim Multiple


Celebrated before Muslim Code

Marriages

Prior to PD 1083, the Muslim Code, there was no


law in our country which sanctioned multiple
marriages. The Muslim Code provides in
respect of acts that transpired prior to its
passage: Article 186. (1) Acts executed prior to
the effectivity of this Code shall be governed by
the laws in force at the time of their execution.
This is consistent with the principle that all laws
operate prospectively.
Seeming conflict: the Civil Code nurtures
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

monogamous marriages. Thus, in People v.


Subano (73 Phil. 692 [1942]) and People v.
Dumpo (62 Phil. 246 [1935]), the SC applied the
Civil Code perspective to Muslim plural
marriages: in Subano, since the accused had 3
wives and he was accused of parricide for killing
the 3rd wife, the deceased was deemed not the
accuseds lawful wife and it prevented his
conviction for parricide. Although the practice of
polygamy is approved by custom among these
non-Christians, polygamy, however, is not
sanctioned by the Marriage Laws which merely
recognizes tribal marriage rituals.
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

In Dumpo, the ruling implied that had it been


proven as a fact that the second marriage
contained all the essential requisites to make it
valid, a conviction for bigamy would have
prospered.
Q.3: Laws governing Property Relations of Muslim
Marriages celebrated before the Muslim Code
The Civil Code determines the property relations
of the marriages between Hadji and his wives
for the reason that at the time of their
celebration, the Civil Code was the only law on
marriage relations, including property relations
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

between spouses, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.


Q.4: Laws on Succession and Dissolution of
Marital Property Regimes

Hadji died intestate in 1993. Thus, it is the Muslim


Code which should determine his heirs and the
order of intestate succession, as well as their
respective shares. Meanwhile, the status and
capacity to succeed on the part of the parties to
the marriages depends upon the law in force at
the time of the marriage rite. The status and
capacity to succeed of the children will depend
upon the law in force at the time of conception
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

or birth. Only upon determination of status and


capacity to succeed based on the foregoing will
the provisions on legal succession in the Muslim
Code apply.
Q.5: Muslim Divorces before the Muslim Code

Under RA No. 394, absolute divorce among


Muslims residing in non-Christian provinces in
accordance with Muslim custom was authorized
for 20 years, from June 18, 1949 to June 13,
1969.
Which of the several marriages was validly and
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

legally existing at the time of the opening of the


succession of Hadji in 1993? It would be that
marriage which was celebrated at a time when
there was no other subsisting marriage standing
undissolved by a valid divorce or by death. This
is because the Civil Code governs all the 8
marriages and under it, only one marriage can
exist at any given time. Now whether or not the
marriage was validly dissolved by Muslim
divorce depends upon the time frame and
applicable law. If it took place between June 18,
1949 to June 13, 1969, it is valid under RA 394.
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

There being a dispute as regards the heirship of


the 5 children from different marriages, who are
legitimate and who are illegitimate? The children
conceived and born of a validly existing
marriage, as determined based on which
marriage was valid, are legitimate.
What properties constitute the estate of Hadji at
the time of his death on December 18, 1993? (a)
Properties acquired during the existence of a
valid marriage are conjugal properties and
should be liquidated and divided between the
spouses under the Muslim Code, which was the
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

law in force at the time of Hadjis death; (b)


properties acquired under the conditions
prescribed in Article 144 of the Civil Code
between August 30, 1950 and August 2, 1988
are conjugal properties and should be liquidated
and divided between the spouses under the
Muslim Code. However the wives other than the
lawful wife may submit evidence to prove that
any such property is hers/theirs exclusively; (c)
properties acquired under the conditions in
Article 147 and 148 of the Family Code from ad
after August 3, 1988 are governed by the rules
on co-ownership; and (d) properties acquired
Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,
GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

Under conditions not covered and obtained


exclusively from the efforts or assets of Hadji
are his exclusive properties.
Who are the legal heirs of Hadji and what are their
shares? The legal heirs of Hadji are: his lawful
wife; and, his children. The Muslim Code, which
was already in force at the time of Hadjis death,
will determine their shares.
The case was remanded
additional evidence.

for

reception

of

Neng Malang v. Hon. Corocoy Moson, et al.,


GR No. 119064, August 22, 2000

FACTS: On February 22, 1937, Lorenzo and


Paula married. Lorenzo left for the US and
Paula stayed in the conjugal abode in
Camarines Sur. On November 30, 1943,
Lorenzo became a US citizen. In 1945, Lorenzo
visited Paula only to discover she was pregnant
and living in with his own brother. Lorenzo could
not forgive Paula and refused to live with her.
They executed an agreement that they will
terminate
their
marriage
with
judicial
proceedings, all allowances for Paula will be
suspended, Lorenzo will not prosecute Paula
since she admitted fault and agreed to separate
Paula T. Llorente v. Court of Appeals, et al.,
GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000

peacefully. Lorenzo returned to the US and in


1951 obtained a divorce which became final in
1952. Lorenzo then returned to the Philippines.
In 1958, he married Alicia and they remained
married until 1985 when he died. They begot 3
children. In 1981, Lorenzo made a will wherein
he left all his properties to Alicia and their 3
children and he named Alicia as his sole
executor, and in her default, any of their 3
children. The will was probated during Lorenzos
lifetime but before an administrator could be
appointed, he passed away. Paula sought
letters of administration over Lorenzos estate.
Paula T. Llorente v. Court of Appeals, et al.,
GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000

The trial court found the divorce decree obtained


by Lorenzo in the US to be invalid and hence his
marriage to Alicia also void. The will of Lorenzo
was also declared invalid as it deprived Paula,
the legal wife, of her legitime. The Court of
Appeals modified the RTC decision only to
declare Alicia a co-owner of properties she and
Lorenzo acquired during their 25 years of
cohabitation.
Q: Who are entitled to inherit from Lorenzo?

Paula T. Llorente v. Court of Appeals, et al.,


GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000

Lorenzo was a US citizen at the time of his


divorce from Paula, marriage to Alicia, execution
of his will, and death. Thus, all issues arising
from these incidents are governed by foreign
law, not Philippine law. Article 15 of the Civil
Code: Laws relating to family rights and duties,
or to the status, condition and legal capacity of
persons are binding upon citizens of the
Philippines even though living abroad. Article
16: Real property as well as personal property
is subject to the law of the country where it is
situated. However, intestate and testamentary
succession, both with respect to the order of
Paula T. Llorente v. Court of Appeals, et al.,
GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000

succession and to the amount of successional


rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary
provisions, shall be regulated by the national
law of the person whose succession is under
consideration, whatever may be the nature of
the property and regardless of the country
wherein said property may be found. True
foreign laws do not prove themselves and our
courts are not authorized to take judicial notice
of them. They must be alleged and proved. The
hasty application of Philippine law and the
complete disregard of the will, already probated
as duly executed in accordance with the
Paula T. Llorente v. Court of Appeals, et al.,
GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000

formalities of Philippine law, is fatal.


In Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. (139 SCRA 139
[1985]), we held that owing to the nationality
principle in Article 15, only Philippine nationals
are covered by the policy against absolute
divorces, the same being considered contrary to
public policy and morality. The Sc rued there
that aliens may obtain a divorce abroad
provided they are valid according to their
national law. In Quita v. Court of Appeals (300
SCRA 406 [1998]), it was held that once a party
is proven to be no longer a Filipino citizen when
Paula T. Llorente v. Court of Appeals, et al.,
GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000

the divorce is obtained, Van Dorn will apply. Thus


the divorce obtained by Lorenzo from Paula was
valid and recognized here as a matter of comity.
Q: Was Lorenzos will valid?
Article 17: The forms and solemnities of
contracts, wills and other public instruments
shall be governed by the laws of the country in
which they are executed.

The clear intent of Lorenzos will is to bequeath


his property to his second wife Alicia and their 3
children. We should not frustrate his wishes as
Paula T. Llorente v. Court of Appeals, et al.,
GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000

he was a foreigner not covered by our laws on


family rights and duties, status, condition and
legal capacity.
Whether the will was intrinsically valid and who
shall inherit from Lorenzo are best proved by
foreign law which must be pleaded and proved.
But as to whether the will was executed with the
formalities required is answered by referring to
Philippine law and in fact, the will was duly
probated.
Case remanded for reception of proof of foreign
law.
Paula T. Llorente v. Court of Appeals, et al.,
GR No. 124371, November 23, 2000

FACTS: Jose Balilo owned a 7.7 hectare parcel of


land. In 1943 he died intestate. Niniana, the
sister of Jose, filed for guardianship of the
person and property of Jovencio, the son of
Jose, asking for authority to execute a deed of
sale over the property in favor of Septimo. The
court granted the authotity and the sale was
executed. Septimo, however, failed to register
the sale and to have title transferred to him.
Jovencio sued to compel Septimo to resell the
land to him. The complaint was dismissed.
Purificacion, sister of Jovencio, filed a suit for
recovery of possession against Septimo and the
Purificacion Balilo-Montero et al. v. Eugenia
Septimo, et al., GR No. 149751, March 11, 2005

the Robles who purchased a portion of the land


from Septimo. The RTC granted the prayer for
the recovery of the land and ordered Septimo to
return to Purificacion of the subject land. The
Court of Appeals modified the judgment by
finding that Purificacion was entitled to only 1/3
under the old Civil Code.
There is no evidence that Jose Balilo and Juana
Villarama (the mother of Jovencio) were married
or that they cohabited as husband and wife. The
provisions of the old Civil Code on intestate
succession should be applied considering that
Purificacion Balilo-Montero et al. v. Eugenia
Septimo, et al., GR No. 149751, March 11, 2005

Jose died intestate in 1943 before the new Civil


Code. Article 931 of the old Civil Code provides
that when a person dies intestate, his legitimate
children and their descendants succeed him,
without distinction of sex, age, even though they
spring from different marriages. Article 932
provides that the children of the deceased shall
always inherit from him in their own right,
dividing the inheritance in equal shares.
When Jose died intestate on August 12, 1943, he
was survived by his daughter Purificacion, his
son Jovencio, and their respective mothers,
Purificacion Balilo-Montero et al. v. Eugenia
Septimo, et al., GR No. 149751, March 11, 2005

neither of whom was legally married to Jose.


Besides under the old Civil Code, the surviving
spouse shall inherit only in default of children.
When Jovencio through his legal guardian Niniana
executed the deed of sale in favor of Septimo,
the latter did not acquire title over the entire
property but only to the undivided portion
which Jovencio inherited from Jose. Septimo
could not have acquired the other half from
Jovencio because the latter was not the owner
thereof.
CA reversed. RTC upheld.
Purificacion Balilo-Montero et al. v. Eugenia
Septimo, et al., GR No. 149751, March 11, 2005

FACTS: Nicholson and Florencia were married in


1985. During the marriage, Florencia bought a
lot in Makati City, and title was issued in the
name of Florencia married to Nicholson. In
1994, Florencia filed for nullity of her marriage to
Nicholson and in 1995, her petition was granted
on the ground of psychological incapacity. The
RTC ordered the dissolution ad liquidation of the
conjugal property. No liquidation was effected.
In 1997, Florencia obtained loans from
Metrobank and offered the property as collateral
covered by a mortgage. Upon Florencias
default, Metrobank foreclosed. Nicholson sued
Metrobank v. Nicholson Pascual, GR No.
163744, February 29, 2008

to annul the mortgage. The RTC nullified the real


estate mortgage, ruling that the lot was conjugal
property and should not have been encumbered
without Nicholsons consent. The Court of
Appeals affirmed the RTC but deleted the award
of moral damages and attorneys fees.
While Metrobank is correct in saying that Article
160 of the civil Code, not Article 116 of the
Family Code, is applicable since the property
was acquired prior to the enactment of the
Family Code, contrary to its submission, only
proof of acquisition during the marriage is
Metrobank v. Nicholson Pascual, GR No.
163744, February 29, 2008

needed to raise the presumption that the property


is conjugal. Indeed, if proof on the use of
conjugal is still required as a necessary
condition before the presumption arises, then
the legal presumption set forth in the law would
be a superfluity. As we stressed in Castro v.
Miat (397 SCRA 271 [2003]), Petitioners also
overlook Article 160 of the New Civil Code. It
provides that all property of the marriage is
presumed to be conjugal partnership, unless it
be proven that it pertains exclusively to the
husband or the wife. This article does not
require proof that the property was acquired with
Metrobank v. Nicholson Pascual, GR No.
163744, February 29, 2008

funds of the partnership. The presumption applies


even when the manner in which the property
was acquired does not appear.
When there is no showing when the property was
acquired by the spouse, the fact that a title is in
the name of the spouse is an indication that the
property belongs exclusively to said spouse.
The title in this case was in the name of
Florencia married to Nicholson.
While the declared nullity of marriage of Florencia
and Nicholson severed their marital bond and
dissolved the conjugal partnerhsip, the
Metrobank v. Nicholson Pascual, GR No.
163744, February 29, 2008

character of the properties acquired before such


declaration continues to subsist as conjugal until
and after the liquidation and partition of the
partnership, regardless if Article 129 of the
Family Code or Articles 179 et seq of the Civil
Code is applied as both require first the
liquidation of the conjugal properties. In Dael v.
IAC (171 SCRA 524 [1989]), we ruled that
pending its liquidation following its dissolution,
the conjugal partnership of gains is converted
into an implied ordinary co-ownership among
the surviving spouse and the other heirs of the
deceased. Article 493 of the Civil Code applies.
Metrobank v. Nicholson Pascual, GR No.
163744, February 29, 2008

Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of


his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining
thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign
or mortgage it, and even substitute another
person in its enjoyment, except when personal
rights are involved. But the effect of the
alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the
co-owners, shall be limited to the portion which
may be allotted to him in the division upon the
termination of the co-ownership.
Florencia constituted the mortgage in 1997, 2
years after the dissolution of the conjugal
Metrobank v. Nicholson Pascual, GR No.
163744, February 29, 2008

partnership but before its liquidation. Under Article


493, Florencia had the right to mortgage or even
sell her undivided interest even without
Nicholsons consent. However, Metrobank, as
mortgagee, is limited only to the undivided
share of Florencia. The mortgage in so far as it
also covered the undivided portion of
Nicholson is null and void, the latter not having
consented to it. As owner pro indiviso of a
portion of the lot, Metrobank may ask for the
partition of the lot.

Metrobank v. Nicholson Pascual, GR No.


163744, February 29, 2008

FACTS: Cristina was married to Federico. Their


only son Emilio predeceased them. Emilio was
married to Isabel and they begot 3 children,
Isabel, Margarita and Emilio II. The marriage
between Emilio and Isabel was annulled. Emilio
had 2 children out of wedlock, Emilio III and
Nenita, with different mothers. Both Emilio III
and Nenita were acknowledged natural children
of Emilio and they were reared by and lived from
infancy with their grandparents, Cristina and
Federico. The 3 children of Emilio lived with
their mother, apart from Cristina and Federico.
On June 4, 1990, Cristina died. In 1993,
Intestate Estate of Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay,
GR No. 183053, June 16, 2010

Federico adopted Emilio III and Nenita as his own.


Isabel, daughter of Emilio and Isabel, filed for
letters of administration over her grandmothers
estate, which Federico opposed. Emilio III also
opposed the petition. In November 2000,
Federico died. The RTC appointed Emilio III as
the administrator of Cristinas estate. The CA
reversed the RTC and instead appointed Isabel
as the administratrix of Cristinas estate.
The underlying philosophy of our law on intestate
succession is to give preference to the wishes
and presumed will of the decedent, absent a
Intestate Estate of Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay,
GR No. 183053, June 16, 2010

valid and effective will.


Rule 78, Section 6 established the order of
preference in the appointment of an
administrator of an estate. However, the order of
preference is not absolute for it depends on the
attendant facts. Jurisprudence has long held
that the selection of an administrator lies in the
sound discretion of the trial court. Considering
the conflicting claims of the putative heirs, and
the unliquidated conjugal partnership of Cristina
and Federico which forms part of their
respective estates, we are impelled to move in
Intestate Estate of Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay,
GR No. 183053, June 16, 2010

only one direction, i.e., joint administration.


Article 992, the successional bar between
legitimate and illegitimate relatives of a
decedent. The basis for intestate succession,
i.e., that love first descends, then ascends
before spreading sideways. Cristina did not
distinguish between her legitimate and
illegitimate grandchildren. Neither did her
husband Federico who even raised the status of
Emilio III and Nenita as his own children by
adoption.
These
overthrow
the
legal
presumption in Article 992 that there exists
Intestate Estate of Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay,
GR No. 183053, June 16, 2010

animosity and antagonism between legitimate and


illegitimate descendants of a deceased.
CA reversed and letters of administration issued
jointly to Emilio III and Isabel. Case remanded to
RTC for determination of who are Cristinas
heirs and their shares in the estate.

Intestate Estate of Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay,


GR No. 183053, June 16, 2010

FACTS: Alain and Caridad started living together


in 1984 until they separated in 1994 but in 1996
they reunited and lived together again until they
were married in 1998. In 2001, Alain filed for
nullity and a decree was issued to him in 2006.
In the meantime, Caridad secured a divorce in
the US in 2001 and in the same year, married
again. The RTC granted the nullity but the
decree shall be issued only after liquidation,
partition and dissolution under Article 147 of the
Family Code.
Q: Whether Article 147 applies?
Alain M. Dio v. Ma. Caridad L. Dio, GR No.
178044, January 19, 2011

In a void marriage, regardless of its cause, the


property relations of the parties during the
period of cohabitation is governed either by
Article 147 or Article 148 of the Family Code.
Article 147 applies to union of parties who are
legally capacitated and not barred by any
impediment to contract marriage, but whose
marriage is nonetheless void. The elements for
Article 147 to apply: (1) The man and woman
must be capacitated to marry each other; (2)
they live exclusively with each other as husband
and wife; and (3) Their union is without the
benefit of marriage, or their marriage is void.
Alain M. Dio v. Ma. Caridad L. Dio, GR No.
178044, January 19, 2011

All these elements are present here. Article 147


applies. The trial court relied on Section 19(1) of
the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of
Null Marriages and Annulment of Voidable
Marriages: Sec. 19. Decision. (1) If the court
renders a decision granting the petition, it shall
declare therein that the decree of absolute
nullity or decree of annulment shall be issued by
the court only after compliance with Articles 50
and 51 of the Family Code. It is clear from
Article 50 that Section 19 (1) applies only to
marriages which are declared void ab initio or
annulled by final judgment under articles 40 and
Alain M. Dio v. Ma. Caridad L. Dio, GR No.
178044, January 19, 2011

45 of the Family Code. Article 50 does not apply


to marriages which are declared void ab initio
under Article 36, which should be declared void
without waiting for the liquidation of the
properties of the parties. Under Articles 40 and
45, the marriages are governed by either
absolute community of property or conjugal
partnership of gains. There is thus a need to
liquidate, partition and distribute the properties
before a decree could be issued. This is not the
case for nullity under Article 36 because the
marriage is governed by the rules on coownership.
Alain M. Dio v. Ma. Caridad L. Dio, GR No.
178044, January 19, 2011

FACTS: In 1976, Gaviola sold 2 parcels of land to


Protacio, Jr. 23 years later, Protacio, Jr.
executed an Affidavit of Renunciation and
Waiver stating it was his father, Protacio, Sr.,
not him, who executed the sale. In 1987, Marta
Barola, Protacio, Sr.s wife, died. In 1999,
Protacio, Sr. and his son Rito sold a portion of
the property to Servacio. In 2001, the heirs of
Protacio, Sr. and Marta demanded from Sevacio
the return of the property sold in 1999. A suit
was filed to annul such sale. The RTC held that
the lot was the conjugal property of Protacio, Sr.
Heirs of Protacio Go, Sr. and Marta Barola v.
Ester Servacio, et al., GR No. 157537,
September 7, 2011

and Marta but upheld the validity of the sale as


long as the portion alienated will not be allotted
to the other heirs in the final partition.
Protacio, Sr. and Marta were married prior to the
Family Code. Their property relation is properly
characterized as conjugal partnership of gains
under the Civil Code. Upon Martas death in
1987, the conjugal partnership was dissolved
and an implied voluntary co-ownership ensued
among Protacio, Sr. and the other heirs of Marta
with respect to her share in the assets of the
conjugal partnership pending liquidation.
Heirs of Protacio Go, Sr. and Marta Barola v.
Ester Servacio, et al., GR No. 157537,
September 7, 2011

Article 493 applies. Protacio, Sr., although


becoming a co-owner with his children in
respect of Martas share without an actual
partition of property being done by agreement or
judicial decree. Until then, all that he had was an
ideal or abstract quota in Martas share.
Nonetheless a co-owner could well sell his
undivided share. Hence Protacio, Sr. had the
right to freely sell and dispose of his undivided
interest, but not the interest of his co-owners.
The sale without the consent of the co-owners
was not necessarily void for the rights of the
selling co-owners were thereby effectively
Heirs of Protacio Go, Sr. and Marta Barola v.
Ester Servacio, et al., GR No. 157537,
September 7, 2011

transferred, making the buyer Servacio a coowner of Martas share. Article 105 of the Family
Code expressly provides that the applicability of
the rules on dissolution of the conjugal
partnership is without prejudice to vested rights
already acquired in accordance with the Civil
Code or other laws.
The RTC decision was affirmed.

Heirs of Protacio Go, Sr. and Marta Barola v.


Ester Servacio, et al., GR No. 157537,
September 7, 2011

Thank You!