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CALDERON VS ROXAS

G.R. No. 185595, January 9, 2013


VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
FACTS:
Petitioner Ma. Carminia C. Calderon and private respondent
Jose Antonio F. Roxas, weremarried on December 4, 1985
and their union produced four hildren. On January 16,
1998,petitioner filed a complaint for the declaration of nullity
of their marriage on the ground of psychological
incapacity.While the action was pending, the trial court
granted Calderons request for support pendentlite (while
the action for nullity is pending).On May 16, 2005, the trial
court rendered its decision declaring the marriage null and
void,awarding custody of the children to the mother and
ordering Roxas to provide support to thechildren. Several
actions were raised in court, with Roxas asking for a
decrease of themonthly support while Calderon asking for an
increase in the amount and Roxas payment onhis arrears
for support.
ISSUE:
This petition is raised by Calderon not to assail the nullity of
their marriage but,rather, is premised on whether or not the
matter of support pendent lite is alreadyinterlocutory and
final
HELD:
Petitioner contends that the CA failed to recognize that the
interlocutory aspect of theassailed orders pertains only to
private respondents motion to reduce supportwhich
wasgranted, and to her own motion to increase support,
which was denied. Petitioner points outthat the ruling on
support in arrears which have remainedunpaid, as well as
her prayer for reimbursement/payment were in the nature of
final ordersassailable by ordinary appeal. SC disagrees.An
interlocutory order merely resolves incidental matters and

leaves something more to bedone to resolve the merits of


the case. In contrast, a judgment or order is considered final
if the order disposes of the action or proceeding completely,
or terminates a particular stage of the same action. Clearly,
whether an order or resolution is final or interlocutory is
notdependent on compliance or noncompliance by a party to
its directive, as what petitionersuggests.Moreover, private
respondents obligation to give monthly support in the
amount fixed by theRTC in the assailed orders may be
enforced by the court itself, as what transpired in the
earlystage of the proceedings when the court cited the
private respondent in contempt of courtand ordered him
arrested for his refusal/failure to comply with the order
granting supportpendente lite. A few years later, private
respondent filed a motion to reduce support whilepetitioner
filed her own motion to increase the same, and in addition
sought spousal supportand support in arrears. This fact
underscores the provisional character of the order
grantingsupport pendente lite.Petitioners theory that the
assailed orders have ceased to be provisional due to
thearrearages incurred by private respondent is therefore
untenable. The remedy against an interlocutory order not
subject of an appeal is an appropriate specialcivil action
under Rule 65 provided that the interlocutory order is
rendered without or inexcess of jurisdiction or with grave
abuse of discretion. Having chosen the wrong remedy in
questioning the subject interlocutory orders of the RTC,
petitioner's appeal was correctlydismissed by the CA.