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A SURVEY OF RECENT JURISPRUDENCE IN

PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS

Abortion

The Reproductive Health Law does not sanction the taking away of life. It does not allow abortion
in any shape or form. It only seeks to enhance the population control program of the government by
providing information and making non-abortifacient contraceptives more readily available to the public,
especially to the poor. (Imbong vs. Ochoa, Jr., GR No. 204819, April 8, 2014)

Absolute Community of Property

Actual contribution is not relevant in determining whether a piece of property is community


property for the law itself defines what constitutes community property. (Nobleza vs. Nuega, GR No. 193038,
March 11, 2015)

The grant of the judicial separation of the absolute community property automatically dissolves
the absolute community regime, as stated in the 4th paragraph of Article 99 of the Family Code. Under
Article 102 of the same Code, liquidation follows the dissolution of the absolute community regime
subject to specific procedures. (Noveras vs. Noveras, GR No. 188289, August 20, 2014)

When a couple enters into a regime of absolute community, the husband and the wife becomes
joint owners of all the properties of the marriage. Whatever property each spouse brings into the
marriage, and those acquired during the marriage (except those excluded under Article 92 of the Family
Code) form the common mass of the couples properties. Under Article 102 of the Family Code, upon
dissolution of marriage, an inventory is prepared, listing separately all the properties of the absolute
community and the exclusive properties of each; then the debts and obligations of the absolute
community are paid out of the absolute communitys assets and if the communitys properties are
insufficient, the separate properties of each of the couple will be solidarily liable for the unpaid balance.
(Quiao vs. Quiao, GR No. 176556, July 4, 2012)

Conjugal Partnerships

Under the family Code, if the properties are acquired during the marriage, the presumption is
that they are conjugal.

The applicable law insofar as the liquidation of the conjugal partnership assets and liability is
concerned, is Article 129 of the Family Code in relation to Article 147 of the Family Code.

The Supreme Court held that in a void marriage, as in those declared void under Article 36 of the
Family Code, the property relations of the parties during the period of cohabitation is governed either by
Article 147 or 148 of the Family Code.

A party who did not participate in the acquisition of the property shall be governed as having
contributed to the same jointly if said partys efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family
household.

All properties acquired by the spouse during the marriage, regardless in whose name the
properties are registered, are presumed conjugal unless proved otherwise. The presumption is not
rebutted by the mere fact that the certificate of title of the property or the tax declaration is in the name
of one (1) of the spouses only. (Ocampo vs. Ocampo, GR No. 198908, August 3, 2015)

All property of the marriage is presumed to be conjugal, unless it is shown that it is owned
exclusively by the husband or the wife, that this presumption is not overcome by the fact that the
property is registered in the name of the husband or the wife alone; and that the consent of both
spouses is required before a conjugal property may be mortgaged. (Lim vs. Equitable PCI Bank now known as
the Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc., GR No. 183918, January 15, 2014)

In Heirs of Christina Ayuste v. Court of Appeals, 313 SCRA 493 (1999) , the Supreme Court has
held that the sale of real property of the conjugal partnership by the husband without the consent of his
wife is voidable. (Mendoza vs. Fermin, GR No. 177235, July 7, 2014)

Considering that Atty. Luna and Eugenia had not entered into any marriage settlement prior to
their marriage on September 10, 1947, the system of relative community or conjugal partnership of gains
governed their property relations. (Lavadia vs. Heirs of Juan Luces Luna, GR No. 171914, July 23, 2014)
All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be
proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife. (Tan vs. Andrade, GR No. 171904, August 7,
2013)

Abandonment of the conjugal home is not one of the grounds for the nullity of marriage under
the Family Code; On the other hand, sexual infidelity is not a valid ground for the nullity of marriage
under Article 36 of the Family Code. (Republic vs. Court of Appeals, GR No. 159594, November 12, 2012)

Pursuant to Article 160 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, all property of the marriage is
presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the
husband or to the wife. (Dela Pea vs. Avila, GR No. 187490, February 8, 2012)

When a couple enters into a regime of conjugal partnership of gains under Article 142 of the Civil
Code, the husband and the wife place in common fund the fruits of their separate property and income
from their work or industry, and divide equally, upon the dissolution of the marriage or of the
partnership, the net gains or benefits obtained indiscriminately by either spouse during the marriage.
(Pana vs. Heirs of Jose Juanite, Sr., GR No. 164201, December 10, 2012)

Adoption

The alien adopter can jointly adopt a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity
of his/her Filipino spouse, and the certification of the aliens qualification to adopt is waived . (Nery vs.
Sampana, AC No. 10196, September 9, 2014)

The law on adoption requires that the adoption by the father or a child born out of wedlock
obtain not only the consent of his wife but also the consent of his legitimate children. As a general rule,
the husband and wife must file a joint petition for adoption; The law provides for several exceptions to
the general rule, as in a situation where a spouse seeks to adopt his or her own children born out of
wedlock. Personal service of summons should have been effected on the spouse and all legitimate
children to ensure that their substantive rights are protected. Republic Act (RA) No. 8552 fails to provide
any provision on the status of adoption decrees if the adoption is found to have been obtained
fraudulently. (Castro vs. Gregorio, GR No. 188801, October 15, 2014)

It is apparent that the biological parents retain their rights of succession to the estate of their
child who was the subject of adoption. (Bartolome vs. Social Security System, GR No. 192531, November 12,
2014)
Bigamous Marriages

The crime of bigamy does not necessarily entail the joint liability of two (2) persons who marry
each other while the previous marriage of one (1) of them is valid and subsisting.

The second spouse, if indicted in the crime of bigamy, is liable only as an accomplice.

Jurisprudence clearly requires that for the accused to be convicted of bigamy, the second or
subsequent marriage must have all the essential requisites for validity.

It is a basic concept of justice that no court will lend its aid to x x x one who has consciously
and voluntarily become a party to an illegal act upon which the cause of action is founded.

No less than the present Constitution provides that marriage, as an inviolable social institution,
is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State. (Santiago vs. People, GR No. 200233,
July 15, 2015)

Marriage contracted prior to the valid termination of subsisting marriage are generally considered
bigamous and void. (Santos vs. Santos, GR No. 187061, October 8, 2014)

Parties to the marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same
must be submitted to the judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so
declared can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration, the presumption is that the
marriage exists. Since a marriage contracted during the subsistence of a valid marriage is automatically
void, the nullity of this second marriage is not per se an argument for the avoidance of criminal liability
for bigamy. (Lasanas vs People, GR No. 159031, June 23, 2014)

Change of Name

Under Section 1 of Republic Act No. 9048, clerical or typographical errors on entries in a civil
register can be corrected and changes of first name can be done by the concerned city civil registrar
without need of a judicial order. The remedy and the proceedings regulating change of first name are
primarily administrative in nature, not judicial; The law removed from the ambit of Rule 108 of the Rules
of Court the correction of clerical or typographical errors. (Onde vs. Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Las
Pias City, GR No. 197174, September 10, 2014)

A person can effect a change of name under Rule 103 using valid and meritorious grounds.
Changes which may affect the civil status from legitimate to illegitimate are substantial and controversial
alteration which can only be allowed after appropriate adversary proceedings. (Republic vs. Coseteng-
Magpayo, GR No. 189476, February 2, 2011)

In petitions for change of name, a person avails of a remedy to alter the designation by which
he is known and called in the community in which he lives and is best known; Judicial permission for
change of name aims to prevent fraud and to ensure a record of the change by virtue of a court decree.
(Republic vs. Mercadera, GR No. 186027, December 8, 2010)

Child Custody

Since it is extant from the pleadings filed that what is involved is the issue of child custody and
the exercise of parental rights over a child, who, for all intents and purposes, has been legally considered
a ward of the State, the Amparo Rule cannot be properly applied. (Caram vs. Segui, GR No. 193652, August
5, 2014)
Sole parental custody of a child less than seven years old-The relevant Philippine law on child
custody for spouses separated in fact or in law is that no child under seven years of age shall be
separated from the mother; This is mandatory grounded on sound policy of consideration; Agreements
object to establish a post-divorce joint custody regime between respondent and petitioner over their child
under seven years old contravenes Philippine Law. (Dacasin vs. Dacasin, GR No. 168785, February 5, 2010)

Declaration of Presumptive Death

The well-founded belief in the absentees death requires the present spouse to prove that his/her
belief was the result of diligent and reasonable efforts to locate the absent spouse and that based on
these efforts and inquiries, he/she believes that under the circumstances, the absent spouse is already
dead. (Republic vs. Orcelino-Villanueva, GR No. 210929, July 29, 2015)

The Family Code Provides that it is the proof of absence of a spouse for four (4) consecutive
years, coupled with a well-founded belief by the present spouse that the absent spouse is already dead,
that constitute a justification for a second marriage during the subsistence of another marriage. The filing
of an affidavit of reappearance is an admission on the part of the first spouse that his or her marriage to
the present spouse was terminated when he or she was declared absent or presumptively dead. When
subsequent marriages are contracted after a judicial declaration of presumptive death, a presumption
arises that the first spouse is already dead and that the second marriage is legal. Mere reappearance will
not terminate the subsequent marriage even if the parties to the subsequent marriage were notified if
there was no step taken to terminate the subsequent marriage, either by filing and affidavit of
reappearance or by court action. A bigamous subsequent marriage may be considered valid when the
following are present: 1) The prior spouse had been absent for four (4) consecutive years; 2) The spouse
present has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead; 3) there must be a summary
proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of the absent spouse; and 4) There is a court
declaration of presumptive death of the absent spouse. Marriages contracted prior to the valid
termination of a subsisting marriage are generally considered bigamous and void. A subsequent marriage
may also be terminated by filing an action in court to prove the reappearance of the absentee and
obtain a declaration of dissolution or termination of the subsequent marriage. Since an undisturbed
subsequent marriage under Article 42 of the Family Code is valid until terminated, the children of such
marriage shall be considered legitimate, and the property relations of the spouse[s] in such marriage will
be the same as in valid marriages. (Santos vs. Santos, GR No. 187061, October 8, 2014)

The Family Code was explicit that the courts judgment in summary proceedings, such as the
declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family Code, shall be
immediately final and executory. (Republic vs. Cantor, GR No. 184621, December 10, 2013)

Recognition of Foreign Divorce

Divorce between Filipinos has remained unrecognized even under the Family Code of the
Philippines. (Social Security Commission vs. Azote, GR No. 209741, April 15, 2015)

The nonrecognition of absolute divorce between Filipinos has remained even under the Family
Code, even if either or both of the spouses are residing abroad. The nonrecognition of absolute divorce in
the Philippines is a manifestation of the respect for the sanctity of the marital union especially among
Filipino citizens. (Lavadia vs. Heirs of Juan Luces Luna, GR No. 171914, July 23, 2014)

Absent a valid recognition of the divorce decree, it follows that the parties are still legally married
in the Philippines. (Noveras vs. Noveras, GR No. 188289, August 20, 2014)
Because our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign laws and judgment, our law on evidence
requires that both the divorce decree and the national law of the alien must be alleged and proven and
like any other fact. (Ando vs. Department of Foreign Affairs, GR No. 195432, August 27, 2014)

Article 26 of the Family Code confers jurisdiction on Philippine courts to extend the effect of a
foreign divorce decree to a Filipino spouse without undergoing trial to determine the validity of the
dissolution of the marriage. The principle of Article 26 of the Family Code applies in a marriage between a
Filipino and a foreign citizen who obtains a foreign judgment nullifying the marriage on the ground of
bigamy; If the foreign judgment is not recognized in the Philippines, the Filipino spouse will be
discriminated the foreign spouse can remarry while the Filipino spouse cannot remarry. Bigamy, as a
ground for nullity of marriage, is fully consistent with Philippine public policy as expressed in Article 35(4)
of the Family Code and Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code. While the Philippines does not have a
divorce law, Philippine courts may, however, recognize a foreign divorce decree under the second
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, to capacitate a Filipino citizen to remarry when his or her
foreign spouse obtained a divorce decree abroad. (Fujiki vs. Marinay, GR No. 196049, June 26, 2013)

The Supreme Court has consistently held that a judicial declaration of nullity is required before a
valid subsequent marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a bigamous marriage, which is
void from the beginning as provided in Article 35(4) of the Family Code of the Philippines. (Iwasawa vs.
Gangan, GR No. 204169, September 11, 2013)

Under the principles of comity, our jurisdiction recognizes a valid divorce obtained by a spouse of
foreign nationality provided it is valid according to his/her national law. A divorce obtained abroad is
proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. The
decree purports to be a written act or record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign country.
(Vda. De Catalan vs. Catalan-Lee, GR No. 183622, February 8, 2012)

Family Code

No prescribed form or religious rite for the solemnization of marriage is required. (Romulo vs.
People, GR No. 182438, July 2, 2014)

The Family Code expressly banned the infliction of corporal punishment by a school
administrator, teacher or individual engaged in a child care exercising special parental authority (i.e., in
loco parentis). (Rosaldes vs. People, GR No. 173988, October 8, 2014)

View that whether or not one has a well-founded belief that his or her spouse is dead depends
on the unique circumstances of each case and that there is no set standard or procedure in determining
the same. (Republic vs. Cantor, GR No. 184621, December 10, 2013)

The Supreme Court is mindful of the policy of the 1987 Constitution to protect and strengthen
the family as the basic autonomous social institution and marriage as the foundation of the family. Thus,
any doubt should be resolved in favor of the validity of the marriage. (Mendoza vs. Republic, GR No. 157649,
November 12, 2012)

View that co-ownership only arises when there is clear proof showing the acquisition of the
property during the cohabitation of the parties, and the actual joint contribution of the parties to acquire
the same. (Lacbayan vs. Samoy, 645 SCRA 677. GR No. 165427, March 21, 2011)

View that mere cohabitation under Article 148 of the Family Code, without proof of contribution,
will not result in a co-ownership-proof of actual contribution must be established by clear evidence
showing that the party either used his or her own money or that he or she actually contributed his or her
own money to purchase the property. In a void marriage, any interested party may attack the marriage
directly or collaterally without prescription, which may be filed even beyond the lifetime of the parties to
the marriage. (Juliano-Llave vs. Republic, GR No. 169766, March 30, 2011)

Any disposition of the conjugal property after the dissolution of the conjugal partnership must be
made only after the liquidation; otherwise the disposition is void. (Heirs of Protacio Go, Sr. and Marta Barola
vs. Servacio, GR No. 157537, September 7, 2011)

Article 13(2) of the Code of Muslim Personal Laws states that [i]n case of a marriage between a
Muslim and a non-Muslim, solemnized not in accordance with Muslim law or this Code, the [Family Code
of the Philippines, or Executive Order No. 209, in lieu of the Civil Code of the Philippines] shall apply.
(Nollora, Jr. vs. People, GR No. 191425, September 7, 2011)

Psychological Incapacity

Psychological incapacity as a ground for nullity of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code
refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even prior to the celebration of the marriage that
is permanent as to deprive the party of the awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the
matrimonial bond he or she was about to assume.

The fulfillment of the constitutional mandate for the State to protect marriage as an inviolable
social institution only relates to a valid marriage. No protection can be accorded to a marriage that is null
and void ab initio, because such a marriage has no legal existence.

The parties own desire to dissolve their marriage is not a determining factor in assessing the
existence of a ground for annulment or declaration of nullity. (Kalaw vs. Fernandez, GR No. 166357, January
14, 2015)

Psychological incapacity, as a ground to nullify a marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code,
should refer to no less than a mental not merely physical incapacity that causes a party to be truly
incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concominantly must be assumed and discharged by the
parties to the marriage which, as so expressed in Article 68 of the Family Code, among others, include
their mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and support.
(Mallilin vs. Jamesolamin, GR No. 192718, February 18, 2015)

The Supreme Court, in Dedel vs. Court of Appeals, 421 SCRA 461 (2004) , held that therein
respondents emotional immaturity and irresponsibility could not be equated with psychological incapacity
as it was not shown that these acts are manifestations of a disordered personality which make her
completely unable to discharge the essential marital obligations of the marital state, not merely due to
her youth, immaturity or sexual promiscuity. Although expert opinions furnished by psychologists
regarding the psychological temperament of parties are usually given considerable weight by the courts,
the existence of psychological incapacity must still be proven by independent evidence. Psychological
incapacity refers only to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter
insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. (Republic vs. De Gracia, GR No.
171557, February 12, 2014)

Sexual infidelity and abandonment of the conjugal dwelling, even if true, do not necessarily
constitute psychological incapacity, these are simply grounds for legal separation. Aside from the time
element involved, a wifes psychological fitness as a spouse cannot simply be equated with her
professional/work relationship; workplace obligations and responsibilities are poles apart from their
marital counterparts. (Republic vs. Encelan, GR No. 170022, January 9, 2013)

By the very nature of cases involving the application of Article 36 of the Family Code, it is logical
and understandable to give weight to the expert opinions furnished by psychologists regarding the
psychological temperament of parties in order to determine the root cause, juridical antecedence, gravity
and incurability of the psychological incapacity. (Mendoza vs. Republic, GR No. 157649, November 12, 2012)

In annulment of marriage cases, the investigation report of the prosecutor is a condition sine qua
non for the setting of pre-trial. (Office of the Court Administrator vs. Aquino, AM No. RTJ-10-2244, November 28,
2012)

The phrase psychological incapacity is not meant to comprehend all possible cases of
psychoses-it refers to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly
noncognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the
parties to the marriage which, as expressed by Article 68 of the Family Code, include their mutual
obligations to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and support. Psychological
incapacity is the downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and to assume the basic marital
obligations; The burden of proving psychological incapacity is on the plaintiff; The psychological problem
must be grave, must have existed at the time of marriage, and must be incurable. (Kalaw vs. Fernandez, GR
No. 166357, September 19, 2011)

Psychological incapacity must be more than just a difficulty, a refusal, or a neglect in the
performance of some marital obligations-an unsatisfactory marriage is not a null and void marriage.
(Baccay vs. Baccay, GR No. 173138, December 1, 2010)

The supposed personality disorder of the parties, considering that such diagnoses were made,
could have been fully established by psychometric and neurological test which are designed to measure
specific aspects of peoples intelligence, thinking, or personality. A judge should not substitute his own
psychological assessment of the parties for that of the psychologist or the psychiatrist. The probative
force of the testimony of an expert does not lie in a mere statement of his theory or opinion but rather in
the assistance that he can render to the courts in showing the facts that serve as a basis for his criterion
and the reasons upon which the logic of his conclusion is founded. (Lim vs. Sta. Cruz-Lim, GR No. 176464,
February 4, 2010)

Illegitimate Children

The general rule is that an illegitimate shall use the surname of his or her mother. The exception
provided by RA No. 9255 is, in case his or her filiation is expressly recognized by the father through the
record of birth appearing in the civil register or when an admission in a public document or private
handwritten instrument is made by the father. Parental authority over minor children is lodged by Art.
176 on the mother. Since parental authority is given to the mother, then custody over the minor children
also goes to the mother, unless she is shown to be unfit. As an acknowledged illegitimate child is under
no compulsion to use the surname of his illegitimate father. On the matter of childrens surname, the
Supreme Court has, time and again, rebuffed the idea that the use of the fathers surname serves the
best interest of the minor child. (Grande vs. Antonio, GR No. 206248, February 18, 2014)

Legal Personality

It was Mary Gine, the common-law wife of Camilo, who is the complainant in the case. As a mere
common-law wife of Camilo, she is not considered a legal heir of the latter, and hence, has no legal
personality to institute the action for damages due to Camilos death. (Cagayan II Electric Cooperatives, Inc.
vs. Rapanan, GR No. 199886, December 3, 2014)
Legitimate Children

Since an undisturbed subsequent marriage under Article 42 of the Family Code is valid until
terminated, the children of such marriage shall be considered legitimate, and the property relations of
the spouse[s] in such marriage will be the same as in valid marriages. (Santos vs. Santos, GR No. 187061,
October 8, 2014)

Marriage Certificates

The certified xerox copies of the marriage contracts, issued by a public officer in custody thereof,
are admissible as the best evidence of their contents, as provided for under Section 7 of Rule 130 of the
Rules of Court. (Bunagan-Bansig vs. Celera, AC No. 5581, January 14, 2014)

While a marriage certificate is considered the primary evidence of a martial union, it is not
regarded as the sole the exclusive evidence of marriage. (Macua Vda. De Avenido vs. Avenido, GR No. 173540,
January 22, 2014)
The fact of marriage may be proven by relevant evidence other than the marriage certificate.
(Aonuevo vs. Intestate Estate of Rodolfo G. Jalandoni, GR No. 178221, December 1, 2010)

Marriage License

Before performing the marriage ceremony, the judge must personally examine the marriage
license presented. (Tupal vs. Rojo, AM No. MTJ-14-1842, February 24, 2014)

The certification of the Local Civil Registrar that their office had no record of a marriage license
was adequate to prove the non-issuance of said license. (Abbas vs. Abbas, GR No. 183896, January 30, 2013)

Marriage Settlements

As a general rule, any modification in the marriage settlements must be made before the
celebration of marriage. (Noveras vs. Noveras, GR No. 188289, August 20, 2014)

Performing Illegal Marriage Ceremony

Article 352 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, penalizes an authorized solemnizing officer
who shall perform or authorize any illegal marriage ceremony. While Article 352 of the Revised Penal
Code, as amended, does not specifically define a marriage ceremony and what constitutes its illegal
performance, Article 3(3) and 6 of the Family Code are clear on these matters. (Romulo vs. People, GR No.
182438, July 2, 2014)

Capacity to Sue

Petitioner lacks capacity to sue because it no longer possesses juridical personality by reason of
its dissolution and lapse of the three-year grace period provided under Section 122 of the Corporation
Code, as will be discussed below. (Alabang Development Corporation vs. Alabang Hills Village Association, GR No.
187456, June 2, 2014)
Property Regime of Void Marriages

Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work and industry
shall be governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any property acquired during the union is prima
facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. A party who did not participate in the
acquisition of the property shall be considered as having contributed to the same jointly if said partys
effort consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household. (Barrido vs. Nonato, GR No. 176492,
October 20, 2014)

Benjamin and Sally cohabitated without the benefit of marriage. Thus, only the properties
acquired by them through their actual joint contribution of money, property, or industry shall be owned
by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. (Go-Bangayan vs. Bangayan, Jr., GR No.
201061, July 3, 2013)
In a void marriage, it was though no marriage has taken place, thus, it cannot be the source of
rights. (Garcia-Quiazon vs. Belen, GR No. 189121, July 31, 2013)

Support

Section 8(g) of RA No. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004)
applies to all employers, whether private or government. It bears stressing that Section 8(g) providing for
spousal and child support, is a support enforcement legislation. Under RA No. 9262, the provision of
spousal and child support specifically address one form of violence committed against women economic
abuse. (Republic vs. Yahon, GR No. 201043, June 16, 2014)

Since the respondent is a citizen of Holland or the Netherlands, the Supreme Court agrees with
the RTC-Cebu that he is subject to the laws of his country, not to Philippine law, as to whether he is
obliged to give support to his child, as well as the consequences of his failure to do so. (Del Socorro vs. Van
Wilsem, GR No. 193707, December 10, 2014)

Affinity

Affinity denotes the relation that one spouse has to the blood relatives of the other spouse. It is
a relationship by marriage or a familial relation resulting from marriage. It is a fictive kinship, a fiction
created by law in connection with the institution of marriage and family relations. (Tiggangay vs. Wacas,
694 SCRA 264. AM OCA IPI No. 09-3243-RTJ)

Baptismal Certificates

While baptismal certificate may be considered public documents, they can only serve as evidence
of the administration of the sacraments on the dates so specified. They are not necessarily competent
evidence of the veracity of entries therein with respect to the childs paternity. (Salas vs. Matusalem, GR No.
180284, September 11, 2013)

Birth Certificates

A certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative father is not competent evidence of
paternity when there is no showing that the putative father had a hand in the preparation of the
certificate. (Salas vs. Matusalem, GR No. 180284, September 11, 2013; Perla vs. Baring, GR No. 172471, November
12, 2012)
The presentation of the birth certificate is not an all-exclusive requisite in proving the age of the
victim. Certainly, the victims age may be proven by evidence other than that. (People vs. Paldo, GR No.
200515, December 11, 2013)

Family Courts

It must be stressed that Family Courts are special courts, of the same level as Regional Trial
Court. Under RA 8369, otherwise known as the Family Courts Act of 1997, family courts have exclusive
original jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of domestic violence against women and children. (Garcia vs.
Drilon, GR No. 179267, June 25, 2013)

Family Relations

Under the Family Code, family relations, which is the primary basis for succession, exclude
relations by affinity. (Ining vs. Vega, GR No. 174727, August 12, 2013)

Filiation

The due recognition of an illegitimate child in a record of birth, a will, a statement before a court
of record, or in any authentic writing is, in itself, a cconsummated act of acknowledgment of the child,
and no further court action is required. In fact, any authentic writing is treated not just a ground for
compulsory recognition; it is in itself a voluntary recognition that does not require a separate action for
judicial approval.

As petitioner correctly argues, Alfredo Aguilars Social Security System (SSS) Form E-1 (Exhibit
G) satisfies the requirement for proof of filiation and relationship to the Aguilar spouses under Article
172 of the Faily Code; by itself, said document constitutes an admission of legitimate filiation in a public
document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. (Aguilar vs. Siasat, GR
No. 200169, January 28, 2015)

Legitimate filiation is established in accordance with Articles 172 and 173 of the Family Code.
(Arado vs. Alcoran, GR No. 163362, July 8, 2015)

Proof of legitimacy under Article 172, or illegitimacy under Article 175, should only be raised in a
direct and separate action instituted to prove the filiation of a child. (Geronimo vs. Santos, GR No. 197099,
September 28, 2015)

Under Article 175 of the Family Code of the Philippines, illegitimate filiation may be established in
the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children. An illegitimate child is now allowed to
establish his claimed filiation by any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws, like
his baptismal certificate, a judicial admission, a family Bible in which his name has been entered, common
reputation respecting his pedigree, admission by silence, the testimonies of witnesses, and other kinds of
proof admissible under Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. The Supreme Court has ruled that a high standard
of proof is required to establish paternity and filiation. (Salas vs. Matusalem, GR No. 180284, September 11,
2013)

Filiation proceedings are usually filed not just to adjudicate paternity but also to secure a legal
right associated with paternity, such as citizenship, support or inheritance. (Gotardo vs. Buling, 678 SCRA
436. GR No. 165166, August 15, 2012)
The Court sustained the Cabais petitioners stance that the Regional Trial Court had apparently
erred in relying on the baptismal certificate to establish filiation, stressing the baptismal certificates
limited evidentiary value as proof of filiation inferior to that of a birth certificate; and declaring that the
baptismal certificate did not attest to the veracity of the statements regarding the kinsfolk of the one
baptized. (Makati Shangri-la Hotel and Resort, Inc. vs. Harper, GR No. 189998, August 29, 2012)

Time and again, this Court has ruled that a high standard of proof is required to establish
paternity and filiation. An order for support may create an unwholesome situation or may be an irritant to
the family or the lives of the parties so that it must be issued only if paternity or filiation is established by
clear and convincing evidence. To prove open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate
child, there must be evidence of the manifestation of the permanent intention of the supposed father to
consider the child as his, by continuous and clear manifestation of parental affection and care, which
cannot be attributed to pure charity. (Perla vs. Baring, GR No. 172471, November 12, 2012)

Letters to the mother vowing to be a good father to the child and pictures of the putative father
cuddling the child on various occasions, together with the certificate of live birth, proved filiation.
(Nepomuceno vs. Lopez, GR No. 181258, March 18, 2010)

Filial Privilege

Filial privilege applies only to direct ascendants and descendants, a family tie connected by a
common ancestry-a stepdaughter has no common ancestry by her stepmother. (Lee vs. Court of Appeals,
GR No. 177861, July 13, 2010)

Husband and Wife

In a void marriage, it was though no marriage has taken place, thus it cannot be the source of
rights. (Garcia-Quiazon vs. Belen, GR No. 189121, July 31, 2013)

Article 147 of the Family Code applies to the union of parties who are legally capacitated and not
barred by any impediment to contract marriage, but whose marriage is nonetheless declared void under
Article 36 of the Family Code. (Salas, Jr. vs. Aguila, GR No. 202370, September 23, 2013)

Marriage in Jest

A marriage in jest is a pretended marriage, legal in form but entered into as a joke, with no real
intention of entering into the actual marriage status, and with a clear understanding that the parties
would not be bound; Marriages in jest are void ab initio, not for vitiated, defective or unintelligent
consent, but for a complete absence of consent. (Republic vs. Albios, GR No. 198780, October 16, 2013)

Family Home

The family home cannot be seized by creditors except in special cases.

The exemption of the family home from execution, forced sale or attachment is limited to
P300,000 in urban areas and P200,000 in rural areas, unless those maximum values are adjusted by law.

To warrant the execution sale of respondents family home under Article 160. Petitioners needed
to establish these facts: (1) there was an increase in its actual value; (2) the increase resulted from
voluntary improvements on the property introduced by the persons constituting the family home, its
owner or any of its beneficiaries; and (3) the increased actual value exceede the maximum allowed under
Article 157. (Eulogio vs. Bell, Sr., GR No. 186322, July 8, 2015)

A family residence that was neuther judicially nor extrajudicially constituted as a family home in
accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code became a family home by operation of law when the
Family Code took effect on August 3, 1988, and was thus prospectively exempt from execution. (Oliva-De
Mesa vs. Acero, Jr., GR No. 185064, January 16, 2012)

The family home is exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment, except for debts secured
by mortgages on the premises before or after such constitution. (Fortaleza vs. Lapitan, GR No. 178288,
August 15, 2012)

If the family home was constructed before the effectivity of the Family Code, or before 3 August
1988, then it must have been constituted either judicially or extrajudicially as provided under Articles 225,
229-231 and 233 of the Civil Code; For family homes constructed after the effectivity of the Family Code,
there is no need to constitute extrajudicially or judicially, and the exemption from execution is effective
from the time it was constituted and lasts as long as any of its beneficiaries under Art. 154 actually reside
therein. (Ramos vs. Pangilinan, GR No. 185920, July 20, 2010)

Marriage Contracts

Having been issued by a government agency, the NSO certificate is accorded much evidentiary
weight and carries with it a presumption of regularity. (Villatuya vs. Tabalingcos, AC No. 6622, July 10, 2012)

Parental Authority

Since parental authority is vested by Article 176 of the Family Code upon the mother and
considering that an offender sentenced to reclusion perpetua automatically loses the power to exercise
parental authority over his children, no further positive act is required of the parent as the law itself
provides for the childs status. (Rondina vs. People, GR No. 179059, June 13, 2012)

Family Law

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. (Dio vs. Dio, GR No.
178044, January 19, 2011)

Court should interpret Article 36 of the Family Code on a case-to-case basis, guided by
experience, the findings of experts and researchers in psychological disciplines, and by decisions of
church tribunals. (Yambao vs. Republic, GR No. 184063, January 24, 2011)

Declaration of Nullity of Marriage

The Family Code recognizes only two types of defective marriages-void and voidable marriages-
and in both cases, the basis of the judicial declaration of absolute nullity or annulment of the marriage
exists before or at the time of the marriage; Divorce contemplates the dissolution of the lawful union for
cause arising after the marriage. (Corpuz vs. Sto Tomas, GR No. 186571, August 11, 2010)
In Dimayuga-Laurena v. Court of Appeals, 566 SCRA 154 (2008) the Court explained: (a) Gravity-
It must be grave and serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties
required in a marriage; (b) Judicial Antecedence-It must be rooted in the history of the party antedating
the marriage, although the overt manifestation may emerge only after the marriage; and (c) Incurability-
It must be incurable, or even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party
involved. (Paz vs. Paz, GR No. 166579, February 18, 2010)

Marriages

A married woman has an option but not a duty, to use the surname of the husband in any of the
ways provided using her maiden name once she is married because when a woman marries, she does
not change her name but only her civil status. In the case of renewal of passport, a married woman
may either adopt her husbands surname or continuously use her maiden name. Once a married woman
opted to adopt her husbands surname in her passport, she may not revert to the use of her maiden
name, except in the cases enumerated in Section 5(d) of RA 8239 (Philippine Passport Act of 1996).
These instances are: (1) death of husband, (2) divorce, (3) annulment, or (4) nullity of marriage. Since
petitioners marriage to her husband subsists, she may not resume her maiden name in the replacement
passport. Otherwise stated, a married womans reversion to the use of her maiden name must be based
only on the severance of the marriage. (Remo vs. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, GR No. 169202, March 5, 2010)

VELASCO CASES

Gamboa-Hirsch vs. Court of Appeals, GR No. 174485, July 11, 2007

FACTS: Franklin and Agnes were married on December 23, 2000 in the City of Bacolod, and established
their conjugal dwelling in Diniwid, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan. On December 21, 2002, a child was born
to them and was named Simone. In 2005, the couple started to have marital problems, as Agnes wanted
to stay in Makati City, while Franklin insisted that they stay in Boracay Island. On March 23, 2006, Agnes
came to their conjugal home in Boracay, and asked for money and for Franklin's permission for her to
bring their daughter to Makati City for a brief vacation. Franklin readily agreed, but soon thereafter
discovered that neither Agnes nor their daughter Simone would be coming back to Boracay.

Franklin then filed a petition for habeas corpus before the CA for Agnes to produce Simone in court. On
May 19, 2006, the CA issued a Resolution which ordered that a writ of habeas corpus be issued ordering
that Simone be brought before said court on May 26, 2006. After a series of hearings and presentation of
evidence, the CA, on June 8, 2006, promulgated the assailed Decision granting Franklin joint custody with
Agnes of their minor child. Agnes filed a Motion for Reconsideration of this Decision, which was denied in
the CA's August 3, 2006 Resolution for lack of merit.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in granting joint custody to both parents.

HELD: YES.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that "in all actions concerning children, whether
undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative
authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary
consideration (emphasis supplied)."The Child and Youth Welfare Code, in the same way, unequivocally
provides that in all questions regarding the care and custody, among others, of the child, his/her welfare
shall be the paramount consideration.
The so-called "tender-age presumption" under Article 213 of the Family Code may be overcome only by
compelling evidence of the mother's unfitness. The mother is declared unsuitable to have custody of her
children in one or more of the following instances: neglect, abandonment, unemployment, immorality,
habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, or affliction with a
communicable disease.Here, the mother was not shown to be unsuitable or grossly incapable of caring
for her minor child. All told, no compelling reason has been adduced to wrench the child from the
mother's custody.

Sps. De Leon and Tarrosa vs. De Leon, GR No. 185063, July 23, 2009

FACTS: Bonifacio De Leon and the Peoples Homesite and Housing Corporation (PHHC) entered into a
Conditional Contract to Sell for the purchase on installment of a 191.30 square-meter lot situated in
Fairview, Quezon City. Subsequently, Bonifacio married Anita de Leon. They bore two children, Danilo
and Vilma.After the full payment of the purchase price for the lot, PHHC executed, a Final Deed of Sale in
favor of Bonifacio. Later on, the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 173677 was issued in the name of
Bonifacio, single.Subsequently, Bonifacio sold the subject lot to her sister, Lita, and husband Felix Rio
Tarrosa (Tarrosas) for P19,000. The conveying Deed of Sale dated January 12, 1974 (Deed of Sale) did
not bear the written consent and signature of Anita.Bonifacio and Anita renewed their vows in a church
wedding at St. John the Baptist Parish in San Juan, Manila on May 23,1977. Bonifacio died on February
29, 1996.Three months later, the Tarrosas registered the Deed of Sale and had TCT No. 173677
canceled. They secured the issuance in their names of TCT No. N-173911 from the Quezon City Register
of Deeds.Danilo and Vilma filed a Notice of Adverse Claim before the Register of Deeds of Quezon City to
protect their rights over the subject property. Very much later, Anita, Danilo, and Vilma filed a
reconveyance suit before the RTC in Quezon City. In their complaint, Anita and her children alleged that
there was fraud that attended the execution of the Deed of Sale and that subsequent acts of Bonifacio
would show that he was still the owner of the parcel of land. The spouses Tarrosa counterclaimed that
Bonifacioexclusively owned the property when he was single when he acquired it from PHHC and that
they were not aware that at the time of the execution of the deed, Bonifacio and Anita were married. The
trial court held that the subject property was conjugal property of Bonifacio and Anita. The spouses
Tarrosa brought the matter to the Court of Appeals, but the latter affirmed the findings of the trial court.

Hence, this case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the subject property is conjugal property of Spouses Bonifacio and Anita.

HELD: YES.

According to Article 160 of the 1950 Civil Code, the governing provision in effect at the time Bonifacio
and Anita married, provides that all property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal
partnership unless it is proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or the wife. For the presumption
to arise, it is noteven necessary to prove that the property was acquired with funds of the partnership.
Only proof of acquisition during the marriage is needed to raise the presumption that the property is
conjugal. In fact, even when the manner in which the properties were acquired does not appear, the
presumption will still apply, and the properties will still be considered conjugal. Ownership over what was
once a PHHC lot and covered by the PHHC-Bonifacio Conditional Contract to Sell was only transferred
during the marriage of Bonifacio and Anita. It is well-settled that a conditional sale is akin, if not
equivalent, to a contract to sell. In both types of contract, the efficacy or obligatory force of the vendors
obligation to transfer title is subordinated to the happening of a future and uncertain event, usually the
full payment of the purchase price, so that if the suspensive condition does not take place, the parties
would stand as if the conditional obligation had never existed. In other words, in a contract to sell
ownership is retained by the seller and is not passed to the buyer until full payment of the price, unlike in
a contract of sale where title passes upon delivery of the thing sold.

Bartolome vs. Social Security System, GR No. 192531, November 12, 2014

FACTS: John Colcol (John), born on June 9, 1983, was employed as electrician by Scanmar Maritime
Services, Inc., on board the vessel Maersk Danville, since February 2008. As such, he was enrolled under
the government's Employees' Compensation Program (ECP). On June 2, 2008, an accident occurred on
board the vessel whereby steel plates fell on John, which led to his untimely death the following day.
John was childless and unmarried. Petitioner Bernardina P. Bartolome, Johns biological mother and,
allegedly, sole remaining beneficiary, filed a claim for death benefits under PD 626 with the Social
Security System (SSS). SSS denied the claim. The denial was appealed to the ECC. ECC affirmed the
denial of the SSS. In denying the claim, both the SSS and the ECC ruled against petitioners entitlement
to the death benefits sought after under PD 626 on the ground she can no longer be considered Johns
primary beneficiary. As culled from the records, John and his sister Elizabeth were adopted by their great
grandfather, petitioners grandfather, Cornelio Colcol. As argued by the agencies, it is Cornelio who
qualifies as Johns primary beneficiary, not petitioner. In effect, the rights which previously belonged to
the biological parent of the adopted child shall now be upon the adopting parent. Hence, in this case, the
legal parent referred to by P.D. 626, as amended, as the beneficiary, who has the right to file the claim,
is the adoptive father of the deceased and not herein appellant

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is entitled to the death benefits claim in view of Johns work-related
demise

HELD: YES.

Petitioner qualifies as Johns dependent parent.In the present case, the ECC had overlooked a crucial
piece of evidence offered by the petitioner Cornelios death certificate. Based on Cornelios death
certificate, it appears that Johns adoptive father died on October 26, 1987, or only less than three (3)
years since the decree of adoption on February 4, 1985, which attained finality. The rule limiting death
benefits claims to the legitimate parents is contrary to law. Article 167 (j) of the Labor Code provides: )
'Beneficiaries' means the dependent spouse until he remarries and dependent children, who are the
primary beneficiaries. In their absence, the dependent parents and subject to the restrictions imposed on
dependent children, the illegitimate children and legitimate descendants who are the secondary
beneficiaries; Provided, that the dependent acknowledged natural child shall be considered as a primary
beneficiary when there are no other dependent children who are qualified and eligible for monthly income
benefit. True, when Cornelio, in 1985, adoptedJohn, then about two (2) years old, petitioners parental
authority over John was severed. However, lest it be overlooked, one key detail the ECC missed, aside
from Cornelios death, was that when the adoptive parent died less than three (3) years after the
adoption decree, John was still a minor, at about four (4) years of age.Johns minority at the time of his
adopters death is a significant factor in the case at bar. Under such circumstance, parental authority
should be deemed to have reverted in favor of the biological parents.

It is, after all, for the best interest of the child that someone will remain charged for his welfare and
upbringing should his or her adopter fail or is rendered incapacitated to perform his duties as a parent at
a time the adoptee isstill in his formative years, and, to Our mind, in the absence or, as in this case,
death of the adopter, no one else could reasonably be expected to perform the role of a parent other
than the adoptees biological one.

Abbas vs. Abbas, GR No. 183896, January 30, 2013

FACTS: The present case stems from a petition filed by petitioner Syed Azhar Abbas (Syed) for the
declaration of nullity of his marriage to Gloria Goo Abbas (Gloria) with the RTC. Syed alleged the absence
of a marriage license, as provided for in the Family Code of the Philippines, is a ground for the annulment
of his marriage to Gloria. In support of Syeds claim, he presented a certification of the civil registrar that
the marriage license number appeared in their marriage contract was a number of another marriage
license issued to some Getalado and Malibangan. The RTC held that there was no valid marriage license,
and as the marriage was not one of those exempt from the license requirement, license is an absence of
a formal requisite, the marriage of Gloria and Syed on January 9, 1993 was void ab initio.On appeal the
CA reversed the RTC ruling It held that the certification of the Municipal Civil Registrar failed to
categorically state that a diligent search for the marriage license of Gloria and Syed was conducted, and
thus held that said certification could not be accorded probative value.

ISSUE: Whether or not the marriage is invalid based only on certification issued by local civil registrar
that no marriage license was issued.

HELD: YES.

Art. 3 of the family code requires a valid marriage license except in the cases allowed by law as one of
the formal requisites of marriage. Article 4, provides that the absence of any of the essential or formal
requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35(2). Lastly, Article 35 of
the same code declared that those solemnized without a license, except those allowed by law shall be
void from the beginning.

In the case of Cario v. Cario, following the case of Republic, it was held that the certification of the
Local Civil Registrar that their office had no record of a marriage license was adequate to prove the non-
issuance of said license. The case of Cario further held that the presumed validity of the marriage of the
parties had been overcome, and that it became the burden of the party alleging a valid marriage to prove
that the marriage was valid, and that the required marriage license had been secured. Gloria has failed to
discharge that burden, and the only conclusion that can be reached is that no valid marriage license was
issued. It cannot be said that there was a simple irregularity in the marriage license that would not affect
the validity of the marriage, as no license was presented by the respondent. No marriage license was
proven to have been issued to Gloria and Syed, based on the certification of the Municipal Civil Registrar
of Carmona, Cavite and Glorias failure to produce a copy of the alleged marriage license.