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Family Relations

A. What governs family relations

FC Art. 149. The family, being the foundation of the nation, is a basic social institution which public policy cherishes
and protects. Consequently, family relations are governed by law and no custom, practice or agreement
destructive of the family shall be recognized or given effect.

1987 Constitution, Section 12.

The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic
autonomous social institution.
It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.
The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the
development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.


Section 1. The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall
strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.

Section 2. Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by
the State.

Section 3. The State shall defend:

The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of
responsible parenthood;

The right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all
forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development;

The right of the family to a family living wage and income; and

The right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies
and programs that affect them.

Section 4. The family has the duty to care for its elderly members but the State may also do so through just
programs of social security.

Article 220. In case of doubt, all presumptions favor the solidarity of the family. Thus, every intendment of law or
facts leans toward the validity of marriage, the indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of children, the
community of property during marriage, the authority of parents over their children, and the validity of defense
for any member of the family in case of unlawful aggression.

Article 221. The following shall be void and of no effect:

(1) Any contract for personal separation between husband and wife;
(2) Every extra-judicial agreement, during marriage, for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains or of
the absolute community of property between husband and wife;
(3) Every collusion to obtain a decree of legal separation, or of annulment of marriage;
(4) Any simulated alienation of property with intent to deprive the compulsory heirs of their legitime.
Effects of Family Relationship on legal disputes

Art. 150. Family relations include those:

(1) Between husband and wife;
The obligation to support, is limited to only to the children
(2) Between parents and children;
(3) Among brothers and sisters, whether of the full or halfblood. (217a)
Are they supposed to support each other as family relations? ANS: YES! But if youre married and you
will give support to your biological mother or father, support must be taken from your exlusive or
paraphernal property and not from ACP/CPG
Adopted children included in family relations? ANS: Yes! For they are legitimate children, but the
Illegitimate children are not included in the family relations Half and Full blood must be rooted
from marriage couple

Is family required to live together? ANS: No

Art. 151. No suit between members of the same family shall prosper unless it should appear from the verified
complaint or petition that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been made, but that the same have failed. If
it is shown that no such efforts were in fact made, the same case must be dismissed.

This rules shall not apply to cases which may not be the subject of compromise under the Civil Code. (222a)

Earnest effort toward a compromise - It is difficult to imagine a sadder and more tragic spectacle than
litigation between members of the same family. It is necessary that every effort should be made toward a
compromise before a litigation is allowed to breed hate and passion in the family and it is known that a
lawsuit between close relatives generates deeper bitterness than between strangers. (Magbalita vs. Gonong,
76 SCRA 511 [1977]).

Article 2035. No compromise upon the following questions shall be valid:

(1) The civil status of persons;
(2) The validity of a marriage or a legal separation;
(3) Any ground for legal separation;
(4) Future support;
(5) The jurisdiction of courts;
(6) Future legitime. (1814a)

Section 1. Grounds. Within the time for but before filing the answer to the complaint or pleading asserting a
claim, a motion to dismiss may be made on any of the following grounds:

(j) That a condition precedent for filing the claim has not been complied with. (1a)

Article 20. Accessories who are exempt from criminal liability. - The penalties prescribed for accessories shall not
be imposed upon those who are such with respect to their spouses, ascendants, descendants, legitimate, natural,
and adopted brothers and sisters, or relatives by affinity within the same degrees, with the single exception of
accessories falling within the provisions of paragraph 1 of the next preceding article.

Article 247. Death or physical injuries inflicted under exceptional circumstances. - Any legally married person who
having surprised his spouse in the act of committing sexual intercourse with another person, shall kill any of them
or both of them in the act or immediately thereafter, or shall inflict upon them any serious physical injury, shall
suffer the penalty of destierro.

If he shall inflict upon them physical injuries of any other kind, he shall be exempt from punishment.
These rules shall be applicable, under the same circumstances, to parents with respect to their daughters under
eighteen years of age, and their seducer, while the daughters are living with their parents.

Any person who shall promote or facilitate the prostitution of his wife or daughter, or shall otherwise have
consented to the infidelity of the other spouse shall not be entitled to the benefits of this article.


Article 332. Persons exempt from criminal liability. - No criminal, but only civil liability, shall result from the
commission of the crime of theft, swindling or malicious mischief committed or caused mutually by the following

1. Spouses, ascendants and descendants, or relatives by affinity in the same line.

2. The widowed spouse with respect to the property which belonged to the deceased spouse before the same shall
have passed into the possession of another; and
3. Brothers and sisters and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, if living together.
The exemption established by this article shall not be applicable to strangers participating in the commission of the

If the case involves family member as a general rule Art. 151 is a condition precedent for you to be able to file a
case; to exhaust all the possibilities of compromise settlement and the exception to the rule is Gayon vs. Gayon

Facts: Sister sued Sister and Brother in Law (is it a condition precedent for the sister and brother in law to exert
effort to arrive at a compromise settlement before a case be filed in court?)
ANS: No. As far as the brother in law is concerned, he is not part of the family relation as stated in Art. 151,
therefore, he is a strangers

In Art. 151 in relation to Art.150 if the case filed is between family relation Earnest effort to arrive at a
compromise settlement is indispensable, otherwise, party listed in 150 may file a motion to dismiss the case on
the ground for failure to comply with the condition precedent.

However, condition precedent is not a requirement if there is already a stranger in the suit. (Ex. Brother in law
as one of parties involved in the case)

Must you exert compromise agreement before you can talk about future support? ANS: No, because the subject
matter is not susceptible to compromise agreement.

Facts: the suit is between the husband and wife in relation to support of children, the rule is they exert effort or
earnest effort to arrive at compromise settlement, but, future support is not subject to compromise agreement,
hence, you need not exert effort to arrive in compromise settlement

Art. 222 do not apply whenever a stranger to the family is a party thereto. Whether, he is a necessary party or not
indispensable part. In this case Susana is the stranger and buyer is a stranger, if the buyer is included in the suit,
compliance with Art. 151 is no longer necessary

what is not allowed is failure to exert earnest effort toward compromise settlement. When you file a case or a
complaint the earnest effort to arrive at a compromise settlement must be alleged in the complaint, because if not
alleged in the complaint, it is susceptible to dismissal.
The defendant can file a motion to dismiss, because based on allegation in the complaint that theres no earnest
effort toward compromise settlement.

But in case, Earnest effort toward compromise settlement was complied with but it fails to allege in the complaint,
the complaint is not susceptible to dismissal because complaint may always be amended.


once a stranger becomes a party to a case involving same family the law on condition precedent is no longer
applicable, because it is only applicable when the case was exclusive to the family relations as defined in Art. 150


When you file a petition for a collection of sum of money, and immediate relative is the debtor, you have to allege
application of the Art. 151 as compliance; failure of such may constitute dismissal by also a family relation and
such dismissal can be made prior trial.

If in case, the compliance of earnest effort to arrive at a compromise settlement was not really made, but it is
alleged in the complaint stating otherwise and during trial, defendant did not raise the issue of the said
compliance, and you raised the issue on appeal for the first time, the court may consider it as a waiver.

The Family Home

Art. 152. The family home, constituted jointly by the husband and the wife or by an unmarried head of a family, is
the dwelling house where they and their family reside, and the land on which it is situated. (223a)

Art. 156. The family home must be part of the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership,
or of the exclusive properties of either spouse with the latter's consent. It may also be constituted by an unmarried
head of a family on his or her own property.

Nevertheless, property that is the subject of a conditional sale on installments where ownership is reserved by the
vendor only to guarantee payment of the purchase price may be constituted as a family home. (227a, 228a)

Art. 69. The husband and wife shall fix the family domicile. In case of disagreement, the court shall decide.

The court may exempt one spouse from living with the other if the latter should live abroad or there are other
valid and compelling reasons for the exemption. However, such exemption shall not apply if the same is not
compatible with the solidarity of the family. (110a)

Art. 120. The ownership of improvements, whether for utility or adornment, made on the separate property of the
spouses at the expense of the partnership or through the acts or efforts of either or both spouses shall pertain to
the conjugal partnership, or to the original owner-spouse, subject to the following rules:

When the cost of the improvement made by the conjugal partnership and any resulting increase in value are more
than the value of the property at the time of the improvement, the entire property of one of the spouses shall
belong to the conjugal partnership, subject to reimbursement of the value of the property of the owner-spouse at
the time of the improvement; otherwise, said property shall be retained in ownership by the owner-spouse,
likewise subject to reimbursement of the cost of the improvement.

In either case, the ownership of the entire property shall be vested upon the reimbursement, which shall be made
at the time of the liquidation of the conjugal partnership. (158a)
Art. 118. Property bought on installments paid partly from exclusive funds of either or both spouses and partly
from conjugal funds belongs to the buyer or buyers if full ownership was vested before the marriage and to the
conjugal partnership if such ownership was vested during the marriage. In either case, any amount advanced by
the partnership or by either or both spouses shall be reimbursed by the owner or owners upon liquidation of the
partnership. (n)

Art. 161. For purposes of availing of the benefits of a family home as provided for in this Chapter, a person may
constitute, or be the beneficiary of, only one family home. (n)

Who may constitute the family home

Art. 152. The family home, constituted jointly by the husband and the wife or by an unmarried head of a family, is
the dwelling house where they and their family reside, and the land on which it is situated. (223a)

Art. 161. For purposes of availing of the benefits of a family home as provided for in this Chapter, a person may
constitute, or be the beneficiary of, only one family home. (n)