Civil Law

Antonio Valdes vs Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Branch 102

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G.R. No. 122749 – 328 Phil. 1289 – 260 SCRA 221 – Civil Law – Persons and Family Relations – Family Code – Annulment of Marriage; Psychological Incapacity – Property Relations between spouses whose marriage is dissolved under Article 36 is governed by co-ownership; Dissolution of Property Regime

Antonio Valdes and Consuelo Gomez married in 1971. In July 1994, their marriage was declared void by reason of their respective psychological incapacities. Insofar as the disposition of the properties acquired by the parties during their marriage is concerned, the trial court made the following pronouncement:

Consequently, considering that Article 147 of the Family Code explicitly provides that the property acquired by both parties during their union, in the absence of proof to the contrary, are presumed to have been obtained through the joint efforts of the parties and will be owned by them in equal shares, plaintiff and defendant will own their “family home” and all their properties for that matter in equal shares.

In the liquidation and partition of properties owned in common by the plaintiff and defendant, the provisions on ownership found in the Civil Code shall apply.

Valdes is questioning the pronouncement of the RTC as he argued that if a marriage is dissolved under Article 36 of the Family Code, then Art. 147 does not apply, as it should be Articles 102 and 129 of the Family Code that should apply.

Valdes also questions whether or not the family court has jurisdiction to decide on the matter of the ownership dispute between him and Consuelo.

ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC is correct.

HELD: Yes. Art. 147 of the Family Code is the applicable provision. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife 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. 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.

The provisions of Articles 102 and 129 of the Family Code finds no application since Article 102 refers to the procedure for the liquidation of the conjugal partnership property and Article 129 refers to the procedure for the liquidation of the absolute community of property.

Anent the jurisdiction of the family court, in deciding to take further cognizance of the issue on the settlement of the parties’ common property, the trial court acted neither imprudently nor precipitately; a court which has jurisdiction to declare the marriage a nullity must be deemed likewise clothed in authority to resolve incidental and consequential matters.

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