Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Marriage Series, Part 3: Absolute Community of Property

What is the regime of absolute community? How are the properties of the husband and the wife affected under this regime? Under the absolute community of property regime, all property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the marriage, or acquired thereafter, will form part of the community property (Family Code of the Philippines, Article 91). This means that everything the couple owns at the time they get married, and everything that they will own after their marriage, will belong to both of them. 

Is there any property that will be excluded from the community property? Yes. Under the Family Code, the following properties are excluded form the community property:

 (1) Property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title by either spouse, and the fruits as well as the income thereof, if any, unless it is expressly provided by the donor, testator or grantor that they will form part of the community property; 

(2) Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse. However, jewelry shall form part of the community property; and 

(3) Property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former marriage, and the fruits as well as the income, if any, of such property. 

In other words, property that a spouse receives by virtue of donation, succession, or any other form of gratuitous conveyance does not form part of the community property, and will remain the separate property of the spouse, unless the person who made the gratuitous conveyance expressly stated that the conveyance was for  both spouses, in which case, it will form part of the community property. Property that only one spouse can personally and exclusively use is also considered separate property. An example of such property would be clothing.

If one of the spouses is a widow or a widower, or was previously married and such marriage has been legally annulled, and has a child or children from the previous marriage, the property which that spouse acquired before the subsequent marriage, as well as any income that may be derived from the property, will form part of his or her separate property.

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