Monday, May 16, 2016

The Marriage Series, Part 6: Dissolution of Absolute Community

How long will the Absolute Community Regime last?  According to the Family Code, the absolute community terminates, or ends:  

          (a) upon the death of either spouse; 

          (b) where there is a decree of legal separation; 

          (c) when the marriage is annulled or declared void; and 

          (d) in case of judicial separation of property during the marriage.

Does the Absolute Community end when a husband and wife physically separate, but do not undergo proceedings for legal separation or annulment? Generally, the answer is no. 

However, the law provides for certain exceptions:

     (a) When the spouse who leaves the conjugal home or refuses to live therein, without just cause, shall not have the right to be supported.

(b) When the consent of one spouse to any transaction of the other is required by law, judicial authorization shall be obtained in a summary proceeding.

(c) In the absence of sufficient community property, the separate property of both spouses shall be solidarily liable for the support of the family.  

The spouse present shall, upon proper petition in a summary proceeding, be given judicial authority to administer or encumber any specific separate property of the other spouse and use the fruits or proceeds thereof to satisfy the latter’s share.

What is the remedy of one spouse where the other abandons the other, or fails to comply with his or her marital, parental or property relations obligations to the family? Article 101 of the Family Code states that the aggrieved spouse may petition the court for receivership, for judicial separation of property or for authority to be the sole administrator of the absolute community, subject to such precautionary conditions as the court may impose.

When is one spouse deemed to have abandoned the other? The law states that a spouse is deemed to have abandoned the other when he or she has left the conjugal dwelling without any intention of returning.  

The spouse who has left the conjugal dwelling for a period of 3 months, or has failed within the same period to give any information as to his or her whereabouts shall be prima facie presumed to have no intention of returning to the conjugal dwelling.

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