Carol’s action to recover both the Riceland and the house and lot is well-founded. Both areconjugal property in view of the failure of Erlinda, the wife in a bigamous marriage, to prove thather own money was used in the purchases made. The Supreme Court in a case applied Art. 148,Family Code, despite the fact that the husband’s death took place prior to the effectivity of saidlaw. However, even under Art. 144, Civil Code, the same conclusion would have been reached inview of the bigamous nature of the second marriage.
Under Art. 148 of the FC, which applies to bigamous marriages, only the propertiesacquired by both parties through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry shallbe owned by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. Moreover, if one of the parties is validly married to another, his share in the co-ownership shall accrue to the absolutecommunity/conjugal partnership existing in such valid marriage.Thus, in this case, since Erlinda failed to prove that she used her own money to buy theRiceland and house and lot, she cannot claim to be the co-owner of the Riceland nor the exclusiveowner of the house and lot. Such properties are Mauricio’s. And since his share accrues to theconjugal partnership with carol, Carol can validly claim such properties to the exclusion of Erlinda(Art. 144, Civil Code).IIIn 1970, Bob and Issa got married without executing a marriage settlement. In 1975, Bobinherited from his father a residential lot upon which, in 1981, he constructed a two-roombungalow with savings from his own earnings. At that time, the lot was worth P800,000 while thehouse, when finished cost P600,000. In 1989, Bob died, survived only by his wife, Issa and hismother, Sofia. Assuming that the relative values of both assets remained at the same proportion:A.State whether Sofia can rightfully claim that the house and lot are not conjugal butexclusive property of her deceased son.B.Will your answer be the same if Bob died before August 3, 1988? (1998)
A. Since Bob and Issa got married in 1970, then the law that governs is the New Civil Code(Persons), in which case, the property relations that should be applied as regards the property of the spouses is the system of relative community or conjugal partnership of gains (Art. 119, CivilCode). By conjugal partnership of gains, the husband and wife place in a common fund the fruits of their separate property and the income from their work or industry (Article 142, Civil Code). In thisinstance, the lot inherited by Bob in 1975 is his own separate property, he having acquired thesame by lucrative title (Art. 148, par. 2, Civil Code). However, the house constructed from his ownsavings in 1981 during the subsistence of his marriage with Issa is conjugal property and notexclusive property in accordance with the principle of “reverse accession” provided for in Art. 158,Civil Code.B. Yes, the answer would still be the same. Since Bob and Issa contracted their marriage wayback in 1970, then the property relations that will govern is still the relative community or conjugalpartnership of gains (Art. 119, Civil Code). It will not matter if Bob died before or after August 3,1988 (effectivity of the Family Code), what matters is the date when the marriage was contracted.As Bob and Issa contracted their marriage way back in 1970, the property relation that governsthem is still the conjugal partnership of gains. (Art. 158, Civil Code)
A. Sofia, being her deceased son’s legal heir concurring with his surviving spouse (Arts. 985,986, and 997, Civil Code), may rightfully claim that the house and lot are not conjugal but belongto the hereditary estate of Bob, the value of the land being more than the cost of the improvement(Art. 120, FC).B. If Bob died before August 3, 1988, which is the date the Family Code took effect, theanswer will not be the same. Art. 158, Civil Code, would then apply. The land would then bedeemed conjugal, along with the house, since conjugal funds were used in constructing it. Thehusband’s estate would be entitled to reimbursement of the value of the land from conjugalpartnership funds.