Saturday, Noember 17, 2007
!amily "ode of the #hilippines: #roperty relations bet$een lie-in partners
Articles 147 and 148 of the Family Code of the Philippines are the governing laws on
property relations between a man and a woman in a live-in relationship. %&ccording to a
'S(' report , )0* of couples in "&+&,&-./N are merely liing in.0
Article 147 states
(hen a man and a $oman $ho are capacitated to marry each other, lie e1clusiely $ith
each other as husband and $ife $ithout the benefit of marriage or under a oid marriage,
their $ages and salaries shall be o$ned by them in e2ual shares and the property ac2uired
by both of them through their $or3 or industry shall be goerned by the rules on co-
4n the absence of proof to the contrary, properties ac2uired $hile they lied together shall be
presumed to hae been obtained by their 5oint efforts, $or3 or industry, and shall be o$ned by
them in e2ual shares. !or purposes of this &rticle, a party $ho did not participate in the
ac2uisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to hae contributed 5ointly in
the ac2uisition thereof if the former6s efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the
family and of the household.
Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter ios of his or her share in the property
ac2uired during cohabitation and o$ned in common, $ithout the consent of the other, until
after the termination of their cohabitation.
(hen only one of the parties to a oid marriage is in good faith, the share of the party in bad
faith in the co-o$nership shall be forfeited in faor of their common children. 4n case of default
of or $aier by any or all of the common children or their descendants, each acant share
shall belong to the respectie suriing descendants. 4n the absence of descendants, such
share shall belong to the innocent party. 4n all cases, the forfeiture shall ta3e place upon
termination of the cohabitation.
Article 147 of the Family Code applies when a man and woman can get legally married
b!t for one reason or another" have not done so
&rticle 1)7 applies to unions of parties $ho are legally capacitated and not barred by any
impediment to contract marriage, but $hose marriage is nonetheless oid. &rticle 1)7 creates
a co-o$nership $ith respect to the properties they ac2uire during their cohabitation. 7en if
one of the parties did not $or3 or contribute in the ac2uisition of property, the care and
maintenance of the family household is considered as a contribution.
8he Supreme "ourt held in 9aldes s. -egional 8rial "ourt, ,r. 102, :ue;on "ity:
#his pec!liar $ind of co-ownership applies when a man and a woman" s!ffering no
legal impediment to marry each other" so e%cl!sively live together as h!sband and wife
!nder a void marriage or witho!t the benefit of marriage. 8he term <capacitated= in the
proision %in the first paragraph of the la$0 refers to the legal capacity of a party to contract
marriage, i.e., any <male or female of the age of eighteen years or up$ards not under any of
the impediments mentioned in &rticle >7 and >?= of the "ode.
@nder this property regime, property ac2uired by both spouses through their $or3 and
industry shall be goerned by the rules on e2ual co-o$nership. &ny property ac2uired during
the union is prima facie presumed to hae been obtained through their 5oint efforts. & party
$ho did not participate in the ac2uisition of the property shall still be considered as haing
contributed thereto 5ointly if said partyAs <efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the
family household.=
&e'!isites for Article 147 to apply
#h!s" for Article 147 to operate" the man and the woman
• must be capacitated to marry each otherB
• lie e1clusiely $ith each other as husband and $ifeB and
• their union is $ithout the benefit of marriage or their marriage is oid.
Article 148 of the Family Code applies to sit!ations where the parties are not legally
capacitated to marry each other
Article 148 applies to bigamo!s marriages" ad!ltero!s relationships" relationships in a
state of conc!binage" relationships where both man and woman are married to other
persons" and m!ltiple alliances of the same married man. @nder this regime, <only the
properties ac2uired by both of the parties through their actual 5oint contribution of money,
property, or industry shall be o$ned by them in common in proportion to their respectie
contributions ...= Proof of act!al contrib!tion is re'!ired" !nli$e in sit!ations covered by
Article 147. (n the absence of proof of e%tent of the parties) respective contrib!tion"
their share are pres!med to be e'!al.
*nder Article 148" the properties ac'!ired by the parties thro!gh their act!al +oint
contrib!tion belong to the co-ownership. ,ages and salaries earned by each party
belong to him or her e%cl!sively. #hen too" contrib!tions in the form of care of the
home" children and ho!sehold" or spirit!al or moral inspiration" are e%cl!ded in this
4n the cases of Agapay v. Palang, and Tumlos v. Fernandez, $hich inoled the issue of co-
o$nership of properties ac2uired by the parties to a bigamous marriage and an adulterous
relationship, respectiely, the Supreme "ourt ruled that proof of act!al contrib!tion in the
ac'!isition of the property is essential. 8he claim of co-o$nership of the petitioners $ho
$ere parties to the bigamous and adulterous union is $ithout basis because they failed to
substantiate their allegation that they contributed money in the purchase of the disputed
properties. &lso in &driano . "ourt of &ppeals, the "ourt ruled that een if the controerted
property $as titled in the name of the parties to an adulterous relationship, it is not sufficient
proof of co-o$nership $ithout eidence of actual contribution in the ac2uisition of the property.
#he case of -ag!id vs. Co!rt of Appeals" ..&. /o. 101211" 3!ne 11" 4115 ill!strates how
the -!preme Co!rt applied Article 148
Seenteen-year old Cina S. -ey $as married, but separated de facto from her husband,
$hen she met petitioner Dacinto Saguid in Earindu2ue, sometime in Duly 1F?7. &fter a brief
courtship, the t$o decided to cohabit as husband and $ife in a house built on a lot o$ned by
DacintoAs father. 8heir cohabitation $as not blessed $ith any children. Dacinto made a liing as
the patron of their fishing essel <Saguid ,rothers.= Cina, on the other hand, $or3ed as a fish
dealer, but decided to $or3 as an entertainer in Dapan from 1FF2 to 1FF) $hen her
relationship $ith DacintoAs relaties turned sour. Ger periodic absence, ho$eer, did not ebb
a$ay the conflict $ith petitionerAs relaties. 4n 1FFH, the couple decided to separate and end
their F-year cohabitation.
/n Danuary F, 1FF7, priate respondent filed a complaint for #artition and -ecoery of
#ersonal #roperty $ith -eceiership against the petitioner $ith the -egional 8rial "ourt of
,oac, Earindu2ue. She alleged that from her salary of I1,J00.00 a month as entertainer in
Dapan, she $as able to contribute #70,000.00 in the completion of their unfinished house.
&lso, from her o$n earnings as an entertainer and fish dealer, she $as able to ac2uire and
accumulate appliances, pieces of furniture and household effects, $ith a total alue of
#111,>7J.00. She prayed that she be declared the sole o$ner of these personal properties
and that the amount of #70,000.00, representing her contribution to the construction of their
house, be reimbursed to her.
#riate respondent testified that she deposited part of her earnings in her saings account
$ith !irst &llied 'eelopment ,an3. Ger #ass ,oo3 sho$s that as of Eay 2>, 1FFJ, she had a
balance of #21,0)H.0?. She further stated that she had a total of #>J,)HJ.00 share in the 5oint
account deposit $hich she and the petitioner maintained $ith the same ban3. Cina declared
that said deposits $ere spent for the purchase of construction materials, appliances and other
personal properties.
4n his ans$er to the complaint, petitioner claimed that the e1penses for the construction of
their house $ere defrayed solely from his income as a captain of their fishing essel. Ge
aerred that priate respondentAs meager income as fish dealer rendered her unable to
contribute in the construction of said house. ,esides, selling fish $as a mere pastime to herB
as such, she $as contented $ith the small 2uantity of fish allotted to her from his fishing trips.
#etitioner further contended that Cina did not $or3 continuously in Dapan from 1FF2 to 1FF),
but only for a H-month duration each year. (hen their house $as repaired and improed
sometime in 1FFJ-1FFH, priate respondent did not share in the e1penses because her
earnings as entertainer $ere spent on the daily needs and business of her parents. !rom his
income in the fishing business, he claimed to hae saed a total of #1>0,000.00, #7J,000.00
of $hich $as placed in a 5oint account deposit $ith priate respondent. 8his saings,
according to petitioner $as spent in purchasing the disputed personal properties.
4t is not disputed that Cina and Dacinto $ere not capacitated to marry each other because the
former $as alidly married to another man at the time of her cohabitation $ith the latter. 8heir
property regime therefore is goerned by &rticle 1)? of the !amily "ode, $hich applies to
bigamous marriages, adulterous relationships, relationships in a state of concubinage,
relationships $here both man and $oman are married to other persons, and multiple alliances
of the same married man. @nder this regime, <only the properties ac2uired by both of the
parties through their actual 5oint contribution of money, property, or industry shall be o$ned by
them in common in proportion to their respectie contributions ... #roof of actual contribution
is re2uired.
4n the case at bar, although the adulterous cohabitation of the parties commenced in 1F?7,
$hich is before the date of the effectiity of the !amily "ode on &ugust >, 1FF?, &rticle 1)?
thereof applies because this proision $as intended precisely to fill up the hiatus in &rticle 1))
of the "iil "ode. ,efore &rticle 1)? of the !amily "ode $as enacted, there $as no proision
goerning property relations of couples liing in a state of adultery or concubinage. Gence,
een if the cohabitation or the ac2uisition of the property occurred before the !amily "ode
too3 effect, &rticle 1)? goerns.
&s in other ciil cases, the burden of proof rests upon the party $ho, as determined by the
pleadings or the nature of the case, asserts an affirmatie issue. "ontentions must be proed
by competent eidence and reliance must be had on the strength of the partyAs o$n eidence
and not upon the $ea3ness of the opponentAs defense. 8his applies $ith more igor $here, as
in the instant case, the plaintiff $as allo$ed to present eidence e1 parte. 8he plaintiff is not
automatically entitled to the relief prayed for. 8he la$ gies the defendant some measure of
protection as the plaintiff must still proe the allegations in the complaint. !aorable relief can
be granted only after the court is coninced that the facts proen by the plaintiff $arrant such
relief. 4ndeed, the party alleging a fact has the burden of proing it and a mere allegation is
not eidence.
4n the case at bar, the controersy centers on the house and personal properties of the
parties. #riate respondent alleged in her complaint that she contributed #70,000.00 for the
completion of their house. Go$eer, no$here in her testimony did she specify the e1tent of
her contribution. (hat appears in the record are receipts in her name for the purchase of
construction materials on Noember 17, 1FFJ and 'ecember 2>, 1FFJ, in the total amount of
/n the other hand, both parties claim that the money used to purchase the disputed personal
properties came partly from their 5oint account $ith !irst &llied 'eelopment ,an3. (hile
there is no 2uestion that both parties contributed in their 5oint account deposit, there is,
ho$eer, no sufficient proof of the e1act amount of their respectie shares therein. #ursuant
to &rticle 1)? of the !amily "ode, in the absence of proof of e1tent of the partiesA respectie
contribution, their share shall be presumed to be e2ual. Gere, the disputed personal
properties $ere alued at #111,>7J.00, the e1istence and alue of $hich $ere not 2uestioned
by the petitioner. Gence, their share therein is e2uialent to one-half, i.e., #JJ,H?7.J0 each.