I just want to know if the house and lot I inherited from my parents is part of our conjugal property. My husband died three months ago and his illegitimate children are claiming that the house is a conjugal property. We were married on June 4, 1987. We had no children. Please advise me.
Since you did not mention in your letter that you and your husband entered into an agreement insofar as your property relation is concerned prior to the celebration of your marriage, we will assume that there was none. Likewise, considering that at the time of your marriage, the law provides that your property relation with your husband is under the regime of conjugal partnership of gains, if no agreement prior to your marriage was executed, then the same shall govern your property relation.
The Family Code of the Philippines describes the system of conjugal part–nership of gains as follows:
“Art. 106. Under the regime of con–jugal partnership of gains, the husband and wife place in a common fund the proceeds, products, fruits and income from their separate properties and those acquired by either or both spouses through their efforts or by chance, and, upon dissolution of the marriage or of the partnership, the net gains or benefits obtained by either or both spouses shall be divided equally between them, unless otherwise agreed in the marriage settlements.”
Likewise, the said law identifies properties which are to be treated as the separate and exclusive property of each spouse whose property relation is under the regime of conjugal partnership of gains, to wit:
“Art. 109. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse:
(1) That which is brought to the marriage as his or her own;
(2) That which each acquires during the marriage by gratuitous title;
(3) That which is acquired by right of redemption, by barter or by exchange with property belonging to only one of the spouses; and
(4) That which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband.”
As clearly stated above, the property you inherited from your parents is not part of your and your deceased husband’s conjugal property. Therefore, it should not be considered in the partition of the estate of your husband. The claim of his illegitimate children is untenable as this property is your exclusive property.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com