START-UP real estate services firm Phil. Property Expert Inc. is giving its clients some food for thought in this month of love.
The brokerage firm’s blog editor, Nimrod Flores, enumerated the rights of the legal spouse as against those of the other woman or man, with regards to their properties and those of the erring husband or wife.
“Sometimes, people just have too much love to give that one person is not enough to receive it all!” joked Flores.
But he seriously added: “People may have all sorts of reasons, but the effects of these decisions on their property relations will all be the same under the law.
According to Flores, the country’s Family Code has four types of property relations, when it comes to couples—the absolute community of property (ACP), the conjugal partnership of gains, the complete separation of property, and the property regime of unions without marriage.
“Knowing when and how these property regimes apply may save you from a lifelong mistake,” Flores said.
Flores pointed out that the default property regime or relations that would govern couples married from August 3, 1988, when the Family Code took effect, is the Absolute Community of Property, where all properties of the both spouses—even if one bought a P100-million farm while the other just had a hundred-thousand-peso motorbike—are equally divided between the legal husband and the wife.
That is, Flores emphasized, if they do not agree on another regime prior to getting married.
“Before August 3, 1988, those couples, who got married without executing a marriage settlement beforehand, are governed by the Conjugal Partnership of Gains regime.
Flores said the Property Regime of Unions Without Marriage applies to extra-marital couples, where the third party’s property rights are only up to the extent of her contribution in acquiring properties with her or his partner.
“Many people today get into complicated marital relations without minding the implications of their actions on their properties,” Flores said. “It will serve us well if we keep in mind that the personal relations we establish as we go through life will have significant effects on the properties and the wealth that we accumulate. Knowing the legal effects, implications and consequences of our own acts will help us make better decisions.”