What property regime should govern marriages celebrated in the year 2005?
The Family Code of the Philippines is the law in effect for marriages that are celebrated in 2005. Pursuant to Article 75 thereof, future spouses may, in the marriage settlements, agree upon the regime of absolute community, conjugal partnership of gains, complete separation of property, or any other regime. In the absence of marriage settlement or when the regime agreed upon by the spouses is void, however, the system of absolute community of property shall apply.
Under the regime of absolute community of property, all the property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of their marriage or acquired thereafter shall form their community property (Article 91, Family Code of the Philippines [FCP]). This shall commence at the precise moment that the marriage is celebrated (Article 88, FCP).
But there are certain classes of property that are considered as exclusive property of the spouses and, as such, are excluded from their community property. These are enumerated in Article 92 of the above-mentioned law, to wit:
Article 92. The following shall be excluded from the community property:
1. Property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title by either spouse, and the fruits as well as the income thereof, if any, unless it is expressly provided by the donor, testator or grantor that they shall form part of the community property.
2. Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse. Jewelry, however, shall form part of the community property;
3. Property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former marriage, and the fruits as well as the income, if any, of such property.
The administration and enjoyment of the community property shall belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement, the husband’s decision shall prevail, subject to recourse to the court by the wife for a proper remedy, which must be availed of within five (5) years from the date of the contract implementing such decision (Article 96, FCP).
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