• Wife can dispose of properties under her name



    Dear PAO,
    My mom and I are currently living abroad. She wants to sell her properties in the Philippines but the problem is she bought those properties while she was married with my dad. The marriage was annulled. Would the change of names be a problem once we try to sell? If it is, please advise us on what to do. Other properties were named after my dad too.

    Thank you!

    Dear Samantha,
    The law allows a married woman to use the surname of her husband. This is explicitly provided by the New Civil Code of the Philippines, to wit:

    “ Art. 370. A married woman may use:

    (1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, or

    (2) Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname or

    (3) Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as ”Mrs.”

    Based on your narration, we will assume that your mother used the surname of your father and since their marriage was already annulled, your mother reverted to the use of her maiden name.

    As annulment of marriage is one of the grounds of dissolution of property relation between husband and wife, we will likewise assume that the properties of your parents were already partitioned and those in the name of your mother were given to her as her share and the same is true insofar as the properties which are titled in the name of your father is concerned. Therefore, your mother, by all means, has all the right to sell all the properties titled in her name as this is her right as the owner of the said properties.

    The name appearing in the title of these properties is not an issue. Even if your mother reverted to using her maiden name right after the aforementioned annulment, the fact still remains that she is the owner of these properties. Reverting to her maiden name does not affect in any manner her ownership over these properties. Thus, she can do whatever she wants with these properties.

    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.


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