Antonio A.S. Valdes, vs. Regional Trial Court

G.R. No. 122749. July 31, 1996.*


Antonio Valdes and Consuelo Gomez were married and begotten five children. Valdes sought the declaration of nullity of the marriage pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code which was granted. The judgment rendered includes the custody of children and liquidation of  their common properties as defined by Article 147 of the Family Code, and to comply with the provisions of Articles 50, 51 and 52. Consuelo Gomez sought a clarification and asserted that the Family Code contained no provisions on the procedure for the liquidation of common property in “unions without marriage.”


-Whether or not Article 147 of the Family Code does not apply to cases where the parties are psychologically incapacitated.


-YES. When a man and a woman, suffering no legal impediment to marry each other, so exclusively live together as husband and wife under a void marriage or without the benefit of marriage is governed by the provisions of Article 147. The term “capacitated” in the provision refers to the legal capacity of a party to contract marriage, i.e., any “male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38” of the Code.

Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work and industry shall be governed by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any property acquired during the union is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. A party who did not participate in the acquisition of the property shall still be considered as having contributed thereto jointly if said party’s “efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household.”