Getting Prepared For The Philippines > Laws, Regulations, Taxes as Applied to Foreigners

Community Property

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A question was raised on another thread as to whether a married foreigner’s retirement income, was “community property” in the RP.,3321.msg25921.html#msg25921

In the US, \"earned income\" during the marriage is community property, and \"passive income,\" even from separate property of a spouse, often becomes commingled with community funds, such as placing it into a joint account with other community funds, and, absent some very difficult tracing procedures, is converted to community property regardless of its origin.

As far as in the RP... I have no idea... zip, nada... other than -- 

...based solely on a statute cited by Art... it appears that a foreigner’s retirement income is not community property in the RP.  Rather, it is treated as “gratuitously” acquired, and thus considered “exclusive” property of the foreigner.

However... there is a pesky little phrase “as may be proper in each case,” which gives broad discretion to the courts in deciding this matter... and other parts of this same statute demonstrate a decided bias in favor of providing as much “support” for the family as possible. 

So, I suspect different court’s rulings on this question would vary from case to case... “as may be proper in each case.” ;D

The link posted by Art in the other thread was:

I boiled it down to the provisions which seem to relate to the question.

Art. 74. The property relationship between husband and wife shall be governed in the following order:
     (2) By the provisions of this Code; and
     (3) By the local custom...

Art. 75. ...the system of absolute community of property as established in this Code shall govern...

Art. 80. ...the property relations of the spouses shall be governed by Philippine laws, regardless of the place of the celebration of the marriage and their residence.

Art. 90. The provisions on co-ownership shall apply to the absolute community of property between the spouses in all matters not provided for in this Chapter...
Art. 91. ...the community property shall consist of all the property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the marriage or acquired thereafter...

Art. 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...;
     (2) Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse...;
     (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...

Art. 93. Property acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong to the community, unless it is proved that it is one of those excluded therefrom...

Section 2. Exclusive Property of Each Spouse...
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

Art. 110. The spouses retain the ownership, possession, administration and enjoyment of their exclusive properties.

Art. 115. Retirement benefits, pensions, annuities, gratuities, usufructs and similar benefits shall be governed by the rules on gratuitous or onerous acquisitions as may be proper in each case. 

Tom in Big D


Its about time someone else notices how ambiguous documentation about this (and many other things) actually is. . .

Nice !

How would a pension from a foreign country earned, for the most part, before the marriage to a Filipina, fit into this legal jungle? Does all of this answer the question \'can the husbands income be considered as part of the wifes for legal and financial purposes\'?



--- Quote from: Colin on January 27, 2010, 06:23:32 PM ---How would a pension from a foreign country earned, for the most part, before the marriage to a Filipina, fit into this legal jungle? Does all of this answer the question \'can the husbands income be considered as part of the wifes for legal and financial purposes\'?


--- End quote ---

Hi Colin,

The question from the prior thread was whether the married foreigner\'s pension was \"community property,\" and it appears the short answer to that is \"it is not community property.\" 

However, there is enough \"wiggle room\" in the RP statute to allow a court to hold that it is \"community property\" in a particular case if it so desires.  >:(

You have posed a much broader question... too broad to be answered... because I suspect the answer will vary by each \"legal or financial purpose.\"

However... as alluded to above, I have noticed that the RP statutes exhibit a strong bias toward making whatever monies or property exist available for the support of the \"family.\" 

For example, another portion of the same statutes posted by Art:

also addresses support of the \"family,\" as follows, in part:

Art. 194. Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.
The education... shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.

Art. 105. ... the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:

(1) The spouses;
(2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
(3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
(4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and
(5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood.

Art. 197. ... only the separate property of the person obliged to give support shall be answerable provided that in case the obligor has no separate property, the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, if financially capable, shall advance the support...

Art. 200. When the obligation to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment of the same shall be divided between them in proportion to the resources of each...

Art. 201. The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.

So, again, your question would have to be addressed with respect to each specific \"legal or financial\" purpose you are interested in... but... I suspect a married foreigner\'s retirement income, certainly once it comes into the RP... if addressed by a Filipino Court or agency, will be treated in whatever manner they feel will best benefit his Filipino family.

Without a bunch of research, I have no basis for a more specific answer. :(

Maybe someone who has experienced specific circumstances in the RP with respect to specific instances can advise how the Filipino Court or agency handled the matter.

[off topic] - My best wishes to you and Bing with respect to her mother\'s situation.

Tom in Big D


Tom, thanks for the reply and good wishes. It is certainly a legal jungle, and it would seem that the court is free to do what it likes. If anyone gets caught up the legal system here they would need the support of a very good lawyer, any offers......Tom  ;) ;D



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