How Will Separation Affect Your Real Estate Properties?

By: Hanna Rubio
property division after divorce

Some say that the quest for finding the right person that you’d soon want to share your life with is probably the hardest part of the romance but it’s rather the start. When you and your spouse move to your new residential real estate home, the test of making everything work continues.

While some are able to maintain their relationship, some are not for love isn’t always about rainbows and butterflies. When everything goes south, the only solution to not hurt each other any further is separation.

What happens if the marriage doesn’t work? 

Problems and fights between husbands and wives are normal. However, when everything becomes more complicated and nothing is going as planned, this is the time when both parties come to an agreement of separation. Believe it or not, the process of legally unbinding one person to another is a complicated one. It’s a dreading process that someone goes through when a marriage doesn’t work.

This is the reality for some couples. There are different ways where they can be separated from their spouses. This gives couples the following choices, divorce, annulment, or legal separation.

In a divorce, the marital connection between husband and wife is legally untied. This process of separation will then allow both couples to enter a new marriage or remarry if they wish to, completely giving both the freedom from their previous marriage. This is being used and applied by different countries around the world. However, the Philippines is still in the process of passing it as an official bill.

Annulment on the other hand is the process of legally declaring that a marriage is null and void and is influenced by specific grounds. The result of the annulment will also depend on various factors one of which can be the pieces of evidence presented in court to support the case. Annulment is applicable in cases where there is no parental consent, if psychologically incapacitated, fraud is present, when there’s force and undue influence, or if a serious and incurable sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Judicial Separation of property is the process when both the husband and wife wish to be free from their marital obligations. When nothing is going right during the marriage, couples who want to be free but still be entitled to their own properties can opt for this.

Legal separation in the Philippines is a legal process that provides a viable option for married couples who are considering living apart from each other. This process acknowledges and recognizes the couple’s decision to separate while still maintaining their marital status. There are specific grounds for legal separation in the Philippines, and it can result in a court decree that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse during the separation period. When the husband and wife decide to get separated, they are not allowed to remarry unless the first marriage is legally dissolved for it is still considered valid and binding. Apart from the husband and wife being the primary ones affected by this legal process, it also extends to their properties like their residential real estate.

What will happen to the home properties when Separation ensues?

When separation ensues, husband and wife need to carefully talk and discuss the effects of separation on their shared properties. In accordance with the family code of the Philippines, once the conjugal partnership of assets and liabilities is dissolved, the following are some of the procedures that apply:

  • List of the conjugal and exclusive properties of the spouses for inventory.
  • Payment of personal obligations and/or debts using the advanced amounts under the conjugal partnership shall be considered and credited as an asset to the conjugal partnership.
  • Spouses get reimbursed for personal funds used in acquiring conjugal property.
  • Debts and obligations of the conjugal partnership are paid from conjugal assets. If insufficient, spouses are jointly liable for unpaid balances.
  • Each of the spouse’s exclusive properties must be returned to them.
  • The remaining assets of the conjugal partnership will be split equally between the husband and wife unless otherwise specified in the marriage agreement or voluntarily waived by one of the parties as provided in the law.

The house property relations can be affected by these two property regimes that explain the degree of ownership and what will happen in any case the couple files for separation.

Conjugal Partnership of Gains (CPG)

In a Conjugal Partnership of Gains, all real property and assets acquired by one or both spouses during their marriage are considered joint property. It means that any gains or profits generated from these assets, including income, investments, and property appreciation, are equally owned by both spouses. However, assets that are acquired by the husband and wife before and after the marriage, are not included in CPG. This is because it is considered a separate property and the ownership will remain exclusive even after getting married.

Property division after divorce, annulment, and legal separation will then become effective. All the properties purchased before the marriage remain exclusive while the income of the home or properties, investments made, products, or proceeds earned and acquired during the marriage will then be divided equally among them.

Absolute Community of Property (ACP)

In the Philippines, the Absolute Community of Property is a property regime that automatically governs the ownership of assets and properties acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage. Essentially, all properties acquired before and during the marriage are considered absolute community property and are jointly owned by both spouses. This means that each spouse has an equal share in the assets and liabilities of the community, making it a fair and equal arrangement.

When both the husband and wife agree to the separation, all the properties acquired before and during the marriage will be divided equally among the parties.

When a couple decides to legally separate under the Conjugal Partnership of Gains or Absolute Community of Property, the properties will then be dissolved and liquidated. Although some keep it for personal use, separated couples may opt to sell the property and split the profit.

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