You may no longer be able to say "what's yours is mine and what's mine is yours" if this newly proposed bill is approved and enacted into law.
House of Representative (HOR) Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez recently submitted House Bill No. 5268, which would let spouses retain ownership of all of his or her personal assets acquired before the marriage and anything he or she buys solely thereafter.
The proposed bill seeks to amend Article 75 of Title IV of Executive Order 209 or the Family Code of the Philippines. This current bill mandates that in the absence of a marriage settlement or pre-nuptial agreement, all properties the husband and the wife own become part of the couple's absolute community or conjugal property after they are married. Both the husband and wife share equal ownership of anything they acquire while married, regardless if the other knew about the other spouse's purchase or not.
If a couple did not execute a signed prenup that identifies the property or asset that should remain in the name of a spouse before getting married, their absolute community and conjugal properties must be distributed equally by default.
According to Alvarez, this clause under the current law is burdensome and detrimental for couples whose marriage is on the rocks. "The contestation of property in the the face of a growing rift only breeds resentment," Alvarez said via a statement.
The lawmaker explained that with the proposed amendment, "each spouse shall own, dispose of, possess, administer and enjoy his and her own property, without need for consent of the other. Additionally, separate earnings shall be owned by each spouse separately." So if and when a marriage goes downhill and both parties agree to file for annulment, it would be easy for them to divide and distribute their assets.
"In the absence of a marriage settlement, or when the regime agreed upon is void, the regime of total separation of property as established in this Code shall govern," the bill states. Soon-to-be married couples will need to sign a prenup stating that they want to enter into a marriage regime of absolute community or conjugal property, if they wish.
The same system applies to the property regimes of unions without marriage or under a void marriage. However, the proposed amendment does not change the responsiblity of both spouses to provide support for their family through their separate properties.
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