by Tristan

Persons and Family Relations Law

EFFECT AND APPLICATION OF LAWS (CIVIL CODE)

Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication either in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines, unless it is otherwise provided.

Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.

Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided.

Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity.

Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law.

Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary. When the courts declare a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern. Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution.

Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form part of the legal system of the Philippines.

No judge or court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws.

In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.

A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence.

When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each; months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise.If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which they respectively have. In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included.

Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.

The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed. When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the solemnities established by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution.

Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country.

In matters which are governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws, their deficiency shall be supplied by the provisions of this Code.

HUMAN RELATIONS (ARTS. 19-22, CIVIL CODE)

Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. (Principle of Abuse of Rights)

The abuse of a right is the greatest possible wrong

Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.

Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.

PERSONS AND PERSONALITY (CIVIL CODE)

Juridical capacity, which is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations, is inherent in every natural person and is lost only through death. Capacity to act, which is the power to do acts with legal effect, is acquired and may be lost.

Minority, insanity or imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, prodigality and civil interdiction are mere restrictions on capacity to act, and do not exempt the incapacitated person from certain obligations, as when the latter arise from his acts or from property relations, such as easements.

The following circumstances, among others, modify or limit capacity to act: age, insanity, imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, penalty, prodigality, family relations, alienage, absence, insolvency and trusteeship. The consequences of these circumstances are governed in this Code, other codes, the Rules of Court, and in special laws. Capacity to act is not limited on account of religious belief or political opinion. A married woman, twenty-one years of age or over, is qualified for all acts of civil life, except in cases specified by law.

Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the conditions specified in the following article: For civil purposes, the foetus is considered born if it is alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother s womb. However, if the foetus had an intra-uterine life of less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies within twenty-four hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb.

Civil personality is extinguished by death. The effect of death upon the rights and obligations of the deceased is determined by law, by contract and by will.

If there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeed each other, as to which of them died first, whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in the absence of proof, it is presumed that they died at the same time and there shall be no transmission of rights from one to the other.

MARRIAGE (FAMILY CODE)

Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code.

No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present: (1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and (2) Consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.

The formal requisites of marriage are: (1) Authority of the solemnizing officer; (2) A valid marriage license except in the cases provided for in Chapter 2 of this Title; and (3) A marriage ceremony which takes place with the appearance of the contracting parties before the solemnizing officer and their personal declaration that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age.

The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35 (2). A defect in any of the essential requisites shall not affect the validity of the marriage but the party or parties responsible for the irregularity shall be civilly, criminally and administratively liable.

The marriage shall be solemnized publicly in the chambers of the judge or in open court, in the church, chapel or temple, or in the office the consul-general, consul or vice-consul, as the case may be, and not elsewhere, except in cases of marriages contracted on the point of death or in remote places in accordance with Article 29 of this Code, or where both of the parties request the solemnizing officer in writing in which case the marriage may be solemnized at a house or place designated by them in a sworn statement to that effect.

A marriage license shall be issued by the local civil registrar of the city or municipality where either contracting party habitually resides, except in marriages where no license is required.

When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens of a foreign country, it shall be necessary for them before a marriage license can be obtained, to submit a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials.

All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines, in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35 (1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38. Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

No license shall be necessary for the marriage of a man and a woman who have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years and without any legal impediment to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The solemnizing officer shall also state under oath that he ascertained the qualifications of the contracting parties are found no legal impediment to the marriage.

VOID MARRIAGES

Marriages solemnized without license except those exempt by law shall be void from the beginning.

Bigamous or polygamous marriages not failing under Article 41 shall be void from the beginning.

Subsequent marriages that are void under Article 53 shall be void from the beginning.

A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization. (Psychological Incapacity)

The action or defense for the declaration of absolute nullity of a marriage shall not prescribe.

The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void.

A marriage contracted by any person during subsistence of a previous marriage shall be null and void, unless before the celebration of the subsequent marriage, the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years and the spouse present has a well-founded belief that the absent spouse was already dead. In case of disappearance where there is danger of death under the circumstances set forth in the provisions of Article 391 of the Civil Code, an absence of only two years shall be sufficient. For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph the spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of reappearance of the absent spouse.

The subsequent marriage referred to in the preceding Article shall be automatically terminated by the recording of the affidavit of reappearance of the absent spouse, unless there is a judgment annulling the previous marriage or declaring it void ab initio. A sworn statement of the fact and circumstances of reappearance shall be recorded in the civil registry of the residence of the parties to the subsequent marriage at the instance of any interested person, with due notice to the spouses of the subsequent marriage and without prejudice to the fact of reappearance being judicially determined in case such fact is disputed.

VOIDABLE MARRIAGES

45

50

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