DSLaw Family Law Series

What Happens to Our Property Relations If We are Cohabiting Outside the Benefit of Marriage? [Understanding the Property Regimes under Articles 147 and 148 of the Family Code of the Philippines]

Cohabitation is the public assumption by a man and a woman of the marital relation, and dwelling together as man and wife, thereby holding themselves out to the public as such.[1]

1.When a couple decides to cohabit, the Family Code of the Philippines dictates two legal scenarios with respect to their properties:When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on
co-ownership.[2]

2. On the other hand, when the common-law spouses suffer from a legal impediment to marry or when they do not live exclusively with each other as husband and wife, only the property acquired by both of them through their actual joint contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned in common and in proportion to their respective contributions. Such contributions and corresponding shares, however, are prima facie presumed to be equal.[3]


[1] Arcaba v. Vda. de Batocael, G.R. No. 146683, (2001).

[2] Family Code, art. 147, (1987).

[3] Valdes v. RTC, Br. 102, Quezon City, G.R. No. 122749, (1996).

How Can We Help?

Cohabiting or being in a relationship as a common law husband or wife with your partner can result to complex property relations and successional rights.

Our lawyers at Delloro & Saulog Law Offices are ready to explain to you the complexities of these property regimes under the Family Code of the Philippines and the legal consequences you must know to protect your rights and interests.

Will co-ownership apply to your cohabitation? Or will it be owned in common in proportion to your respective contributions? Our lawyers will be glad to assist.

For more information on how we can help you protect your rights and interests under the given circumstance, book a consultation with us below.

For more information on how we can help you, book a consultation with us below.



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