Property Relations and Prenuptial Agreements


As provided by law, the property relations between husband and wife shall governed in the following order:  (1) By marriage settlements executed before marriage; (2) By the provisions of Family Code; and (3) By the local customs.

The future spouses may agree on the property relations during their marriage, on either (1) System of absolute community; (2) Conjugal partnership of gains; (3) Complete separation of property; or (4) any other regime or system, so long as it is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. If the future spouses did not enter into marriage settlements, or when the regime agreed upon is void, the system of absolute community of property apply between them.

In the absence of a contrary stipulation in a marriage settlement, 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. This rule shall not apply: (1) Where both spouses are aliens; (2) With respect to the extrinsic validity of contracts affecting property not situated in the Philippines and executed in the country where the property is located; and (3) With respect to the extrinsic validity of contracts entered into in the Philippines but affecting property situated in a foreign country whose laws require different formalities for its extrinsic validity.

Take note that everything stipulated in the marriage settlements or contracts in consideration of a future marriage, including donations between the prospective spouses made therein, shall be rendered void if the marriage does not take place. However, stipulations that do not depend upon the celebration of the marriage shall be valid.

To know more about this topic, please email or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090 or +639175220680.




Requisites of a Valid Prenuptial Agreement

Article 77 of the Family Code provides that the marriage settlements and any modification thereof shall be in writing, signed by the parties and executed before the celebration of the marriage. They shall not prejudice third persons unless they are registered in the local civil registry where the marriage contract is recorded as well as in the proper registries of the property.

The first requisite is that the agreement must be in writing. It may be private or public document. It is required that all the terms and modifications pertaining to the property regime as well as all the assets and properties must be in writing. Hence, oral agreements are not allowed.

Although notarization in  prenuptial agreement is not a requirement for its validity, it should be notarized for the purpose of registration. If the prenuptial agreement is not registered, it willl not prejudice third persons, and the absolute community regime will apply as to them.

The second requisite is that the agreement must be signed by the parties. It is required that both parties must voluntarily execute the agreement. Their signatures are the real manifestations of their consent to all the terms included in the agreement.

The third requisite is that the agreement must be entered into by the parties prior to the celebration of marriage. It is called “prenuptial” because it must be drafted and signed before the celebration of marriage. Otherwise, it fails to serve its purpose of determining the property regime and management of all assets and properties between the husband and wife.

Take note that there are certain instances when amendments of prenuptial agreements are allowed even during the marriage: a) in cases of reconciliation between spouses who are subjects of legal separation proceedings; b) in cases of an agreement on the revival of their former property regime, executed by the reconciled couples above; c) in a regime of conjugal partnership of gains where a spouse abandons the other; d) in judicial separation of property; and e) in cases where the couple files a joint petition for voluntary dissolution of their existing property regimes.

The agreement cannot be unreasonably unfair to one of the parties. If you are planning to get married and are considering to enter into a  prenuptial agreement, you may consult a lawyer for your guidance and assistance.

To know more about this topic, please email or call Atty. Joyce Domingo at +632-8231090 or +639175220680.

See also:

Property Relations and Prenuptial Agreements