G.R. No. 176492, October 20, 2014
MARIETTA N. BARRIDO, Petitioner, v. LEONARDO V. NONATO, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, judgment is hereby rendered, ordering the conjugal property of the former Spouses Leonardo and Marietta Nonato, a house and lot covered by TCT No. T-140361 located at Eroreco, Bacolod City, which was their conjugal dwelling, adjudicated to the defendant Marietta Nonato, the spouse with whom the majority of the common children choose to remain.
Furthermore, defendant’s counterclaim is hereby granted, ordering plaintiff to pay defendant P10,000.00 as moral damages for the mental anguish and unnecessary inconvenience brought about by this suit; and an additional P10,000.00 as exemplary damages to deter others from following suit; and attorney’s fees of P2,000.00 and litigation expenses of P575.00.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision dated September 17, 2003 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new judgment is hereby rendered ordering the parties:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(1) to equitably partition the house and lot covered by TCT No. T-140361;
(2) to reimburse Joseph Raymund and Joseph Leo Nonato of the amount advanced by them in payment of the debts and obligation of TCT No. T-140361 with Philippine National Bank;
(3) to deliver the presumptive legitimes of Joseph Raymund and Joseph Leo Nonato pursuant to Article 51 of the Family Code.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE MTCC HAD JURISDICTION TO TRY THE PRESENT CASE.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE LOT COVERED BY TCT NO. T-140361 IS CONJUGAL AFTER BEING SOLD TO THE CHILDREN, JOSEPH LEO NONATO AND JOSEPH RAYMUND NONATO.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT ARTICLE 129 OF THE FAMILY CODE HAS NO APPLICATION IN THE PRESENT CASE, ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE TRIAL COURT HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE.6chanrobleslaw
Section 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in civil cases. – Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:chanroblesvirtuallawlibraryx x x x
(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve title to, or possession of, real property, or any interest therein where the assessed value of the property or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs: Provided, That value of such property shall be determined by the assessed value of the adjacent lots. (as amended by R.A. No. 7691)9
Art. 147. 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.
In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the former's efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and of the household.
Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without the consent of the other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.
When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of the party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common children. In case of default of or waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants, each vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants. In the absence of descendants, such share shall belong to the innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall take place upon termination of the cohabitation.
* Per Special Order No. 1815 dated October 3, 2014.
** Designated Acting Member, in lieu of Associate Justice Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr., per Special Order No. 1816 dated October 3, 2014.
1 Penned by Associate Justice Pampio A. Abarintos, with Associate Justices Agustin S. Dizon and Priscilla Baltazar-Padilla; concurring; rollo, pp. 21-32.
2 Id. at 39-40.
3 CA rollo, pp. 29-33.
4Rollo, pp. 23-24.
5 Id. at 24.
6 Id. at 14.
7Fortune Motors (Phils.), Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 258-A Phil. 336, 340 (1989).
8 Entitled AN ACT REORGANIZING THE JUDICIARY, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
9 Emphasis ours.
10 Art. 36. 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. (As amended by Executive Order 227)
11 Art. 129. Upon the dissolution of the conjugal partnership regime, the following procedure shall apply:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
(1) An inventory shall be prepared, listing separately all the properties of the conjugal partnership and the exclusive properties of each spouse.
(2) Amounts advanced by the conjugal partnership in payment of personal debts and obligations of either spouse shall be credited to the conjugal partnership as an asset thereof.
(3) Each spouse shall be reimbursed for the use of his or her exclusive funds in the acquisition of property or for the value of his or her exclusive property, the ownership of which has been vested by law in the conjugal partnership.
(4) The debts and obligations of the conjugal partnership shall be paid out of the conjugal assets. In case of insufficiency of said assets, the spouses shall be solidarily liable for the unpaid balance with their separate properties, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 121.
(5) Whatever remains of the exclusive properties of the spouses shall thereafter be delivered to each of them.
(6) Unless the owner had been indemnified from whatever source, the loss or deterioration of movables used for the benefit of the family, belonging to either spouse, even due to fortuitous event, shall be paid to said spouse from the conjugal funds, if any.
(7) The net remainder of the conjugal partnership properties shall constitute the profits, which shall be divided equally between husband and wife, unless a different proportion or division was agreed upon in the marriage settlements or unless there has been a voluntary waiver or forfeiture of such share as provided in this Code.
(8) The presumptive legitimes of the common children shall be delivered upon the partition in accordance with Article 51.
(9) In the partition of the properties, the conjugal dwelling and the lot on which it is situated shall, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties, be adjudicated to the spouse with whom the majority of the common children choose to remain. Children below the age of seven years are deemed to have chosen the mother, unless the court has decided otherwise. In case there is no such majority, the court shall decide, taking into consideration the best interests of said children.
12Valdes v. Regional Trial Court, Branch 102, Quezon City, 328 Phil. 1289, 1296 (1996).
13Mercado-Fehr v. Fehr, 460 Phil. 445, 457 (2003).
14Valdes v. Regional Trial Court, Branch 102, Quezon City, supra note 12.
15Mercado-Fehr v. Fehr, supra note 13.
17Agapay v. Palang, 342 Phil. 302, 311 (1997).
18Valdes v. Regional Trial Court, Branch 102, Quezon City, supra note 12.
21Gonzales v. Atty. Ramos, 499 Phil. 345, 347 (2005).
22Salas v. Sta. Mesa Market Corporation, 554 Phil. 343, 348 (2007).