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What is Marital Property?
Marital Property or Sin Somros are all properties and financial assets acquired by a couple during their marriage. These are ordinarily used by them and their children while they are living together. It generally consists anything about their shelter or transportation, or for household, educational, recreational or social purposes.
Anything that belonged to one spouse before the marriage is Non-marital property or Sin Suan Tua.
Is marital property always divided equally?
The concern on property division does not usually arise during the marriage, but when a couple decides to separate. Upon divorce, there will be an equal division of the marital property between spouses.
Are gifts that my spouse gave me during our marriage considered as marital property?
Any property acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will or gift is a personal property.
What are non-marital properties (Sin Suan Tua)?
Each spouse is the manager of his or her own Sin Suan Tua. It consists of:
- any property belonging to either spouse before marriage;
- properties for personal use, dress or ornament suitable for the station in life, or tools necessary for carrying on either spouse’s profession;
- all properties acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will or gift;
What does marital property consists of (Sin Somros)?
Sin Somros consists of:
- property acquired during marriage;
- property acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will of a gift made in writing if declared by such will or document of the gift as Sin Somros;
- fruits of Sin Suan Tua.
In managing the Sin Somros in the following cases, both have to be a joint manager or one spouse has to obtain consent from the other in the following circumstances:
- Selling, exchanging, sale with the right of redemption, letting out property on hire-purchase, mortgaging, releasing mortgage to the mortgagor or transferring the right of the mortgage on the immovable property or on the mortgageable movable property.
- Creating or distinguishing the whole or a part of the servitude, right of inhabitation, right of superficies, usufruct or charge on the immovable property.
- Letting immovable property for more than 3 years.
- Lending money
- Making a gift unless it is a gift for charitable, social or moral purposes and is suitable to the family condition.
- Having a compromise.
- Submitting a dispute to arbitration.
- Putting up the property as guarantee or security with a competent official or the Court.
One spouse may manage the Sin Somros in any case other than those mentioned above without having to obtain consent from the other.
In case either spouse is the sole manager of the Sin Somros
If the manager is going to commit or is committing any act in the management of the Sin Somros which would appear to result in an undue loss, the other spouse may apply to the Court for an order forbidding commission of such act.
If either spouse who is the manager of Sin Somros:
- causes undue loss to it;
- fails to support the other spouse;
- becomes insolvent or incurs debts to an amount exceeding one-half of the Sin Somros;
- hinders the management of Sin Somros by the other spouse without reasonable ground;
- is found to have circumstances that will ruin the Sin Somros;
the other spouse may apply to the Court for an order authorizing him or her as the sole manager or dividing the Sin Somros.
What about our debts?
Where either spouse is personally liable for any debts incurred before or during the marriage, he/she must use his/her Sin Suan Tua to cover a part or whole performance of the obligation. If the obligation is not performed in full, he/she must use his/her part of the Sin Somros.
Where both are common debtors, the performance will come from the Sin Somros and the Sin Suan Tua of both.
Debts that both spouses are jointly liable shall include the debts incurred by either spouse during marriage in connection with the following :
- management of household affairs and providing for the necessities of the family, medical expenses and educational needs of the children;
- Sin Somros;
- a business carried on by the spouses in common; and
- debts incurred by either spouse only for his or her own benefit but ratified by the other.
If either spouse is bankrupt by adjudication, the division of the Sin Somros is by operation of law as from the date of adjudication.
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