Family Law and You

Philippine family law follows you wherever you are in the world.

These are laws about family rights and duties, and those relating to status, condition and legal capacity. If you are a Philippine citizen, these laws bind you even if you are living abroad. (Article 16, New Civil Code).

Let us say that a husband and wife are both Filipinos. They live in the United States for ten years, but continue to be Filipino citizens. They have not applied for US citizenship. Suppose their relationship turns cold and they decide to divorce each other. Philippine law will not recognize their divorce even if granted by a US court. This is because we have no divorce law in our country.

This means that Philippine law will consider them married to each other despite their US divorce. Their conjugal partnership or absolute community will include property they buy in the Philippines during their marriage, even if they buy it after their US divorce. They will also be each other’s heirs.

Or let us say that a former Filipino has become a naturalized US citizen. Her parents pass away in the Philippines. Is she entitled to inherit land in the Philippines? Yes she is,  under our 1987 Constitution. This is an exception to the rule that foreigners cannot own land in the Philippines.

These and many other situations show you why it is important for you to know the law and how it affects you.

For Filipinos everywhere

This blog tells you about your legal rights and obligations under Philippine family law. This blog is for:

  1. All Filipinos wherever they are in the world;
  2. Former Filipinos who have relatives, properties, businesses and connections in the Philippines; and
  3. Foreigners who have relationships, properties and connections with Filipinos.

I believe that family is important, and legal knowledge empowers. By knowing Philippine family law, you can make better plans about your family, properties and future. You’ll have an idea of what to do, and what to avoid, and engage in informed discussions with your legal counsel. This will help when you seek legal advice on how to prevent costly mistakes and keep your family and properties better protected. You can have peace of mind.

Let’s deal with your questions on this topic. Email me at chato@yourfamilymatters.info and I will post my answers on this blog. I’d love to hear from you.

About Chato Olivas-Quinto

 Chato Olivas-Quinto is a lawyer, law professor, writer, speaker, blogger, Christ-follower. Married to Jun L Quinto, she has two adult sons Jeremiah and Raphael Gallo.
She received her law degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1987 and took her lawyer’s oath in 1988.
“Your calling will always keep calling you,” Chato often tells her students. For her, this is teaching.
After practising law for more than 30 years, she has recently decided to devote most of her time to teaching law at De La Salle University College of Law.
This is her ninth year as a law professor at DLSU Law where she served as Vice Dean for three years.
She is also a regular lecturer for the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education program of DLSU and Chan Robles Lawnet, Inc.
For leisure, she paints landscapes, birds and flowers, and plays the piano.  Sundays find her at Victory Christian Fellowship in Alabang.
You may reach her at chato@yourfamilymatters.info.

*Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt from Pexels