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dgd

Foreigner divorce joint property ownership

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dgd
Posted (edited)

Have title in hand for land and buildings joint ownership with wife who held Filipino passport at the time of purchase but no longer does. We have lived in the home during extended vacations.

Civil wedding married abroad, not a Philippines church ceremony. 

Potential for divorce or separation outside Philippines.

In the past I'd understood that a foreigner could own buildings but not land when married to a Filipino. In the event of spouse death or divorce the man has six months to marry another Philippine citizen in order to retain a valid joint ownership. Otherwise after six months the property reverts to the woman's family. As long as ownership was joint with any Filipino spouse.

I may be totally off base with the above so I am looking for comments. Upon separation & divorce what happens in the division of property land and building?

 

Edited by dgd

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Headshot

This is from memory, so please double-check my advice for correctness. I am NOT a lawyer. A foreigner may own a house IF the lot is leased, but the lease must be accomplished ahead of time and not after the fact. So, unless you did that in the beginning, it is too late to do that now. Also a husband may NOT lease land from his wife. It has been a long time since I read this law, but it clearly stated that spouses may not lease land to each other. It is understandable why this is the case.

On separation, it is up to the judge what happens to real property. In many cases, the judge gives the couple an order to sell the property and split the proceeds.However, that is not always the case, and in some cases, the property is given to the Filipino on the title exclusively. A foreigner cannot own land in the Philippines unless they acquire it through legal inheritance. In other words, you may inherit land IF your wife dies and there is a child from that marriage. Ownership is then joint between the husband and child. There is no time limit on sale of the property in that case. If there is no child, then the inheritance laws have the land going to your wife's family (and maybe to you provided the land is sold in a timely manner, which may vary depending on the judge).

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dgd

Thanks Headshot.

we have a child.

 Any idea yet  the judges consider a foreign civil marriage divorcable in the Philippines? 

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to_dave007
Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, dgd said:

Thanks Headshot.

we have a child.

 Any idea yet  the judges consider a foreign civil marriage divorcable in the Philippines? 

Age of the child might be relevant if old enough to own property..  

I don't believe Philippines law distinguishes between church wedding or civil wedding..  so that fact that it was civil is..  IMHO..  not relevant.

Was your foreign wedding ever recognized in PI.. If you got a CENOMAR for you or your wife from PSA..  would it say you are married?

I think there is some procedure..  not sure what it is..  to recognize a foreign divorce.  Not sure if it matters where the marriage occurred.

I assume you are expecting to be kicked out of house in PI as soon as divorce is final..  true? 

Edited by to_dave007

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Cebuandrew

I have studied the laws here as they apply to this. Foreigner cannot own land in the Phils, unless the wife dies before him, and then it get's murky, for he then "has a reasonable amount of time to sell the property." But, this not apply to your situation. Yes, I've read cases where the  foreigner's name is on the title, but that meant nothing to the courts. It's just for show. Regarding the buildings, good luck. If wife says "get off my land" then you have no recourse. I knew one guy in that situation, who then went and got another property, built a replica home, and when wife went to Europe for a month, he stripped old home of doors, windows, roof, etc. to put in his new home. Wife no took him to court over that, so not sure how that would have gone down.

A judge in the Phils has no power to grant a divorce, under any circumstance. For the right amount of money, a judge here could grant an annulment, but not if your marriage was outside of the country. Sorry, but I do not see the child being a  part of the legalities here. Of course, it can get even worse if you live in a small province and her family is from there. Then you have no rights at all.

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SkyMan
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, dgd said:

Any idea yet  the judges consider a foreign civil marriage divorcable in the Philippines? 

No, but you can divorce in Canada or wherever.  I don't know what the Canadian court would do about foreign assets or if they would take into account your not being able to own the lot.  If you want to keep the house, perhaps you could have some agreement with your wife that after the divorce, you have a long term lease on the land from her as part of alimony or something like that.  You can't lease form your wife but you can lease from your X.  You'll want to make this part of the divorce settlement so she can't back out.  Also, you may want to include whatever about if the 2 of you agree to sell the proceeds will be split or whatever you decide.

Edited by SkyMan

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Cebuandrew
4 minutes ago, SkyMan said:

You can't lease form your wife but you can lease from your X.

Very good point to make. I'm also not sure what a Canadian court would do. I know in Oregon, a court would consider it as a "joint asset" and rule the wife owes husband money under the right circumstances. However, it would do no good if wife goes back to the Phils, for the court would then no longer have jurisdiction over her. I once did a divorce case, where husband, an Oregon resident was married to a gal from outside the country, where they had assets, and they both wanted a simple divorce. My advice was to get all he could from his assets in Oregon, and just give her the rest.

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Headshot
6 hours ago, dgd said:

Thanks Headshot.

we have a child.

 Any idea yet  the judges consider a foreign civil marriage divorcable in the Philippines? 


There is no divorce in the Philippines, but that isn't important. You can get the divorce in any country that does have divorce. Property in the Philippines can be split with a legal separation, which is available here. Because there is no divorce, the courts operate a little differently, but if you get a divorce elsewhere, a legal separation here should be easy to obtain. The judge (in the Philippines) will still decide how the property will be split.

 

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Headshot
6 hours ago, to_dave007 said:

Age of the child might be relevant if old enough to own property..  

I don't believe Philippines law distinguishes between church wedding or civil wedding..  so that fact that it was civil is..  IMHO..  not relevant.

Was your foreign wedding ever recognized in PI.. If you got a CENOMAR for you or your wife from PSA..  would it say you are married?

I think there is some procedure..  not sure what it is..  to recognize a foreign divorce.  Not sure if it matters where the marriage occurred.

I assume you are expecting to be kicked out of house in PI as soon as divorce is final..  true? 

Philippine law doesn't consider the marriage at all unless they were married in the Philippines (or registered the marriage with PSA) which they were not. They recognize the marriage, but they don't presume to have any jurisdiction over it (as in forcing an annulment rather than a divorce elsewhere). That will not hinder him from seeking a legal separation in the Philippines to equitably split the property.

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to_dave007
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Headshot said:

Philippine law doesn't consider the marriage at all unless they were married in the Philippines (or registered the marriage with PSA) which they were not. They recognize the marriage, but they don't presume to have any jurisdiction over it (as in forcing an annulment rather than a divorce elsewhere). That will not hinder him from seeking a legal separation in the Philippines to equitably split the property.

Agree.

I think we need to hear from OP again with some clear questions.

Edited by to_dave007

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dgd

 Thank you for all the responses. I'm studying this a little bit further and will possibly come back to this forum with further information, questions and valuable insights from others. 

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dgd

Wow. That shook the hornet nest.

 The comments are helpful to get my brain working on this. 

 Does anyone have personal experience going through this sort of thing  and perhaps a contact name ? 

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fred42
On 4/30/2019 at 4:34 PM, Headshot said:

That will not hinder him from seeking a legal separation in the Philippines to equitably split the property.

 

A mate got his marriage annulled..Judge gave her the house and land and awarded him the condo..2 months later he politely reminded her to transfer condo over to him..2 days later he get email from her lawyer saying they are ready to transfer condo after he settles her 3 million loan on said property..
Game,set, Match!
 

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Headshot
1 hour ago, fred42 said:

A mate got his marriage annulled..Judge gave her the house and land and awarded him the condo..2 months later he politely reminded her to transfer condo over to him..2 days later he get email from her lawyer saying they are ready to transfer condo after he settles her 3 million loan on said property..
Game,set, Match!

That does sometimes happen, which was why I said the judge decides how property is split. I've also seen a case where a judge awarded all proceeds from the sale of a house to the foreigner husband. But he did have to sell. If you get a legal separation in the Philippines, there is no telling how the judge will rule. Some rule for one side or the other, but many will order the property sold and split.

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Cebuandrew
14 minutes ago, Headshot said:

I've also seen a case where a judge awarded all proceeds from the sale of a house to the foreigner husband. But he did have to sell. If you get a legal separation in the Philippines, there is no telling how the judge will rule. Some rule for one side or the other, but many will order the property sold and split.

My 2 cents, but this is a third-world Country. In cases like that, the judge will rule if one lines his pockets. I've seen "hereditary by succession" cases go 1-year and then 10-years before a judge ordered the sale. Lol...go outside tomorrow and watch how the election next week controls. I once paid a Catholic Priest 5k to tell my then gf that "God wants her to swallow." To "speculate" how a judge will rule here is incredulous without taking into the factor of corruption. I can only talk of Supreme Court cases here in da Phils...which I've read many. And many are overturned, because lower courts ruled by money given to them, and not by the actual law. Just saying, but before, when I did practice law in the States, I could guess how a case would go down. Here, it is dictated by the money. Not to talk about the 6-10 years after you get screwed in court here, because you did not pay the judge enough, before the Supreme Court overturns it.

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