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Susan Lim-Lua vs Danilo Y.

Lua
G. R. No. 175279-80
June 05, 2013

Facts

On September 3, 2003, petitioner Susan Lim-Lua filed an action for the declaration of nullity of her
marriage with respondent Danilo Y. Lua. In her prayer for support pendente lite for herself and her two
children, petitioner sought the amount of P500,000.00 as monthly support, citing respondent's huge
financial capacity. After due hearing, the RTC issued an Order granting half of the amount sought by the
petitioner plus medical attendance expenses needed by plaintiff for the operation of both her eyes which
is demandable upon the conduct of such operation. Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration,
asserting that petitioner is not entitled to spousal support and that the order granted by the RTC is
unconscionable. His second motion for reconsideration having been denied, respondent filed a petition
for certiorari in the CA. The CA nullified and set aside RTCs Order and instead a new one is entered: (1)
reducing monthly support pendente lite to P115,000.00; and (2) ordering the deduction of certain amount
claimed by the respondent that he already provided to the 2 children. Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration but was denied by the CA. Hence, this petition.

Issue : Whether or not the CA erred in deducting amount claimed by the respondent from the current
total support in arrears?

Held

The SC declared that the petition is partly granted. As a matter of law, the amount of support which
those related by marriage and family relationship is generally obliged to give each other shall be in
proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the needs of the recipient. Such support
comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education
and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family. The general rule is to the effect
that when a father is required by a divorce decree to pay to the mother money for the support of their
dependent children and the unpaid and accrued installments become judgments in her favor, he cannot
claim credit on account of payments voluntarily made directly to the children. Here, the CA should not
have allowed all the expenses incurred by respondent to be credited against the accrued support
pendente lite.