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Gonzales vs Gonzales

GR No. 159521, December 16, 2005

FACTS:

 In March 1977, Francisco Gonzales, petitioner, and Erminda Gonzales,


respondent, started living as husband and wife
 After two (2) years, or on February 4, 1979, they got married. From this union,
four (4) children were born, namely: Carlo Manuel, Maria Andres, Maria
Angelica and Marco Manuel
 On October 29, 1992, respondent filed a complaint with the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 143, Makati City, for annulment of marriage with prayer for
support pendente lite, alleging the psychological incapacity of petitioner thus
causing resulting in his failure to comply with the obligations of marriage.
 She says that he beats her for no justifiable reason, humiliates and embarrasses
her, and denies her love, sexual comfort and loyalty.
 During their marriage they acquired properties and she is now praying for their
marriage to be declared a nullity and for the dissolution of the conjugal
partnership of gains. She also states that she was the one managing their pizza
business.
 In his answer to the complaint, petitioner averred that it is respondent who is
psychologically incapacitated. He denied that she was the one who managed
the pizza business and claimed that he exclusively owns the properties existing
during their marriage.
 In her reply, respondent alleged that she controlled the entire generation of
Fiesta Pizza representing 80% of the total management of the same and that all
income from said business are conjugal in nature.
 Evidence at the trial showed that petitioner used to beat respondent without
justifiable reasons and humiliating and embarrassing her in presence of people
and their children. It was also found that he had satyriasis at the time of the
celebration of the marriage, which is a personality disorder characterized by
excessive and promiscuous sex hunger manifested by his indiscriminate
womanizing
 The court also held that the defendant’s evidence on the psychological
incapacity of plaintiff did not have any evidentiary weight, the same being
doubtful, unreliable, unclear and unconvincing.
 On February 12, 1997, the trial court rendered its decision which declared the
marriage as null and void ab initio, awarding the custody of the minor children
to the plaintiff with visitation rights, ordering the parties to deliver the
children’s legitimes, ordering defendant to give monthly support to the minor
children in the amount of Php 40,000 each month, ordering the dissolution of
the conjugal partnership of gains based on the division ordered by the court,
ordering the plaintiff to pay the defendant cash in the amount of Php
2,196,125, ordering the defendant who has actual possession of the conjugal
properties to deliver to plaintiff her share of the real and personal properties
and execute the necessary documents valid in law conveying the title and
ownership of said properties in favor of the plaintiff
 Not satisfied with the manner their properties were divided, petitioner
appealed to the Court of Appeals. But he did not contest the part of the
decision which declared the marriage void ab initio.
 CA affirmed the decision of the trial court. Petitioner filed MR but was denied
hence this petition.

ISSUE:

 WON the CA erred in ruling that the properties should be divided equally
between the parties

HELD:

 NO, CA did no err in ruling that the properties should be divided equally
between the parties.
 Their property relation shall be governed by the provisions of Article 147 of
the Family Code which states that “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”
 Article 147 creates a presumption that properties acquired during the
cohabitation of the parties have been acquired through their joint efforts, work
or industry and shall be owned by them in equal shares
 While the properties of the spouses were bought from the proceeds of the
pizza business, petitioner himself testified that respondent was not a plain
housewife and that she helped him in managing the business.
 Respondent started managing the business in 1976. Her job was to: (1) take
care of the daily operations of the business; (2) manage the personnel; and (3)
meet people during inspection and supervision of outlets. She reported for
work everyday, even on Saturdays and Sundays, without receiving any salary
or allowance.
 Given such, the presumption based on Article 147 should stand since the
plaintiff did not overcome it in any way.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is


AFFIRMED