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Reyes v Ines-Luciano February 28, 1979 | Fernandez Petitioner: Manuel J.C. Reyes Respondent: Hon. Leonor Ines-Luciano (Judge of the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, QC), the Court of Appeals, Celia Ilustre- Reyes

DOCTRINE

Art. 61, FC. After the filing of the petition for legal separation, the spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other. The Court, in absence of a written agreement between the spouses, shall designate either of them or a third person to administer the absolute community or conjugal partnership property. The administrator appointed by the court shall have the same powers and duties as those of a guardian under the Rules of Court.

Art. 62, FC. During the pendency of the action for legal separation, the provisions of Article 49 1 shall likewise apply to the support of the spouses and the custody and support of the common children.

FACTS

1. Celia Ilustre-Reyes filed in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Quezon City a complaint against her husband Manuel J.C. Reyes for legal separation on the ground that he had attempted to kill her:

a. 3/10/1976 he punched her, held her head, and bumped it several times against the cement floor. He also pushed her at the stairway of 13 flights, and swung at her abdomen which got her half-unconscious. It was her father who saved her.

b. He doused her with grape juice, kicked her several times, and was saved this time by her driver.

1 The Court shall provide for the support of the spouses, the support and custody of the common children. Paramount considerations = moral and material welfare of the children, their choice of parent

 

2.

She filed for support pendente lite 2 for her and her 3 children. Manuel opposed this by saying that his wife committed adultery with her physician.

RTC

 

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Granted, P5000 per month (from June 1976) P4000

CA

 

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Dismissed Manuel’s petition for the annulment of the RTC order

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Manuel appears to be financially capable of giving the support

ISSUE: WON adultery can be used as a defense in an action for support YES, QUALIFIED (not in this case) RATIO

1. The alleged adultery must be established by competent evidence. Adultery is a good defense if properly proved.

2. Manuel did not present any evidence to prove his allegation.

3. He still has the opportunity to adduce evidence on this alleged adultery when the action for legal separation is heard on the merits before the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of QC.

4. However, it is doubtful whether adultery will affect her right to alimony pendente lite she is asking for support to be taken from their conjugal property, not Manuel’s personal funds.

ISSUE: WON in determining the amount of support it is enough that the Court ascertain via affidavits or other documentary evidence YES RATIO

1. Mere affidavits may satisfy the court to pass upon the application for support pendent lite; it is enough that the facts be established by affidavits/other documentary evidence.

2. Celia submitted documents that the corporations controlled by Manuel have entered into multi-million contracts in projects of the Ministry of Public Highways.

2 Pending the litigation; support to provide for the lower income spouse as the legal process moves ahead