Keep your mind open and answer this question, “Why do couples have to share with one another?” Especially in the case of two breadwinners in the family, why can’t the couple just enjoy the fruits of their own labor?
Legally speaking, couples can enjoy some exclusivity on their properties and earnings if they enter into a marriage settlement, more commonly known as a pre-nuptial (“pre-nup”) agreement, before they get married. In a pre-nup, the couple can go for one or a combination of the following: absolute community property, conjugal partnership of gains, and complete separation of property provided that the agreement is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. Another exception is if the property is donated to one of the spouses after the marriage.
But in the absence of such a settlement or donation, and if the couple is married after August 3, 1988, the couple by default enters into what is known as absolute community property. What is his is hers and what is hers is his even if each acquired the property before the marriage.
Still, why does the law have to meddle in the personal affairs of husband and wife?
The law is meant to be based on real life, on established customs. Upholding such customs is essential. That is why Title III, Article 68 of the Family Code stipulates that “husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support.”
Mutual help and support covers the right and duty of both spouses in the management of the household including the parental authority over their common children.
Retired Associate Justice Alicia V. Sempio-Dy in her “Handbook on the Family Code of the Philippines”, said that the Code Commission had already wanted to apply absolute community property as the default regime under the Civil Code of 1947 were it not for the property regime being too drastic at that time.
Justice Dempio-Dy also quoted the Report of the Code Commission in that absolute community property is “in consonance with a Filipino custom, which is nearer to the ideal of family unity and is more in harmony with the traditional oneness of the Filipino family.”
I go further to say that this family unity and traditional oneness is a universal desire of households. People want to share especially with their immediate family. The law just protects this desire, which has evolved into a responsibility.
Yet, all of what is in human law is actually based on divine law. Look at what Matthew 19:4-6 says:
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
In answer to your question, you have to share because you only want to do so. Sharing is but a natural and divine consequence of being one flesh with your spouse.
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(Originally written by Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP at http://www.savingstips.com.ph)
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