Retroactivity of the Family Code

Concept: Retroactivity. This Code shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws. (Article 256, Family Code)

Concept: Vested right. A vested right is one whose existence, effectivity and extent do not depend upon events foreign to the will of the holder, or to the exercise of which no obstacle exists, and which is immediate and perfect in itself and not dependent upon a contingency. The term "vested right" expresses the concept of present fixed interest which, in right reason and natural justice, should be protected against arbitrary State action, or an innately just and imperative right which enlightened free society, sensitive to inherent and irrefragable individual rights, cannot deny. (Go, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 172027, 29 July 2010)

Same; Become a title. To be vested, a right must have become a title—legal or equitable—to the present or future enjoyment of property. (Ibid.)

Same; Constitutional guarantee of due process. The concept of "vested right" is a consequence of the constitutional guaranty of due process that expresses a present fixed interest which in right reason and natural justice is protected against arbitrary state action; it includes not only legal or equitable title to the enforcement of a demand but also exemptions from new obligations created after the right has become vested. Rights are considered vested when the right to enjoyment is...


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