In Philippine law, unless there is a pre-nuptial agreement that sets forth the regime that will govern property relations between husband and wife, the default applies–absolute community of property. That means all present and future properties of both spouses form part of the community. Both have equal rights over the management of the community.
In general terms, similar rules are followed in many countries. Hence, many couples, especially those with inherited money or otherwsie independently wealthy, opt for the execution of pre-nuptial agreements. In countries where divorce is recognized, this is especially significant. No one wants to get married, share everything he/she has in a community, then after a year find himself/herself in the middle of a nasty divorce and looking at the possibility of getting out of the marriage with less than what he/she had brought into it.
It is not clear what property regime governed the marriage of Maurice and Irena Pearson (UK). But Mr. Pearson was so upset that his wife was checking up on their savings accounts that he decided to kill her.
According to the prosecution:
…five years ago Pearson had received an Â£80,000 redundancy package from Barclays Bank and had become involved in share dealing over the internet.
…he lost “thousands and thousands” of pounds on the stock market and tried to cover his losses by taking out a loan and building up credit card debts.
On the morning of her death, in February, Mrs Pearson called the Portman Building Society to question a withdrawal of Â£800. The prosecution alleges that this led to a violent row in which Pearson killed his wife. [news.telegraph.co.uk (free registration required)]
Then he cleaned himself up, went out and returned home to “discover” his wife. At least, that’s the theory of the prosecuting attorneys.