Divisible and Indivisible Obligations

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What constitutes a divisible and indivisible obligation – A divisible obligation is one that requires the giving of definite things and the same can be partially performed.[1] Conversely, an indivisible obligation is one that requires the giving of definite things and the same cannot be partially performed.[2]

What constitutes a divisible or indivisible object – The above two obligations should differentiated from the divisibility or indivisibility of the things which are the object of the obligations and there is only one debtor and one creditor.[3]

Divisible object with indivisible obligation – Despite the object or service being physically divisible, the obligation is indivisible if it is so provided by law or intended by the parties.[4] In the case of an obligation not to do, the divisibility or indivisibility thereof is determined by the character of the prestation.[5]

Liability of defaulting debtors in a joint indivisible obligation – A joint indivisible obligation gives rise to indemnity for damages from the time anyone of the debtors does not comply with his undertaking.[6] Debtors who are ready, willing, and able to comply are only required to contribute to the indemnity only up to corresponding portion of the price of the thing or of the value of the service in which the obligation consists.[7]

Illegal terms in a divisible contract – If a divisible contract contains illegal terms but they can be separated from the legal ones, the latter are valid and may be enforced.[8] Similarly, the unaffected part in a divisible obligation remains valid.[9]

[1] Ibid. Paragraph 2, Article 1225.

[2] Ibid. Paragraph 1, Article 1225.

[3] Ibid. Article 1223.

[4] Ibid. Paragraph 3, Article 1225.

[5] Ibid. Paragraph 4, Article 1225.

[6] Ibid. Article 1224.

[7] Ibid.

[8] CIVIL CODE. Article 1420.

[9] Ibid. Paragraph 1, Article 1183.

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