G.R. No. 200274, 20 April 2016
In June 15, 1951, the spouses Anastacio and Flora Domingo bought a property in Tarlac, consisting of a one-half undivided portion over an 18, 164 square meter parcel of land. During his lifetime, Anastacio borrowed money from the respondent spouses Molina. 10 years after Flora’s death, Anastacio sold his interest over the land to the spouses Molina to answer for his debts.
In 1955, the sale of Anastacio’s interest was registered and transferred the entire one-half undivided portion of the land to the spouses Molina. Melecio, one of the children of Anastacio and Flora, learned of the transfer and filed a Complaint for Annulment of Title and Recovery of Ownership (Complaint) against the spouses Molina.
Melecio claims that Anastacio gave the subject property to the spouses Molina to serve as collateral for the money that Anastacio borrowed. Anastacio could not have validly sold the interest over the subject property without Flora’s consent, as Flora was already dead at the time of the sale. The RTC dismissed the case because Melecio failed to establish his claim that Anastacio did not sell the
Whether the sale of a conjugal property to the spouses Molina without Flora’s consent is valid and legal;
No. Anastacio and Flora’s conjugal partnership was dissolved upon Flora’s death. There is no dispute that Anastacio and Flora Domingo married before the Family Code’s effectivity on August 3, 1988 and their property relation is a conjugal partnership. This is clear from Article 105 of the Family Code which states:
x x x The provisions of this Chapter shall also apply to conjugal partnerships of gains already established between spouses before the effectivity of this Code, without prejudice to vested rights already acquired in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws, as provided in Article 256.
The conjugal partnership of Anastacio and Flora was dissolved when Flora died in 1968, pursuant to Article 175 (1) of the Civil Code (now Article 126 (1) of the Family Code). Article 130 of the Family Code requires the liquidation of the conjugal partnership upon death of a spouse and prohibits any disposition or encumbrance of the conjugal property prior to the conjugal partnership liquidation. While Article 130 of the Family Code provides that any disposition involving the conjugal property without prior liquidation of the partnership shall be void, this rule does not apply since the provisions of the Family Code shall be “without prejudice to vested rights already acquired in accordance with the Civil Code or other laws.”
*Case digest by Stephanie C. Castillo, JD-IV, Andres Bonifacio College, SY: 2019-2020