Giving Valuable Donations

Xander and Yolly were in a live-in relationship for 10 years when they have a daughter, Zoey. They finally decided to get married the year after Zoey was born, When Xander’s parents were told about the news, they were thrilled and thus, gave Zoey in the form of a donation, a gold ring family heirloom worth P250,000.00. Xander and Yolly orally accepted the gift on behalf of their minor child. One day, Xander and Yolly had a huge issue that led to separation, thus their marriage plans were canceled.

Is the donation to Zoey valid?

No, it is a void donation. This is an ordinary donation inter vivos, not a donation proper nuptias. The Civil Code provides that if the value of the personal property donated exceeds five thousand pesos, the donation and the acceptance shall be made in writing; otherwise, the donation shall be void. A piece of jewelry like the family heirloom here which is a gold ring, worth P250,000.00, is personal property. Here, the acceptance was made orally; therefore, the donation is void (Article 748).

Since the wedding did not push through, can X’s parents get their gold ring back?

No. The ground that the marriage did not push through may only be raised to revoke donations by reason of marriage which is defined by Article 126 of the Family Code, as those which are made before its celebration, in consideration of the same and in favor of one or both of the future spouses (Art. 83, FC). Here, the donation was not made in favor of one or both of the future spouses, but in favor of their child. Xander’s parents, therefore, cannot revoke the donation on the ground that the marriage of Xander with Yolly did not push through. At best, they can provide little Zoey with a written deed of donation to formalize the donation.

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