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Civil 2008

Civil 2008

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Published by: jojitus on Jun 02, 2010
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Bar Academics Committee 2008
A Selection of 2007 Jurisprudence in Persons & Family Relations and Other Civil Subjects
Page 2 of 9
Q: What is the so-called “fixed symbol of individualization”?
The subject of rights must have a fixed symbol for individualization which serves to distinguishhim from all others; this symbol is his name. Understandably, therefore, no person can changehis name or surname without judicial authority. This is a reasonable requirement for thoseseeking such change because a person's name necessarily affects his identity, interests andinteractions. The State must be involved in the process and decision to change the name of anyof its citizens. (Republic v. Capote, G.R. No. 157043, 02 February 2007)
 Q: Whose surname and middle name does an illegitimate child bear?
An illegitimate child whose filiation is not recognized by the father bears only a given name andhis mother' surname, and does not have a middle name. The name of the unrecognizedillegitimate child therefore identifies him as such. It is only when the illegitimate child islegitimated by the subsequent marriage of his parents OR acknowledged by the father in apublic document or private handwritten instrument that he bears both his mother's surname ashis middle name and his father's surname as his surname, reflecting his status as a legitimatedchild or an acknowledged child. (
citing In
Re: Petition for Change of Name and/orCorrection/Cancellation of Entry in Civil Registry of Julian Lin Carulasan Wang,
G.R. No. 159966,30 March 2005,
The evidence adduced by petitioner merely showed that he and respondent had difficultygetting along with each other as they constantly fought over petty things. However, there wasno showing of the gravity and incurability of the psychological disorder supposedly inherent inpetitioner (to bring about his disability to assume the essential obligations of marriage), exceptfor the mere statement or conclusion to that effect in the psychological report.Petitioner also made much of the fact that he and respondent never lived together ashusband and wife. This, however, fails to move us considering that there may be instanceswhen, for economic and practical reasons, a married couple might have to live separatelythough the marital bond between them remains. In fact, both parties were college studentswhen they got married and were obviously without the financial means to live on their own.Thus, their not having lived together under one roof did not necessarily give rise to theconclusion that one of them was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essentialmarital obligations. It is worth noting that petitioner himself admitted that he and respondentcontinued the relationship after the marriage ceremony. It was only when they started fightingconstantly a year later that he decided to file a petition to have the marriage annulled. Itappears that petitioner just chose to give up on the marriage too soon and too easily. (Halili v.Santos-Halili, G.R. No. 165424, 16 April 2008)The spouses’ frequent squabbles and respondent’s refusal to sleep with petitioner andbe supportive to him do not constitute psychological incapacity. The records show thatpetitioner and respondent were living in harmony in the first few years of their marriage, which
A Selection of 2007 Jurisprudence in Persons & Family Relations and Other Civil Subjects
Page 3 of 9
bore them four children. Psychological incapacity must be more than just a “difficulty,” “refusal”or “neglect” in the performance of some marital obligations, it is essential that they must beshown to be incapable of doing so, due to some psychological illnessexisting at the time of thecelebration of the marriage. (Navarro v. Cecilia-Navarro, G.R. No. 162049, 13 April 2007)
Q: As a marriage under a license is not invalidated by the fact that the license was wrongfullyobtained, so must a marriage not be invalidated by a fabricated statement that the partieshave cohabited for at least five years as required by law. TRUE OR FALSE.
False. The contrast is flagrant. The former is with reference to an irregularity of the marriagelicense, and not to the absence of one. Here, there is no marriage license at all. Furthermore,the falsity of the allegation in the sworn affidavit relating to the period of Jose and Felisa’scohabitation, which would have qualified their marriage as an exception to the requirement fora marriage license, cannot be a mere irregularity, for it refers to a quintessential fact that thelaw precisely required to be deposed and attested to by the parties under oath. If the essentialmatter in the sworn affidavit is a lie, then it is but a mere scrap of paper, without force andeffect. Hence, it is as if there was no affidavit at all. (NOTE:
The marriage in this case wasdeclared void ab initio for lack of marriage license when it was proved that the affidavit relatingto the period of 5-year cohabitation was merely fabricated.
Republic v. Dayot, G.R. No. 175581,28 March 2008)
Q: Is it required that the person sought to be declared psychologically incapacitated should bepersonally examined by a physician or psychologist as a condition
sine qua non 
to arrive atsuch declaration?
There is no such requirement. If it can be proven by independent means thatone is psychologically incapacitated, there is no reason why the same should not be credited.(Republic v. Tanyag-San Jose, G.R. 168328, 28 February 2007)
Q: Manolito is said to be jobless and a drug user. Hence, not only that he is unable to supporthis family but also refuses or is unwilling to assume the essential obligations of marriage. Willthis constitute psychological incapacity?
NO. Manolito's state or condition or attitude has notbeen shown to be a malady or disorder rooted on some incapacitating or debilitatingpsychological condition. These are more of a "difficulty" if not outright "refusal" or "neglect" inthe performance of some marital obligations. (Republic v. Tanyag-San Jose, G.R. 168328, 28February 2007)
Q: The psychiatrist’s report states that: “
This extremely egocentric attitude manifest a person suffering Narcissistic Personality Disorder that is considered to be severe, incurable and deeply rooted with her functioning. Thus, making herself psychologically incapacitated so as to comply with the essential marital functions.” 
Is this sufficient?No. T
he report failed to identify the root cause of respondent's narcissistic personality disorderand to prove that it existed at the inception of the marriage. (Bier v. Bier, G.R. No. 173294, 27February 2008)

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