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SUPREME COURT RULINGS ON CASES OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE WITH

GROUND OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. COURT OF APPEALS & RORIDEL OLAVIANO MOLINA
G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997
The respondent preferred to spend more time with his friends than his family on whom he squandered his money, depended on his parents for
aid and assistance, and was dishonest to his wife regarding his finances, and lived with a mistress with whom he has a child. Roridel filed a case
for the declaration of nullity of their marriage by virtue of her husband’s psychological incapacity.

ISSUE: Whether or not Reynaldo is psychologically incapacitated to perform his marital obligations to private respondent, thus a valid ground to
render the marriage void.

HELD: NO. Marriage is valid.

RATIO:
They seem to have a difficulty or outright refusal or neglect in performing their obligations. They’re not incapable of doing them.

Failure of their expectations is not tantamount to psychological incapacity. Mere showing of “irreconcilable differences” and “conflicting
personalities” in no wise constitutes psychological incapacity.

SC enumerated the guidelines in invoking the psychological incapacity under Article 36:
1. the burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage belong to the plaintiff
2. the root cause of the psychological incapacity must be:
a. medically or clinically identified
b. alleged in the complaint
c. sufficiently proven by experts and
d. clearly explained in the decision.
3. the incapacity must be proven to be existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage
4. Psychological Incapacity must be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable
5. Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage.
6. the essential obligations must be those embodied by Art 69 to 71 (husband and wife) of FC as well as Art 220, 221 and 335 (parents and
children)
7. interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the PI while not controlling or decisive, should
be given great respect by our courts
8.the trial court must order the prosecuting attorney or fiscal and Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall be
handed down unless the SC issues a certification. (last sent not anymore needed pursuant to SC resolution A.M. No. 02-11-10)


LEOUEL SANTOS VS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND JULIA ROSARIO BEDIA-SANTOS
G.R. No. 112019 January 04, 1995
Plaintiff Leouel Santos married defendant Julia Bedia on September 20, 1986. On May 18 1988, Julia left for the U.S to work as a nurse. She only
called up Leouel seven months after she left with promise to return after her contract expires on July 1989. She didn’t come back. Leouel had a
military training in the US and he looked for Julia but he never found her. In 1991, Leoul filed a complaint for voiding the marriage under Article
36 of FC.

ISSUE: Does the failure of Julia to return home, or at the very least to communicate with him, for more than five years constitute psychological
incapacity?

HELD:NO. Dismissed.

RATIO:
SC defined psychological incapacity as to no less than a mental (not physical) incapacity that causes a party to be truly cognitive of the basic
marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed by Article 68 of
the Family Code, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and fidelity and render help and support. There is
hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of “psychological incapacity” to the most serious cases of
personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. This
psychological condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated.

For psychological incapacity to be proven, there must be a real inability to commit oneself to the essential obligations of marriage. Mere
difficulty of assuming these obligations which could be overcome by normal effort does not constitute incapacity.

Dr. Veloso of the Metropolitan Marriage Tribunal gave 3 characteristics of psychological incapacity:
1.gravity that would really render one incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties in marriage
2. juridical antecedence means it should be rooted in history, existing prior to the marriage
3. incurability including cure that is beyond the party’s means. Circumstances of the case at bar do not amount to psychological incapacity.


BRENDA B. MARCOS, petitioner, vs. WILSON G. MARCOS,respondent.
G.R. No. 136490, 19 October 2000, 343 SCRA 755
Plaintiff Brenda B. Marcos married Wilson Marcos in 1982 and they had five children. Alleging that the husband failed to provide material
support to the family and have resorted to physical abuse and abandonment, Brenda filed a case for the nullity of the marriage for
psychological incapacity.

ISSUE:
Is there a need for Personal Medical Examination of Respondent to prove psychological incapacity?
Whether the totality of evidence presented in this case show psychological incapacity

HELD: No. The SC rules in the negative.

RATIO:
Psychological incapacity, as a ground for declaring the nullity of a marriage, may be established by the totality of evidence presented. There is
no requirement, however, that the respondent should be examined by a physician or a psychologist as a condition sine qua non for such
declaration.

Although SC is sufficiently convinced that respondent failed to provide material support to the family and may have resorted to physical abuse
and abandonment, the totality of this acts does not lead to a conclusion of psychological incapacity on his part. There is absolutely no showing
that his “defects” were already present at the inception of the marriage or that they are incurable.

Article 36 is NOT to be equated with legal separation, in which the grounds need not be rooted in psychological incapacity but on physical
violence, moral pressure, moral corruption, civil interdiction, drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity, abandonment and the like.
At best the evidence presented by petitioner refers only to grounds for legal separation, not for declaring a marriage void.


LUCITA ESTRELLA HERNANDEZvs. COURT OF APPEALS and MARIO C. HERNANDEZ
G.R. No. 126010. December 8, 1999
Lucita Estrella married Mario Hernandez on January 1, 1981 and they begot three (3) children. On July
10, 1992, Lucita filed before the RTC of Tagaytay City, a petition for annulment of marriage under Article
36 alleging that from the time of their marriage, Mario failed to perform his obligation to support the family,
devoting most of this time drinking, had affairs with many women and cohabiting with another women with
whom he had an illegitimate child, and finally abandoning her and the family.

ISSUE: Whether there was psychological incapacity under Article. 36

HELD:No.

RATIO:
Habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity or perversion, and abandonment do not by themselves constitute grounds for declaring a marriage void
based on psychological incapacity. It must be shown that these facts are manifestations of a discolored personality which make private
respondent completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of the marital state, and not merely due to private respondent’s youth and
self-conscious feeling of being handsome, as the appellate court held.

Expert testimony should be presented to establish the precise cause of the psychological incapacity to show that it existed at the time of the
marriage. The burden of proof to show the nullity of the marriage rests upon petitioner. The Court is mindful of the policy of the 1987
Constitution to protect and strengthen the family as the basic autonomous social institution and marriage as the foundation
of the family. Thus, any doubt should be resolved in favor of the validity of the marriage.
CHI MING TSOI VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND GINA LAO-TSOI
G.R. No. 119190 January 16, 1997
On May 22, 1988, Gina Lao married Chi Ming Tsoi. According to Gina, since the time of their marriage, they never had a sexual intercourse. The
defendant just went to bed, slept on one side thereof, then turned his back and went to sleep. Gina filed a petition for declaration of nullity of
marriage on the ground of Chi Ming’s psychological incapacity.

ISSUE: Whether or not the refusal of private respondent to have sexual communion with petitioner a psychological incapacity.
Is the refusal of private respondent to have sexual communion with petitioner a psychological incapacity ?

HELD: Yes. Granted. Marriage void.

RATIO:
Procreation is one of the essential marital obligations and constant non-fulfillment of such will destroy marriage.

Prolonged refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or her spouse is considered a sign of psychological incapacity, although
physically capable.

Filipinas are modest, Gina would have not subjected herself to such public scrutiny if she was just making this up.

Chi Ming’s reluctance & unwillingness to perform sexual acts with a wife he claims he loves dearly, proves that this is a hopeless situation & of
his serious personality disorder. Grave enough.


LENI O. CHOA,petitioner,vs. ALFONSO C. CHOA,respondent.
G.R. No. 143376. November 26, 2002
Leni & Alfonso Choa were married on March 15, 1981. They had two children: Cheryl Lynne and Albryan. Alfonso filed a petition for the
declaration of nullity of their marriage based on Leni’s incapacity.

ISSUE: Whether or not Cheryl is psychologically incapacitated.

HELD: NO. Petition granted. Marriage is still valid.

RATIO:
Alfonso presented insufficient evidence to prove Leni’s incapacity. The totality of evidence presented by respondent was completely
insufficient to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity -- more so without any medical, psychiatric or psychological examination.

Grounds of Alfonso: lack of attention to their children, immaturity, lack of intention to procreate are not sufficient to render one as
psychologically incapable. Reasons should be grave, with juridical antecedence and incurable.

The illness must be shown as downright incapacity or inability, not a refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will. In other words, there
should be a natal or supervening disabling factor in the person, an adverse integral element in the personality structure that effectively
incapacitates the person from really accepting and thereby complying with the obligations essential to marriage.

The physician, in his testimony established merely that the spouses had an "incompatibility," a "defect" that could possibly be treated or
alleviated through psychotherapy. We need not expound further on the patent insufficiency of the expert testimony to establish the
psychological incapacity of petitioner.


MA. ARMIDA PEREZ-FERRARIS VS. BRIX FERRARIS
G.R. No. 162368 July 17, 2006

ISSUE:Whether or not Brix psychological incapacitated as to render his marriage with Amy void.

HELD:No .



RATIO:
The Court found Brix’s alleged mixed personality disorder, the"leaving-the-ho use" attitude whenever he and Amy quarreled, the violent
tendencies during epileptic attacks, the sexual infidelity, the abandonment and lack of support, and his preference to spend more time with his
band mates than his family, are not rooted on some debilitating psychological condition but a mere refusal or unwillingness to assume the
essential obligations of marriage.

A mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitute psychological incapacity; it is not enough to
prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable
of doing so due to some psychological, not physical, illness.

The intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of “psychological incapacity” to the most serious cases of personality disorders
clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage.


DEBEL VS. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.
G.R. No. 151867. January 29, 2004
David married Sharon and produced four children. Sharon had an illicit affair with several men and then later to a Jordanian national named
Ibrahim whom she also married and had two children. The petitioner filed a case and avers that during the marriage Sharon turned out to be an
irresponsible and immature wife and mother.

ISSUE: Whether or not private respondent’s sexual infidelity or perversion and abandonment fall within the term of psychological incapacity.

Held: No. Sharon Dedel is not psychological incapacitated.

RATIO:
Private respondent’s infidelity or perversion do not constitute psychological incapacity within the contemplation of the Family Code.
Emotional immaturity and irresponsibility cannot be equated with psychological incapacity.

It appears that private respondent’s promiscuity did not exist prior to or at the inception of the marriage; in fact, the record disclosed that
there was a blissful marital union. It must be shown that the acts are a manifestation of a disordered personality which makes respondent
completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of marital state, not merely due to her youth, immaturity or sexual promiscuity.


EONILO ANTONIO, Petitioner, versus MARIE IVONNE F. REYES, Respondent.
G.R. No. 155800 March 10, 2006
This is a landmark case on Psychological Incapacity which proclaims, under certain circumstances, habitual lying as constitutive of psychological
incapacity which may lead to nullity of marriage. The petitioner-husband claimed that respondent persistently lied about herself, the people
around her, her occupation, income, educational attainment and other events or things.

ISSUE: Whether or no repeated lying is abnormal and pathological and amounts to psychological incapacity of the respondent

HELD:Ye s .

RATIO:
The Court acknowledges that the definition of psychological incapacity, as intended by the revision committee, was not cast in intractable
specifics. Judicial understanding of psychologicalincapacity may be informed by evolving standards, taking into account the particulars of each
case, current trends in psychological and even canonical thought, and experience. The case sufficiently satisfies the guidelines in Molina. Molina
has proven indubitably useful in providing a unitary framework that guides courts in adjudicating petitioners for declaration of nullity under
Article 36. At the same time, the Molina guidelines are not set in stone, the clear legislative intent mandating a case-to-case perception of each
situation, and Molina itself arising from this evolutionary understanding of Article 36.

Respondent’s fantastic ability to invent and fabricate stories and personalities enabled her to live in a world of make-believe. This made her
psychologically incapacitated as it rendered her incapable of giving meaning and significance to her marriage. One unable to adhere to reality
cannot be expected to adhere as well to any legal or emotional commitments.

The root cause of respondent’s psychological incapacity has been medically or clinically identified, alleged in the complaint, sufficiently proven
by experts, and clearly explained in the trial court’s decision. The initiatory complaint alleged that respondent, from the start, had exhibited
unusual and abnormal behavior “of perennially telling lies, fabricating ridiculous stories, and inventing personalities and situations,” of writing
letters to petitioner using fictitious names, and of lying about her actual occupation, income, educational attainment, and family background,
among others.