Incapacity and Effects of Nullity | Annulment | Marriage


BEDIA-SANTOS Leouel Santos, then a First Lieutenant of the Philippine Army, got married with Julia Bedia on Sept. 20, 1986. They lived with Julia’s parents in La Paz, Iloilo. Their son, Leouel Santos, Jr. was born on July 18, 1987. They started to have problems: (1) frequent interference of Julia’s parents (2) when & where they’d start living independently (3) Leouel’s spending a few days with his parents. Julia left for the US to work as a nurse on May 18, 1988. 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 training in the US and he looked for Julia but he never found her. He filed a case for voiding their marriage under article 36 of the FC (marriage contracted by either party who at the time of the marriage was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage shall likewise be void even if such incapacity shall be manifest after the solemnization). Leouel claims that Julia’s failure to communicate with him & inform him of her whereabouts are proof that she’s psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage. Julia denied her husband’s allegations saying it was her husband who was irresponsible & incompetent. She filed a manifestation stating that she would neither appear nor submit evidence. Trial court & CA dismissed the complaint. ISSUE: WON incapacitated? Julia is psychologically

friends (2) depended on his parents for aid & assistance (3) not honest with the finances (4) relieved of his job making Roridel the breadwinner of the family. Roridel went to live with his parents and afterwards, Reynaldo abandoned her and the child. Roridel filed a case for the declaration of nullity of their marriage by virtue of her husband’s psychological incapacity. Reynaldo claims that Roridel’s strange behavior, refusal to perform marital duties & failure to run the household & handle finances caused their quarrels. Roridel on the other hand claims that her husband is immature, irresponsible, dependent, disrespectful, arrogant, chronic liar & infidel. He now lives with a mistress with whom he has a child. ISSUE: WON incapacitated? Reynaldo is psychologically

HELD: NO. Marriage is valid. RATIO: 1. They seem to have a difficulty or outright refusal or neglect in performing their obligations. They’re not incapable of doing them. 2. Failure of their expectations is not tantamount to psychological incapacity. 3. Guidelines for Art. 36 a. Burden of proof to show nullity of marriage: plaintiff. Presumption of existence of marriage over its dissolution & nullity. b. Root cause of incapacity should be: medically/clinically defined, alleged in complaint, proven by experts, clearly explained in decision. c. Existing at time of celebration of marriage. d. Medically/clinically permanent or incurable, whether absolute or relative. Incapacity directly related to assumption of marital obligations, doesn’t include incapacity in profession, etc. e. Grave to render them incapable. Not mere refusal, neglect or difficulty or ill will. f. Essential obligations outlined in FC Art. 6871 and 220, 221, 225. State noncompliance in petition with evidence, include in decision. g. Consider National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines interpretations. Not binding should be given respect since this law originated from Canon law. Harmonize civil law w/religious faith. h. Prosecuting attorney/fiscal and Sol. Gen. will appear as counsels for the state. They should submit certification within 15 days from submission of case for resolution.

HELD: NO. Dismissed. Affirmed. RATIO: 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. REPUBLIC V. COURT OF APPEALS Roridel & Reynaldo Molina were married on April 14, 1985 at the San Agustin Church. They had a son, Andre Molina. A year after the marriage, Reynaldo started manifesting signs of immaturity and irresponsibility: (1) spent more time with his

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APIAG V. CANTERO Maria Apiag and Esmeraldo Cantero were married on August 11, 1947. They had two children: Teresita and Glicerio. Cantero left his family without any apparent cause and left Maria to raise the family on her own. According to Cantero, their marriage was a drama marriage set-up by their parents and that they never lived together as husband wife. Several years after, Cantero went to Hinundayan, Southern Leyte where Apiag and her children were staying. They begged for support but he ignored them. They sent him a letter demanding support which was also ignored. They learned that he was already married to Nievas Ygay with whom he has 5 children. Apiag along with her 2 children, Teresita & Glicerio, filed charge of gross misconduct for committing bigamy and falsification of public documents against Cantero. Cantero claims that he got married without any annulment or declaration of nullity of his first marriage because he believed that it was void ab initio thus nothing was to be voided. Apiag was living with another man with whom she has one child. The parties entered into a compromise agreement. Cantero agreed to give ¼ of his GSIS retirement to Teresita & Glicerio. He likewise included them as his beneficiaries, appointed them as heirs to his property inherited from his parents, authorized them to receive P4,000.00 monthly allowance on the condition that they will withdraw the charges. They started receiving the allowance but they still pushed through with the case. Found guilty by lower court. Cantero died while case was pending. ISSUES: 1. WON gross misconduct is applicable? 2. WON first marriage is valid? 3. WON judge is liable? HELD: Dismissed. Cantero acquitted. RATIO: 1. NO. Misconduct in office should include only those acts which affect ones performance of his duties as an officer, not as a private individual. Prove that it is a transgression of an established and definite rule of action. Involved here are personal acts, not official. 2. NO. However, old law will apply to Cantero because it is more favorable for him. Ruling in Odayat v. Amante ruling will apply: No judicial decree of nullity is needed to establish the invalidity of void marriages. Thus, he was free to contract second marriage without court declaration of the nullity of first marriage. New law requires declaration of nullity before one remarries. Falsification accusation fails. 3. YES. He will be administratively liable. He’s expected to maintain high ethical principles

and free from appearance of impropriety including his personal behavior. But since this is his only wrongdoing throughout the 32 years that he has served the government and the Court saw his sincerity to repent and reform, he’ll be dealt with leniency. He should have been fined but since he passed away already, case will just be dismissed. DOMINGO V. CA Delia Soledad Domingo and Roberto Domingo were married on Nov. 29, 1976 at the YMCA Youth Center Building. Unknown to her, he had a prior subsisting marriage with Emerlinda dela Paz. She only learned about the marriage when dela Paz sued them for bigamy. Delia has been working in Saudi since January 23, 1979. Roberto has been unemployed and dependent on her since 1983. She entrusted the administration of her real & personal properties to Roberto which cost P350,000.00. She learned that her husband was cohabiting with another woman & that he was disposing her properties without her consent. He requested that he turnover the properties but he refused. Thus she filed this petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage and separation of property against Roberto. Lower court & CA dismissed the case. ISSUES: 1. WON judicial declaration of void marriage is necessary only for purpose of remarriage? HELD: NO. Petition denied. RATIO: Judicial declaration of nullity was instituted to prevent just about anyone from declaring that his/her marriage was void. This judgment is reserved to the court. Previous court decisions and laws were inconsistent regarding this matter until Family Code required this esp. for purposes of remarriage. This aims to protect people with void marriages. With the declaration, they’re free to marry without the danger of being charged with bigamy. Necessary to prove that a person is legally free to contract a second marriage if the first marriage was void ab initio (TERRE V. TERRE) Prove nullity with testimonial and/or documentary evidence. But should not be taken to mean as only those who will remarry need the judicial declaration of nullity. Art. 40 FC simply states that only a final judicial declaration of nullity can certify that one is free to contract a second marriage. Marriage is an inviolable social institution protected by the state. Thus, it should be accorded great respect.

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Its validity or invalidity can’t be decided by just about anyone. Declaration of absolute nullity of marriage would have other consequences such as separation of property. LENI CHOA V. ALFONSO CHOA 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: WON incapacitated? HELD: NO. MARRIAGE. Cheryl PETITION is psychologically VALID

examination proved that Chi Ming is capable of having sexual intercourse. Lower court & CA declared Alfonso as psychologically incapacitated to discharge essential marital obligations due to his reluctance or unwillingness to consummate marriage. ISSUE: WON incapable? Chi Ming is psychologically

HELD: Yes. Granted. Marriage void. RATIO: 1. No intercourse since marriage. Chi Ming should have discussed the problem with his wife if she indeed refused to have sexual intercourse with him. Or he could have resorted to the court if she still resisted. 2. Senseless & protracted refusal is equivalent to psychological incapacity. 3. Procreation is one of the essential marital obligations and constant non-fulfillment of such will destroy marriage. 4. Filipinas are modest, Leni would have not subjected herself to such public scrutiny if she was just making this up. 5. 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. NINAL V. BAYADOG Pepito Ninal was married to Teodulfa Bellones on Sept. 26, 1974. They had three children. Pepito shot Teodulfa which caused her death on April 24, 1985. 20 months after Teodulfa’s death, Pepito got married to Norma Bayadog without a license. They issued a statement which states that they had lived together as husband & wife for at least 5 years. Upon Pepito’s death, his & Teodulfa’s children, filed petition for the declaration of nullity of their marriage because this would affect their succession rights. ISSUES: 1. WON second marriage is valid? 2. WON children have standing to request for declaration of absolute nullity? HELD: NO. PETITION GRANTED. RATIO: 1. No. Their marriage does not fall under those marriages of exceptional character which are exempted from obtaining a license. They can’t be considered as those who had been living together as husband & wife for at least 5 years. This provision only covers those unions which are valid without legal


RATIO: Alfonso presented insufficient evidence to prove Leni’s incapacity. 1. Filing of case is not entirely connected to psychological incapacity. 2. 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. 3. His proof only show that they can’t get along with each other but not incapable. Mild characterological peculiarities, mood changes, and occasional emotional outbursts are not acceptable causes of psychological incapacity. 4. Physician’s testimony: He admitted that couple are curable if only they will be subjected to family therapy. Besides, he did not examine Leni so his findings are not really reliable. He only based this on Alfonso’s claims. The records of the case will not give him accurate findings. Medical examinations/findings are admissible. They just need to present sufficient evidence. TSOI V. CA Gina and Chi Ming Tsoi were married on May 22, 1988. According to Gina, since the time of their marriage, they never had a sexual intercourse. They underwent medical examinations. She was found healthy & normal. Chi Ming underwent medication which was confidential. She claims that her husband’s a homosexual who married her to maintain his residency status and to prove that he is really a man. Chi Ming claims that it is Gina who refuses to have sexual intercourse. Gina filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground of Chi Ming’s psychological incapacity. New medical

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impediment had it not been for the lack of marriage. The parties should have not been involved with anyone at anytime within 5 years. They had only lived together, legally, for 20 months, which is after Teodulfa’s death. 2. YES. Void marriages can be attacked collaterally even after the death of either party. It is imprescritible. Any interested party can attack void marriages. Declaration of nullity is for everyone’s peace of mind. It can be used for other purposes like succession, etc. Not just for remarriage.

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