The story of a forced marriage, psychological incapacity and annulment


The simple refusal to cohabit with his spouse will not automatically be considered as a psychological disorder in the event of cancellation.

As in telenovelas, the story of a wedding or pikot sailor that led to an annulment case became the backdrop for the Supreme Court’s decision in Rolando Cortez v. Luz Cortez (GR n ° 224638, April 10, 2019).

The parties married in 1990 but the sailor filed a petition 13 years later. for the declaration of nullity of marriage due to their psychological incapacity.

The difficulties began when the sailor was invited to a birthday party and after consuming three bottles of beer, he felt dizzy and passed out.

When he woke up he was already in a room with the girl and was only wearing his underwear and they were covered with a blanket. The girl’s brother, a policeman, suddenly walked into the room and said “Mai nangyari na pala sa inyo, dapat panagutan mo iyan. “He was however allowed to return home.

The sailor was already supposed to work abroad.

While at the airport, he was arrested by a stop-departure order issued by the POEA due to the girl’s complaint while she was pregnant at the time.

He was able to leave a few days later after being forced by the girl’s brothers to marry him and designate her as his beneficiary.

He never cohabited with his wife who gave birth to two children. Years later, the sailor challenged the paternity of the two (2) children as he underwent a seminal exam which showed he had a low sperm count and lacked the ability to fertilize a woman.

However, he continued to provide financial support to avoid harassment. He described their marriage as a marriage of strength and reluctance.

He claimed that they were married not out of love but because of the woman’s desire to provide material support for herself and the children.

The sailor also argued that he married his wife so that he could work abroad as a sailor and therefore was psychologically unable to comply with the essential matrimonial obligations of marriage.

He used the psychiatric assessment report on his alleged psychological incapacity at the time of the marriage ceremony since he was forced to marry the loveless woman, and he did not intend to fully fulfill his spousal obligations.

But the court ruled that such a claim does not reach the level of psychological incapacity that would annul her marriage.

The application for annulment of marriage would fail because the legal precedence, gravity and incurability of the alleged psychological incapacity of the parties have not been proven.

Psychological incapacity must be characterized by: (a) seriousness (ie it must be so severe and serious that the party would be unable to perform the ordinary duties required in a marriage); (b) legal anticipation (ie it must be rooted in the history of the pre-marriage party, although overt manifestations may not appear until after marriage); and (c) incurability, i.e. it must be incurable, or even if it were otherwise, the remedy would be beyond the means of the party involved.) (Cruz v. Cruz (11 October 2017 GR n ° 201988)

A mere “difficulty”, “refusal” or “negligence” in the performance of marital obligations or “malice” on the part of the spouse is different from “incapacity” based on a debilitating psychological condition or illness.

The seafarer’s claim that he did not realize that he has a matrimonial obligation to act as a husband towards his wife is not taken into consideration under article 36 of the Family Code.

What the law requires is a mental illness that results in an inability to comply with or understand essential marital obligations.

Simple stubbornness or refusal to cohabit with the other spouse or the fact of cohabiting with another person will not automatically be considered as a psychological disorder.

The alleged acts describing the alleged psychological disorder also occurred after the marriage.

Demanding financial support for one’s own children cannot even be seen as morally or fundamentally wrong, let alone a disorder.

It is essential that it be shown that the parties to a marriage are insensitive or unable to fulfill their duties and responsibilities due to psychological (non-physical) illness, which insensitivity or incapacity should have existed at the time of the marriage ceremony. . marriage even if it does not manifest itself until after its celebration.

It is outright incapacity, not refusal or neglect or difficulty, much less unwillingness, that renders a marriage void by reason of psychological incapacity. The root cause of this must be identified medically or clinically. So there must be some evidence to adequately establish the same thing.

Atty. Gorecho heads the seafarers division of the law firm Sapalo Velez Bundang Bulilan. For comments, e-mail [email protected], or call 09175025808 or 09088665786)

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