Civil Law

Republic vs.  Encelan, G.R. No. 170022, Jan. 9, 2013 Art. 36 of the Family Code, psychologically incapacity

 

FACTS: 

In its June 5, 2002 decision,  the RTC declared Cesar’s marriage to Lolita void, finding sufficient basis to declare Lolita psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. The petitioner, through the OSG, appealed to the CA. The OSG argues that Dr. Flores’ psychological evaluation report did not disclose that Lolita had been suffering from a psychological illness nor did it establish its juridical antecedence, gravity and incurability; infidelity and abandonment do not constitute psychological incapacity, but are merely grounds for legal separation

ISSUE: 

How should “psychologically incapacity” under Art. 36 of the Family Code be interpreted?

How should the doubt be resolved in  voiding  of  marriage cases?

RULING:

1) In interpreting this provision, we have repeatedly stressed that psychological incapacity contemplates “downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and to assume the basic marital obligations”; not merely the refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will, on the part of the errant spouse. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving the juridical antecedence (i.e., the existence at the time of the celebration of marriage), gravity and incurability of the condition of the errant spouse.

 

2) The Court stresses that marriage is an inviolable social institution protected by the State. Any doubt should be resolved in favor of its existence its existence and continuation and against its dissolution and nullity. It cannot be dissolved at the whim of the parties nor by transgressions made by one party to the other during the marriage.

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