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Q: What characterizes psychological incapacity under Art 36 of the Family Code?

A: Psychological incapacity, as a ground to nullify a marriage under Art 36 of the Family Code,
should refer to no less than a mentalnot merely physicalincapacity that causes a party to be
truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and
discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed in Article 68 of the Family
Code, among others, 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. (Republic v. Rodolfo O. De Gracia, G.R. No 171557, February
12, 2014)
Q: Does emotional immaturity or sexual promiscuity constitute psychological
incapacity?
A: No. As held in Dedel v. CA, therein respondents emotional immaturity and irresponsibility
could not be equated with psychological incapacity as it was not shown that these acts are
manifestations of a disordered personality which make her completely unable to discharge the
essential marital obligations of the marital state, not merely due to her youth, immaturity or
sexual promiscuity. (Republic v. Rodolfo O. De Gracia, G.R. No 171557, February 12, 2014)
Q: Rodolfo and Natividad were married on February 15, 1969 in Zamboanga del Norte. In
1998, Rodolfo filed a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage on the ground that
Natividad was psychologically incapacitated to comply with her essential marital
obligations. As evidence therefor, he presented the psychiatric evaluation report which
stated that both Rodolfo and Natividad were psychologically incapacitated to comply
with the essential marital obligations, finding that both suffered from utter emotional
immaturity. Will the petition prosper?
A: Although expert opinions furnished by psychologists regarding the psychological
temperament of parties are usually given considerable weight by the courts, the existence of
psychological incapacity must still be proven by independent evidence> (Republic v. Rodolfo O.
De Gracia, G.R. No 171557, February 12, 2014)
Q: What property relation governs in case a marriage is declared null and void on the
ground of psychological incapacity?
A: The property relation between the parties is governed by Art 147 of the Family Code. Under
this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work and industry shall be
governed by the rules on co-ownership.
In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together shall be
presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by
them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not participate in the
acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the
acquisition thereof if the formers efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and
of the household.

When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of the party in bad
faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common children. In case of default of
or waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants, each vacant share shall
belong to the respective surviving descendants. In the absence of descendants, such share
shall belong to the innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall take place upon termination of
the cohabitation. (Sevila Salas Jr. v. Eden Villena Aguil, G.R. No. 202370, September 23, 2013)
Q: May a person contract a valid subsequent marriage before a first marriage is declared
void ab initio by a comptetent court?
A: No. The Supreme Court has consistently held that a judicial declaration of nullity is required
before a valid subsequent marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a bigamous
marriage, which is void from the beginning as provided in Article 35(4) of the Family Code of
the Philippines. (Yasuo Iwasawa v. Felisa Custodio Gangan, G.R. No. 204169, September 11,
2013).