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LLB 1-Manresa
Legal Research

“Article 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall
likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.”

Cases Synthesis

LEOUEL SANTOS, petitioner, v. Psychological incapacity must be characterized

THE HONORABLE COURT OF by (a) gravity (b) juridical antecedence and (c)
APPEALS AND JULIA ROSARIO incurability. The incapacity must be must be
BEDIA-SANTOS, respondents, grave or serious such that the party would be
G.R. No. 112019, Jan. 4, 1995 (En incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties
Banc) required in marriage; it must be rooted in the
history of the party antedating the marriage
although the overt manifestations may emerge
only after the marriage; and it must be incurable
or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be
beyond the means of the party involved.

As defined in this case, “Psychological

incapacity should refer to no less than a mental
(not physical) incapacity 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 by Article 68 of the
Family Code, include their mutual obligations to
live together, observe love, respect and fidelity
and render help and support.”

CHI MING TSOI, petitioner, v. Refusal to have sex with his wife/husband
COURT OF APPEALS and GINA constitutes psychological incapacity.
LAO-TSOI, respondents, G.R. No.
119190, Jan. 16, 1997 (Second One of the essential marital obligations under the
Division) Family Code is to “procreate children based on
the universal principle that procreation of
children through sexual cooperation is the basic
end of marriage.”
The senseless and protracted refusal of the
husband to have sexual intercourse to procreate
children from the time of the marriage up to their
separation ten months later is equivalent to
psychological incapacity.

REPUBLIC OF THE The following guidelines in the interpretation

PHILIPPINES, petitioner, v. and application of the Article 36 of the Family
COURT OF APPEALS and Code are handed down for the guidance of the
RORIDEL OLAVIANO MOLINA, bench and the bar:
respondents, G.R. No. 108763, Feb.
13, 1997 (1) The burden of proof to show the nullity
of the marriage belongs 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) Such incapacity must also be shown to be
medically or clinically permanent or
(5) Such illness must be grave enough to
bring about the disability of the party to
assume the essential obligations of
(6) The essential marital obligations must be
those embraced by Articles 68 up to 71 of
the Family Code as regards the husband
and wife as well as articles 220, 221 and
225 of the same code in regard to parents
and their children.
(7) Interpretations given by the National
Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the
Catholic Church in the Philippines 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 the Solicitor
General to appear as counsel for the state.

Showing of “irreconcilable differences” and

“conflicting personalities” in no wise constitutes
psychological incapacity.

BRENDA B. MARCOS, petitioner, The Supreme Court abandoned the ruling in

v. WILSON G. MARCOS, Republic v. CA and Molina that the root cause of
respondent, G.R. No. 136490, Oct. the psychological incapacity must be medically
19, 2000, 3rd Division or clinically identified.

In this case, it is not required that a personal

medical or psychological examination of the
respondent be had for the declaration of
psychological incapacity. What is important is
the presence of evidence that can adequately
establish the party’s psychological condition. If
the totality of evidence presented is enough to
sustain a finding of psychological incapacity,
then actual medical examination of the person
concerned need not be resorted to.

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.

REPUBLIC OF THE The evidentiary requirements were not met by

PHILIPPINES, petitioner, v. the respondent under the guidelines set in the
ERLINDA MATIAS DAGDAG, cases of Santos and Molina.
respondent, G.R. No. 109975, Feb.
09, 2001 (Second Division) She failed to present a psychiatrist or medical
doctor to testify that his husband is
psychologically incapacitated, and her allegation
that her husband is fugitive was not sufficiently
proven; and the investigating prosecutor was not
given an opportunity to present controverting
From the cases presented above, the Supreme Court laid down both substantive and
procedural requirements for psychological incapacity.

The incapacity must be a mental one, existing at the time of the celebration of marriage,
and is incurable. It is characterized by gravity of illness which disables the party to
assume the essential marital obligations of marriage (Santos and Molina Cases), and the
refusal to have sexual intercourse with your partner. (Tsoi Case)

The procedural requirements are found in the guidelines of the Molina Case that the
burden of proof belongs to the plaintiff; the root cause of the psychological incapacity
must be (1) medically or clinically identified, (2) alleged in the complaint, (3) sufficiently
proven, (4) clearly explained in the decision; the interpretations of the National Appellate
Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church, the prosecutor and the Solicitor General
must appear as counsel for the state. Psychological incapacity may also be established
through totality of the evidence presented.