G.R. No. 196359 | May 11, 2021
- State your understanding of psychological incapacity as a legal concept
Psychological incapacity as a legal concept consists of clear acts of dysfunctionality that show a lack of understanding and concomitant compliance with one’s essential marital obligations due to psychic causes. It is neither a mental incapacity nor a personality disorder that must be proven through expert opinion. The law explicitly require that the psychological incapacity must be shown t have been existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage, and is caused by a durable aspect of one’s personality structure, one that was formed before the parties married. Moreover, it must be shown caused by a genuinely serious psychic cause. To prove psychological incapacity, a party must present clear and convincing evidence of its existence.
2. Are the 3 characteristics of psychological incapacity (juridical antecedence, gravity, and incurability) still required? If so, did the definitions change under the new concept?
As For Juridical Antecedence, STILL REQUIRED
Under the new concept, the law explicitly require that the psychological incapacity must be shown t have been existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage, and is caused by a durable aspect of one’s personality structure, one that was formed before the parties married.
The definition of juridical antecedent was not changed under the new concept. It still means that the root of the trouble can be traced to the history of the subject before the marriage although its overt manifestations appear only after the wedding.
As For Gravity, NOT REQUIRED.
Under the new concept, psychological incapacity must be shown caused by a genuinely serious psychic cause. To prove psychological incapacity, a party must present clear and convincing evidence of its existence. However, it is not necessary that it must be shown that the psychological incapacity is a serious or dangerous illness. It is sufficient to prove that there are mild characterological peculiarities, mood changes, occasional emotional outbursts.
The definition of gravity is when the subject cannot carry out the normal and ordinary duties of marriage and family, shouldered by any average couple existing under ordinary circumstances of life and work.
As For Incurability, STILL REQUIRED
Under the new concept, psychological incapacity is incurable, not in the medical, but in the legal sense; incurable as to the partner. Psychological incapacity is so enduring and persistent with respect to a specific partner, and contemplates a situation where the couple’s respective personality structures are so incompatible and antagonistic that the only result of the union would be the inevitable and irreparable breakdown of the marriage. Not being an illness in a medical sense, psychological incapacity is not something to be cured. And even if it were a mental disorder, it cannot be described in terms of being curable or incurable.
The definition of incurability is when the treatment required exceeds the ordinary means of the subject, or involve time and expense beyond the reach of the subject.
3. Is psychological incapacity as a legal concept better than the medical concept previously used by the court (look at intention of the Commission when it adopted Art. 36 as a ground for nullify of marriage.
YES. Psychological incapacity as a legal concept is better than the medical concept previously used by the court. This is because the intention of the Commission when it adopted Art. 36 as a ground for nullify of marriage is not to categorize it a psychological incapacity.
In dissolving marital bonds on account of either party’s psychological incapacity, the Court is not demolishing the foundation of families, but it is actually protecting the sanctity of marriage, because it refuses to allow a person afflicted with a psychological disorder, who cannot comply with or assume the essential marital obligations, from remaining in that sacred bond. It may be stressed that the infliction of physical violence, constitutional indolence or laziness, drug dependence or addiction, and psychosexual anomaly are manifestations of a sociopathic personality anomaly, Let it be noted that in Article 36, there is no marriage to speak of in the first place, as the same is void from the very beginning. To indulge in imagery, the declaration of nullity under Article will simply provide a decent burial to a stillborn marriage.
The jurisprudential doctrine in Molina (medical concept of psychological incapacity) has unnecessarily imposed a view that is totally inconsistent with the way the concept was formulated. It worked liked a ‘strait-jacket’ on which psychological incapacity cases are forced to fit in a rigid requirement. Hence, psychological incapacity as a legal concept is better than the medical concept previously used by the court.