Psychological incapacity no ‘magic wand’ to dissolve marriage

By Benjamin Pulta

November 2, 2021, 2:33 pm

<p> Court of Appeals <em>(File photo)</em></p>

 Court of Appeals (File photo)

MANILA – An unsatisfactory marriage is not a null and void one, thus the Court of Appeals’ (CA) decision to reject the petition of a husband seeking the annulment of his seven-year marriage.

In a decision dated October 18, the CA said there is no psychological incapacity warranting the annulment of the marriage of John Dale S. Castro and Annalyn A. Castro, affirming the decision of the Manila court.

The court said the couple may instead opt to obtain a legal separation.

The tribunal added that “irreconcilable differences, sexual infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity, and irresponsibility and the like, do not by themselves warrant a finding of psychological incapacity as these may only be due to a person’s difficulty, refusal or neglect to undertake the obligations of marriage that is not rooted in some psychological illness”.

The man met his future spouse in a bar in December 2013 through a friend, who was the latter’s boyfriend at the time.

Afterwards when they were already both out of a relationship, they met again at the same bar and eventually got married on June 4, 2014, a day before the man left for a job in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The man went home in August 2014 and had a serious falling out with his wife that prompted the filing of annulment.

“Though the court sympathized with the heartbreak and plight of John’s short-lived marriage, it should be remembered that Article 36 (on psychological incapacity) is not a magic wand that would disintegrate a constitutionally protected marriage. It is also not a divorce law that cuts the marital cord at the time the grounds for divorce manifest themselves,” the court said. (PNA)