MANILA – The Supreme Court reiterated its exacting standards in nullifying a marriage and turned down a petition for annulment by a woman who claimed her spouse refused to work and sent her away when she got pregnant.
In a 12-page decision published online Friday, the high court stressed that “irreconcilable differences, sexual infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity and irresponsibility do not prove the existence of psychological incapacity” that warrants voiding a marriage.
The ruling affirmed the 2014 decision of the Court of Appeals (CA), which in turn reversed the 2011 decision of the Tagaytay Regional Trial Court on the petition for nullity of marriage filed by “Hannamer” against her husband.
The two were high school sweethearts and got married in 2003 after years of a live-in arrangement and upon the insistence of the woman’s mother.
When their relationship soured, Hannamer claimed the man sent her away, did not support her, and spent most of his time betting on cockfights.
The Solicitor General, in opposing the grant of annulment, said the woman, despite a psychological report on the husband’s shortcoming, “posits that the totality of evidence only shows an apparent marital discord rather than psychological incapacity”.
The SC said that a case they decided in 2021 dispenses with the need of a psychological report by an expert witness to prove psychological incapacity, which must be “incurable, not in the medical, but in the legal sense”.
However, “mild characterological peculiarities, mood changes, and occasional outbursts are still not accepted grounds that would warrant a finding of psychological incapacity” for annulment. (PNA)