Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Amy Perez case: Psychological incapacity as a ground for declaring a marriage null and void

Summary:

[1] The Supreme Court denied actress Amy Perez’s petition to have her marriage to musician Brix Ferraris declared void on the basis of psychological incapacity.

[2] Amy’s expert witness, a psychologist, failed to prove that Brix was suffering from a psychological incapacity that rendered him unable to fulfill the essential marital obligations.

[3] “The term ‘psychological incapacity’ as used in Article 36 of the Family Code refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the celebration of the marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive a person of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume.”

[4] “A mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitute psychological incapacity; it is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so due to some psychological, not physical, illness.”

[5] “Habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity or perversion, and abandonment do not by themselves constitute grounds for declaring a marriage void based on psychological incapacity.”

More than a week ago, our early evening news cum entertainment shows on Channels 2 and 7 reported that the Supreme Court in its July 17, 2006 Resolution turned down with finality actress Amy Perez’s petition to have her marriage to musician Brix Ferraris declared void on the basis of psychological incapacity.

Reasons why the Supreme Court turned down Amy’s petition

[1] The Supreme Court found Brix’s alleged mixed personality disorder, the "leaving-the-house" attitude whenever he and Amy quarreled, the violent tendencies during epileptic attacks, the sexual infidelity, the abandonment and lack of support, and his preference to spend more time with his band mates than his family, are not rooted on some debilitating psychological condition but a mere refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

[2] While Amy’s marriage with Brix failed and appears to be without hope of reconciliation, the remedy however is not always to have it declared void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity. An unsatisfactory marriage, however, is not a null and void marriage. No less than the Constitution recognizes the sanctity of marriage and the unity of the family; it decrees marriage as legally “inviolable” and protects it from dissolution at the whim of the parties. Both the family and marriage are to be “protected” by the State.

If other movie stars had their marriage successfully declared void, what happened in Amy’s petition?

Pops Fernandez and Martin Nievera, Aiko Melendez and Jomari Yllana, Benjie Paras and Jackie Forster (?), Alma Moreno and Joey Marquez … these are just some of our entertainment personalities who had their marriages successfully declared void on the basis of “psychological incapacity” as provided for by Article 36 of our Family Code. So what happened to their fellow entertainer Amy Perez’s petition?

[1] Difference between “annulment” and “declaration of nullity”

The term “annulment” refers to voidable marriages while “declaration of nullity” refers to marriages that are void. When Article 36 (psychological incapacity) is used as the ground, the proper term is “declaration of nullity” and not “annulment.”

[2] The long road Amy’s petition went through

You can read the complete decision of Amy Perez’s case in the Supreme Court website. By way of review, however, let’s look at the long road Amy’s case went through before it finally reached the Supreme Court.
(1) According to the Court of Appeals narration of facts, Amy and Brix’s relationship before the marriage and even during their brief union (for well about a year or so) was not all bad. During that relatively short period of time, Amy was happy and contented with her life in the company of her husband. In fact, by Amy’s own reckoning, Brix was a responsible and loving husband. Then problems began when Amy started doubting Brix’s fidelity. It was only when they started fighting about the calls from women that Brix began to withdraw into his shell and corner, and failed to perform his so-called marital obligations. Brix could not understand Amy’s lack of trust in him and her constant naggings. He thought her suspicions irrational. Brix could not relate to her anger, temper and jealousy. Amy then filed a petition to have her marriage declared null and void on the basis of Brix’s psychological incapacity.

(2) Sometime in February 2001, the Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 151, with presiding Judge Franchito N. Diamante, denied Amy’s petition on the ground that “suffering from epilepsy did not amount to psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code and that the evidence on record were insufficient to prove infidelity.”

(3) The Pasig RTC denied Amy’s motion for reconsideration on or about April 2001.

(4) Amy filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals which eventually confirmed in whole the judgment of the Pasig City RTC.

(5) The Court of Appeals later on also denied Amy’s motion for reconsideration.

(6) Amy filed a Petition for Review of the CA’s decision with the Supreme Court, which on June 2004 denied the petition.

(7) The Supreme Court in its Resolution dated July 17, 2006 denied with finality Amy’s petition.

[3] Amy
’s psychologist failed to prove psychological incapacity

The adverse decisions of the Pasig City RTC and the Court of Appeals relied heavily on the failure of Amy’s expert witness (a psychologist) to establish that Brix Ferraris was suffering from a psychological incapacity that rendered him unable to fulfill the essential marital obligations.

The Supreme Court promulgated in March 2003 the new implementing guidelines for declaring a marriage null and void. The said guidelines no longer require the submission of a psychological report as part of the petition to be filed with the trial court. It depends upon the discretion of the Family Court judge as to whether a psychological report still has to be submitted. Lawyers, however, wanting to make sure the petition will be granted, are still asking their clients to submit to psychological evaluation and are submitting the report as part of their evidence.

The Supreme Court ruling in Amy’s petition

Enumerated below (without the citations, with some long sections broken down into several paragraphs for easier reading, and boldfacing for emphasis supplied) are the pertinent portions of the Supreme Court’s Resolution discussing what psychological incapacity is and is not.

[1] The term “psychological incapacity” under Article 36 of the Family Code refers to a serious psychological illness afflicting a party even before the celebration of the marriage. It is a malady so grave and so permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume.

As all people may have certain quirks and idiosyncrasies, or isolated characteristics associated with certain personality disorders, 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. It is for this reason that the Court relies heavily on psychological experts for its understanding of the human personality. However, the root cause must be identified as a psychological illness and its incapacitating nature must be fully explained which petitioner failed to convincingly demonstrate.

[2] The Court found Brix’s alleged mixed personality disorder, the "leaving-the-house" attitude whenever he and Amy quarreled, the violent tendencies during epileptic attacks, the sexual infidelity, the abandonment and lack of support, and his preference to spend more time with his band mates than his family, are not rooted on some debilitating psychological condition but a mere refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

[3] In Republic v. Court of Appeals, where the respondent preferred to spend more time with his friends than his family on whom he squandered his money, depended on his parents for aid and assistance, and was dishonest to his wife regarding his finances, the Court held that the “psychological defects” spoken of were more of a “difficulty,” if not outright “refusal” or “neglect” in the performance of some marital obligations.

A mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities in no wise constitute psychological incapacity; it is not enough to prove that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be shown to be incapable of doing so due to some psychological, not physical, illness.

[4] The Court held in Hernandez v. Court of Appeals that habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity or perversion, and abandonment do not by themselves constitute grounds for declaring a marriage void based on psychological incapacity.

[5] While Amy’s marriage with Brix failed and appears to be without hope of reconciliation, the remedy however is not always to have it declared void ab initio on the ground of psychological incapacity. An unsatisfactory marriage, however, is not a null and void marriage. No less than the Constitution recognizes the sanctity of marriage and the unity of the family; it decrees marriage as legally “inviolable” and protects it from dissolution at the whim of the parties. Both the family and marriage are to be “protected” by the State.

[6] In determining the import of “psychological incapacity” under Article 36, it must be read in conjunction with, although to be taken as distinct from Articles 35 (marriages void from the beginning), 37 (incestuous marriages), 38 (marriages void due to public policy) and 41 (declaration of presumptive death), which for different reasons render the marriage void ab initio.

Article 36 must also be read in conjunction with but taken as distinct from Articles 45 (voidable marriages) and 55 (grounds for legal separation).

Care must be observed so that these various circumstances are not applied so indiscriminately as if the law were indifferent on the matter. Article 36 should not be confused with a divorce law that cuts a matrimonial bond at the time the causes therefore manifest themselves. Neither it is to be equated with legal separation, in which the grounds need not be rooted in psychological incapacity but on physical violence, moral pressure, moral corruption, civil interdiction, drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity, abandonment and the like.

What happens now to Amy Perez and Brix Ferraris?

Since the Court has declared Brix Ferraris is not suffering from any psychological incapacity in fulfilling his essential marital obligations, Amy and Brix remain married to each other, despite presumably the total absence of love and affection between them. The facts and the conclusions of the Court have become what lawyers call "res judicata" between Amy and Brix. It is highly doubtful therefore that Amy or Brix himself could avail of the new relaxed rule on annulment of marriages promulgated by the Supreme Court in March 2003 in re-filing the case.

Again, as I have noted above, under the new Rule, the submission of a psychological report is no longer mandatory but is discretionary with the Family Court judge. However, lawyers are still asking petitioners to submit to psychological evaluation and are submitting the report as part of their evidence.

32 comments :

Anonymous said...

is there still light at the end of the tunnel to people like amy and brix? i have gone through the annulment process but after 7 years of scheduling and rescheduling hearings, the court dismissed my case due to lack of evidence... the other party didn't want to go through the psychological evaluation. I have already lost trust in our system. we always had to reschedule hearings because the other party won't show up and it seemed that the court couldn't do anything about it. the worse part was that i had to pay my lawyer's per appearance fee even for cancelled hearings... not to mention his hotel and transportation charges. i have expressed my life's frustration to a priest and he told me that under the eyes of God, i am not married to this person since we were never married in church. i am still young (got married at 20), but the hope of having a spouse and children are completely gone.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Since your case was dismissed for lack of evidence, that means that you can still re-file the case. If your case had been decided on the merits, then res judicata would apply, meaning the issues have been settled, preventing the re-filing of the case. Next time around, however, look for another lawyer.

2. Please read my article entitled “What happens in an annulment case if the respondent fails to file an Answer?” Look for the link in the sidebar.

3. If the other party (meaning your spouse) was properly notified of the hearings, then the hearings should not have been reset. Your spouse would have lost the right to present his/her evidence and the court could have decided on the basis of the evidence you presented.

4. It is not required that the other party (your spouse) submit to a psychological evaluation. The usual procedure is that the psychologist prepares the report based only on the evaluation/interview of the petitioner. The psychologist also sends a letter usually by registered mail to the other spouse asking him/her to submit to psychological evaluation. But the court accepts the psychological report even if only the petitioner was evaluated by the psychologist.

5. Under the new Supreme Court rules, the submission of a psychological report is no longer mandatory. It is now discretionary with the Family Court judge. The rationale is that it is the judge and not the psychologist who decides whether psychological incapacity exists for the nullification of the marriage.

6. I will have to disagree with what the priest told you. The Bible recognizes the authority of civil government. Even if you were not married in church, that is legal before society and recognized by God.

7. If you want people to pray for you for whatever your needs are, please follow this link to a prayer room for men and women:

http://womentodaymagazine.com/chat/share.html

Anonymous said...

Hi sir i would just like to ask....what if the husband was incapabale of fulfilling his obligations for almost three years to his wife. He prefer to play computer games and he doesn't have a permanent job. Can the wife file for an annulment? If not, can she file for legal separation? On what GROUNDS? And how their properties be divided.....thank you

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please take note that “annulment” is different from “declaration of nullity.” Under Articles 35 up to 54 of the Family Code, some marriages are considered either void or voidable. Technically speaking, annulment refers to the legal action declaring void those marriages considered as voidable (that is valid until annulled). On the other hand, declaration of nullity refers to those marriages considered as void from the very beginning.

In laymen's language, however, annulment is often used as a generic term for the legal action concerning both kinds of marriages.

What is the difference between legal separation and declaration of nullity?

The grounds or reasons are different, and more importantly, in legal separation, the spouses are not allowed to get married again to other parties. The wife also still has to use her husband's surname. (Practically no one therefore wants to file for legal separation; almost everyone in marital troubles will choose to have his or her marriage declared null and void.)

The grounds for legal separation are provided under Article 55 of the Family Code. Your husband’s desire to play computer games instead of working however is not a ground for legal separation. If such desire can be proven to be psychological incapacity, then there might be a ground for filing a petition for declaration of nullity.

As to the division of property, a distinction must be made between absolute community of property (ACP) and conjugal partnership of gains (CPG). If you got married under the family Code without indicating in the marriage certificate or contract as to what property regime you want, then ACP automatically applies to your marriage. Please read my blog posts (look for the links in the sidebar) on ACP and CPG.

Anonymous said...

I agree fully that all marriage is honorable before the eyes of God, especially under the laws of civil society, which is only under God. Where did this priest get the idea of a marriage not being right before God solely by the absence of a church ceremony/registration? Perhaps researching and relearning canon law would help. It's religious "experts" like this with blurred, opinionated memory coupled with unbiblical myths who give the church doubtful authority . He should be careful of his counsel, confused and hurting people with failed marriages look upon the church as a refuge from their troubles, not a place to add more guilt to a tired soul.

Anonymous said...

atty.

good day poh

ask ko lng poh sana if mag file aq ng annulment how much poh ba aabutin lahat and gaano katagal ang pag process??
kinasal poh ako noong august 2008, umalis ako ng pinas ng september 2008 ndi pa poh kme ngsasama ng asawa ko, nsa pinas poh xa ngaun,, pareho poh nmn gusto ng i-annul ung kasal nmn...
maraming salamat poh

glenn

Anonymous said...

atty.

magandang araw, malaking tulong ang site na to, marami kayong naliliwanagan. friend ako ni glenn tinuro nya sa akin ang site na ito gusto ko lng sana itanong nagpakasal ako sa pilipinas ng dalawang beses na ndi pinapawalang bisa ang una kong kasal.ang tanong ko kung malaman ng nso na dalawang beses ako kinasal sila ba ang magsasampa ng kaso sa akin? ano ba ang dapat kong gawin? maraming salamat po ...

oscar

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Glenn,

Please read my discussion, the comments and my replies to the comments in the posts on the primers on the Family Code provisions on Marriage, and Void and Voidable marriage (look for the links in the sidebar or use the blog search tool at the top of this page). I have discussed this issue several times already.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Oscar,

Bigamy is a public crime which means that anyone with knowledge of the crime can report it. But I have not heard of any situation when the NSO took upon itself the task of filing a case of bigamy.

The problem is that even if you have the second marriage declared null and void, the crime of bigamy has already been committed.

What if you have the first marriage declared null and void? Will that make your second marriage valid? The answer is No.

Please read my post titled “When a man is married to or living in with several women successively or simultaneously, who has the right to inherit from him?” (look for the link in the sidebar).

Anonymous said...

good day. i got married in the Phil. in 2000 and move to work in england in 2004. i've been seperated with my husband for 2 yrs and filed a divorce in england in 2006 i got my divorce decree. in 2007 i got married again in the Phil but i converted to islam to get married coz my husband was a muslim.i have nso marriage certificate for both marriage. is my second marriage valid? what can i do to make both my marriage null o void. now im separated to my second marriage as well and i want to get my marriage to end with him. thanks so much.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your divorce is not recognized here in the Philippines. Please read my post “Divorce obtained abroad by a Filipino not recognized here” (look for the link in the sidebar. As to the validity of your marriage under Muslim law, please contact the Office of the Jurisconsult (an office created under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws).

Martena said...

Hello Atty,
I was a Filipino citizen when I got married to a Swedish national here in Sweden but now I'm a Swdeish citizen too. My husband had been married and divorced here in Sweden with a Filipino citizen prior to our marriage. His first marriage was then registered at NSO thru the Phil embassy here and so ours too. He contacted the embassy to know more about the Phil law regarding annulment of his marriage in the Phil inorder to clear up his record at NSO but the consul general at that time said that he's a foreigner in The Phil and annulment is costly and that he is allowed by his law here in Sweden to get marry again. Then the time came and we got married here in Sweden and registered it at NSO. So my foreigner husband has two records of marriage in the Phil. Now that I'm not a Filipino citizen, I understand that my marriage is valid whenever we visit the Philippines? How about if I re-acquire my Fil citizenship? Does it mean that our marriage is not recognized in the Phil and that his first marriage is the one recognized? I will be thankful to hear your legal advice regarding this situation. My husband wanted very to clear up his name for the purpose of record at NSO. His Filipina ex-wife is now living with a Finnish man here in Sweden and has no interest at all to apply for a recognition of her divorce back home.
We want to know how to file and how much does it cost for a recognition of the divorce decree there in the Phil. We are here abroad so we want to transact business thru internet if it is possible. Thanks so much.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Martena,

1. Your husband is a foreign citizen and so he had the right to file for divorce against his wife (even if they got married under Philippine law). When your husband got his divorce, he did not have to do anything else. The Filipina wife however if she wants to get married again should file a petition to have the foreign divorce decree recognized by Philippine courts.

2. When you got married therefore, your husband had no legal impediment on his part (even if he did not file a petition for annulment or for recognition of the divorce decree). Your marriage is legal.

3. It is true that as far as the NSO records are concerned, there are two marriage certificates on file in your husband’s name. The remedy for this is not to file a petition for annulment or for recognition of the foreign divorce decree. The remedy is to file a petition in court to require the NSO to expunge from its records the first marriage certificate, or to annotate the divorce decree. (Please take note again that the petition for recognition of a foreign divorce decree is filed by the Filipino citizen who wants to get married again.)

4. As to the implications of dual citizenship, there are gray areas in the said law especially on the matters of family, marriage, etc. As I said, however, since your husband is a foreign citizen his national allowed him to file for divorce and so his marriage to you is legal.

5. Please consult other lawyers who may have opinions different from mine.

Anonymous said...

ang gulo naman sa pilipinas. meron pang pavoid-void or annulled na nalalalaman. first of all, bat ka ikakasal kung give up ka na kaagad. I mean, di ba dapat kelangan both of you have to work the relationship. If that don't work, dapat may law din sa pilipinas na mapadali ang paghihiwalay. E kung magpapatayan na kayong mag-asawa, masisiyahan pang panoorin ng mga tinatawag niyong Law diyan? Yes, I got married really early. 10 years pa lang kaming kasal pero that 10 years, we went through a lot. But we made a deal na we're both into this and lahat ng bagyo na darating sa amin, lalabanan namin. It is not easy. Sometimes, I just want to kick him out. Pero we look on the positive side. Ang mga bata daw ang maapektohan. But what if puro away na lang ang nakikita nila sa parents nila? What we just don't understand is bakit ang daming ganyang law diyan sa pilipinas, nahihirapan na nga ang bansa natin, they make it more complicated and more frustrating sa mga tao nila. If they say na hindi na sila talaga magkasundo, at least have a law that can speed up the seperation, maybe these couple just need space from each other and will realize at the end kung saan sila nagkamali.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please read my Salt and Light blog post “Marriage: The Ultimate Fighting Championship” at http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2006/11/are-you-ready-lets-get-it-on.html

Anonymous said...

Hello Atty. Galacio,

Thanks so much for the clear answers to my questions, I ask a question to another Filipino lawyer here online but her answer is quite different( copied below). It's a nice feeling anyway to hear what you've said. I'll try to follow your advice (nr. 3)..."The remedy is to file a petition in court to require the NSO to expunge from its records the first marriage certificate, or to annotate the divorce decree."

Thanks so much, mabuhay po kayo!

Martena
____My question to another lawyer--

___________Hi, I was a Filipino citizen when I married my husband who was divorced with his ex-wife who is also Filipino. His first marriage was done here in Sweden and so ours. Both are registered at NSO thru the Phil embassy here. The ex-wife is now living with a Finnish man and have kids and i don’t think that she has interest in filing for a recognition of divorce.
My question is ‘is it possible that a foreigner have two marriage records at NSO?’.

Thanks.
___Answer-----
Martena, your marriage to your husband is not valid in the Philippines as he is still married to his first wife according to Philippine law. Filipino citizen no matter where they live can not obtain a divorce.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Martena,

I think the other lawyer's answer was different because he/she thought that your husband is also a FILIPINO citizen.If your husband is a Filipino citizen, then that lawyer's answer is right, that is, Article 26 prohibits or does not recognize divorces obtained by Filipino citizens abroad (except where the aggrieved party is the Filipino and the proper petition for recognition of a foreign divorce decree is filed).

However, as you stated, your husband is a Swedish citizen married to a Filipino. My answer to you therefore was that as a Swedish citizen, he was allowed by Swedish law to obtain a divorce.

Martena said...

Hi Atty. Galacio,
Thanks again for taking your precious time in replying my post.
My husband is a foreigner, a Swedish. Yap, the other lawyer misunderstood my post in her/his blogg, maybe I did not made myself clear to him/her but my question was clear enough I think--is it possible that a foreigner have two marriage records at NSO?’.
She/he should have given me the answer like what you provided in nr. 3.
Again, Thank you very much. More power and Godspeed. :)

Respectfully,

(Martena)Grahn family of Stockholm, Sweden

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty Galacio,
My husband was a womanizer(he eloped 3 times with different women, but i forgave him because of our children), an alcoholic( he have tremors attack if he cannot drink liquior in a day, i noticed this even before our marriage), a drug addict,a thief(he stole my jewelries and computer parts from the office he used to work)and 3 years ago he eloped again with another woman and finally abandoned us.
Last year, i met a kind hearted foreigner through internet, he knows about my marriage situation and my solo parent status.And now,we wanted to get married and settled here in Philippines. My question is, on what ground should i file against my husband so that our marriage be annuled?
ann 74

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

As I discussed in this post, “psychological incapacity” is the most common ground used in petitions for declaration of nullity. "Psychological incapacity" covers a lot of grounds.

Please also read the following posts (look for the links in the sidebar):

Sexual infidelity or promiscuity does not constitute psychological incapacity

Irreconcilable differences not a ground for declaring a marriage null and void

What happens in an annulment case if the respondent fails to file an Answer?

Anonymous said...

i just want to know if what is the effect of the legal separation between husband and wife as regards the economic abuse of Ra 9262 wherein the financial support was very limited

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You did not state if the RA 9262 case for economic abuse was a criminal case or simply a petition for Protection Order for financial support. If the RA 9262 case is a criminal case, then it will continue despite the filing of a petition for legal separation under by Articles 55 to 67 of the Family Code and/or the grant of a decree of legal separation. If the RA 9262 case you are referring to is a petition for Protection Order, it could be consolidated with the petition for legal separation.

Article 63 FC provides that the decree of legal separation shall have the following effects:

(1) The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but the marriage bonds shall not be severed;

(2) The absolute community or the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved and liquidated but the offending spouse shall have no right to any share of the net profits earned by the absolute community or the conjugal partnership, which shall be forfeited in accordance with the provisions of Article 43(2);

(3) The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse, subject to the provisions of Article 213 of this Code; and

(4) The offending spouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spouse by intestate succession. Moreover, provisions in favor of the offending spouse made in the will of the innocent spouse shall be revoked by operation of law.


While the petition for legal separation is ongoing, the offended spouse and the children are entitled to support pendente lite as provided for by Article 49 FC. If the decree of legal separation is granted by the court, then Article 198 states:

During the proceedings for legal separation or for annulment of marriage, and for declaration of nullity of marriage, the spouses and their children shall be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership. After the final judgment granting the petition, the obligation of mutual support between the spouses ceases. However, in case of legal separation, the court may order that the guilty spouse shall give support to the innocent one, specifying the terms of such order.

Simply stated, this means that (1) obligation to support stops upon granting of the decree of legal separation; (2) however, the court may order the guilty spouse to continue supporting the innocent spouse. If no. 2 is granted by the judge, then the amount of support will be balanced by the court between the necessities of the person asking for support and the financial capability of the person from whom support is being asked. Support shall be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.

Anonymous said...

dear atty,

pwede po bang maging legal grounds ung pills? kc po nahuli niya po ako naka-pills without his consent.
kinasal po kami sept 06 umuwi po ako noon galing abroad then during that time we both agreed not yet to have a baby dhil po after ng kasal aalis din po ako at babalik s job ko sa abroad then recently this june 09 doon po nya ko nahuli na me pills. posible po ba ung maging grounds for annulment.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The use of birth control pills by itself does not constitute a ground for declaring a marriage null and void. Our new Law RA 9710 “Magna Carta for Women” states that the number and spacing of children is a joint decision of the husband and wife.

On the personal level, you were married in 2006, three years ago. You should also consider your husband’s natural desire to start a family. You did not mention how old you and your husband are. For women, the child-bearing years are only up to age 35. Beyond 35, there is almost no chance for a woman to bear children.

You and your husband should seek counseling. Please try to contact Ptr. Clem Guillermo and his wife, well-known marriage and family counselors, through their nightly radio program “Heartline” aired over DZAS 702 Khz, 10:30 to 12. I think the DZAS tel. no. is 92-11-52. The program is available on the Internet at http://www.febc.ph/stations/dzas/index.html . Ptr. Clem’s office is in the Back to the Bible Building, corner of West Avenue and EDSA (opposite SM City North EDSA).

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty,

Nbasa ko po dati na ang foundation sa pagfile ng Psychological Incapacity as a ground for declaring marriage null and void ay clinically tested by Expert (Psychologist), kapag ako ba ang nagfile ng kaso yung defendant ang magpa-psychologist, what if kung tumanggi patest yung defendant? Or pwede ako na lang ang magpapsychologist?

Thanks po.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The procedure is that your lawyer will set up an appointment for you with a psychologist or psychiatrist for an evaluation. The psychologist or psychiatrist will also send a letter to the other spouse asking him/her to submit to the evaluation. If the other spouse refuses, the evaluation is based only on the petitioner.

If you remember the Pops Fernandez/Martin Nievera case, Pops was the one evaluated since Martin refused. The psychological evaluation of Pops came to the conclusion that Martin was psychologically incapable. (As I remember, Martin got his own psychologist and his report stated that it was Pops who was psychologically incapable.)

Anonymous said...

well hi, i just want to ask you atty. regarding my case. Kinasal po ako nung 1995 civil i was 17 then and my ex was 16. naghiwalay na po kami since 1998 pa. Now we both want to remarry. According po sa mga nabasa ko Qualified po ako sa Voidable marriage since were both below 18 years old. My question atty. is ano po ba ang dapat namin gawin kasi po yung uncle po niya na nag ayos nung civil wedding namin is dinaya po yung age naming dalawa sya po ginawang 19 years old at ako po ginawang 18years old. Ano po ang dapat naming gawin kasi po kung annulment masyadong mahal ang sinisingil 250k po kung voidable pa rin po ba yun or pwede pong ireklamo ng falsification of public documents sino po ang kakasuhan since patay na rin po yung uncle nya na gumawa nun.

I was hoping na mag reply po kayo. Thank you very much

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Since you got married in 1995 at an age below 18, your marriage is void. Even if your marriage is void, however, you cannot take the law into your own hands and declare by yourself that your marriage is void. Under Article 40 of the Family Code, you must file a petition to have your marriage declared as null and void on the ground of non-age or Article 31, paragraph (1).

Since your uncle who was responsible for the falsification is already dead, he no longer has any criminal liability.

Please consult other lawyers who may have opinions different from mine or who may be able to suggest alternative courses of actions.

Anonymous said...

hello po. nais ko pong itanong sainyo kung ano ang dapat kong gawin sa sitwasyon ko.
laki po ako sa japan at nung nag bakasyon po ako sa pinas ay nakilala ko po ang isang guy, na hindi kopo maisip kung bakit ko pinakasalan. siguro po dahil that time at the age of 23 ay diko pa sapat na naiintindihan ang salitang kasal.
ako po ay kinasal sa pilipinas noong2001 at the age of 23 & 20 going on 21 po yung pinakasalan ko. hindi na po kami hinanapan ng marriage license, secret po sa family ko yung kasal namin at ang kasama lang po namin ay yung mother niya at tiyo nya na nag witness samin. kinasal po kami sa isang kwarto lang na maliit, na parang inuupahan lang din ng nagkasal samin. 20 going on 21 pa po sya noon, at dinaya lang po nila ang age nya. kaya ang akala ko po noon ay kasal kasalan lang naganap.
kaya laking gulat ko nalang po ng malaman kong kasal pala talaga ako sa kanya noong na check ko sa NSO.
ito po nyayon ang problema, since 2002 po ay hindi na kami nagkita nung pinakasalan ko,sya po ay nasa pinas at ako naman ay nanatiling nasa japan.
2004 po ay naging japanese nationalty ako, 2005 ay nagpakasal sa isang italiano sa bansa nila mismo.
2007 po nung napag-usapan po namin ng pinsan ko ang aking nakaraan at sinabi nyang ikukuha daw nya ako ng NSO, na may pahintulot ko.at doon ko nga po nalaman na kasal pala ako sa una.
may nag advise po sakin na since foreign nationalty na nga po ako kung tutuusin pwede ko nga daw po sanang i devorce ang una sa abroad.. pero huli na nga po ng malaman ko, kc 2005 ay kinasal naman ako sa italy.
yung una ko pong pinakasalan ay may asawa't anak na daw po(nalaman ko po sa iba kong kamag-anak).
tanong ko po :
1)pwede po ba akong ma kasuhan sa pilipinas kung saka-sakali?
2)nung kinasal po ako sa una ay fil nationalty pa po ako at sa pilipinas po ginanap. nung kinasal naman po ako sa pangalawa ay jpn nationalty na po ako at sa ibang bansa po ako kinasal.
3)since naging jpn nationalty na nga po ako, nag iba narin po ang surname ko(noong fil nationalty pa po ako surname ng real father ko ang ginagamit ko, samantalang ngayon jap nationality na ako ay surname na po ng stepfather ko ang ginagamit ko.
4)di ko po dala ang surname ng asawa ko ngayon, since dito nga po sa italy ay hindi naman obligasyon ng babae na dalhin ang pangalan ng mapapangasawa.
5)ni minsan ay hindi ko po ginamit ang aplyido ng una kong asawa, dahil narin sa hindi naman kami gaanong nagsama.
6)ngayon po binabalak po sana naming mag-asawa na mag bakasyon sa pilipinas.1st time po sana ng husband ko pag nagkataon, pero natatakot po ako na baka po malaman sa immigration(NAIA)na kasal ako sa una. possible po ba na nalaman mila na kasal ako dati? kahit na iba na ang surname at nationalty ko ngayon?

ewan ko nga po sa pilipinas kung bakit ganyan ang law, samantalang dito sa italy Roman Catholic mismo sila pero may divorce sa kanila.

kung ang 2 tao ay wala ng pagmamahal sa isat-isa dipo bang dapat maghiwalay nasila ng matiwasay?
siguro naman po ay hindi rin magiging masaya si lord kung nakikita nyang nag lolokohan nalang ang dalawang nagsasama.
mas malaking kasalanan naman po siguro kung naglolokohan nalang at nagkakasakitan di po ba?
sana nga po ay magbago naman ang sistema saatin.
kahit wala ng divorce-divorce basta't sana lang naman maging madali ang pag process ng annul.at walang gastos na malaki.

pasensya na po at napahaba ang kwento ko. sana po mabigyan nyo ako ng advice. maraming maraming salamat po.

ps,wala pa po akong anak hanggang ngayon.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

[1] “2004 po ay naging japanese nationalty ako, 2005 ay nagpakasal sa isang italiano sa bansa nila mismo”

Do you mean to say that when you got married to this Italian guy, you did not previously get a divorce in Japan from your Filipino husband? What did you report to the Japanese officials when you were working on your citizenship papers as to your status; did you tell them you were single or married?

[2] “ngayon po binabalak po sana naming mag-asawa na mag bakasyon sa pilipinas.1st time po sana ng husband ko pag nagkataon, pero natatakot po ako na baka po malaman sa immigration(NAIA)na kasal ako sa una. possible po ba na nalaman mila na kasal ako dati? kahit na iba na ang surname at nationalty ko ngayon?”

I doubt if the immigration officials at the NAIA will be able to trace immediately your past records since you are using a Japanese passport. But I cannot give you any assurance on this. If and when you get into trouble, you can ask the help of the Japanese embassy.

[3] “kung ang 2 tao ay wala ng pagmamahal sa isat-isa dipo bang dapat maghiwalay nasila ng matiwasay? siguro naman po ay hindi rin magiging masaya si lord kung nakikita nyang nag lolokohan nalang ang dalawang nagsasama.”

Please read my post “Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage” (look for the link in the sidebar).

Anonymous said...

magandang araw po Atty. Gerry T. Galacio,

[1] oo nga po single status po ang sinabi ko that time(2004), dahil that time nga po di ko rin naman alam na nakapasok pala sa NSO yung kasalang naganap noong 2001.

[2] so may chances po ako na makasuhan sa pinas kung sakasakali?
may iba pa po bang paraan para ma annul yung kasal ko sa una? like what i said po yung una kong asawa ay may asawa't anak na po. nauna pa po syang nag-asawa kesa saakin.
kung may iba pa pong solution sana po ma iadvice ninyo saakin.

naging aral po saakin itong mga nangyari na ito, kc po dati napaka bata ko pa at walang kaalam alam sa mga sistema natin. napaka daling magkamali ng hindi ko naman sinasadya o di ko manlang namalayan na lumabag napala ako sa batas ng pinas.
maraming maraming salamat po!buti nalang at nakita ko itong site ninyo.
pag nagkataon po pwede ko po ba kayong makuhang abogado?
pwede po bang makuha yung address ng opisina at tel # ninyo?

god bless po!!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

If you file any petition to declare your marriage null and void, the records of your previous marriage will come up. Thus, you can possibly be charged criminally for bigamy.

Please consult other lawyers who may have opinions different from mine or who may be able to suggest alternative courses of actions.