As our first blog item after the welcome portion, we decided to  pose, and hopefully answer, the question :  what is psychological incapacity?? It would seem that  the term psychological incapacity is a relatively popular one among Filipinos, but widely misunderstood. The common and erroneous notion borders on insanity if not insanity itself, which often creates an aversion to seeking  an annulment of the marriage. After all, who will admit to insanity or more specifically marrying the insane.  Article 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines which for the first time since the Japanese Occupation allowed for a semblance of divorce in the Philippines via a declaration of the nullity of a marriage where one or both parties is psychologically incapacitated, did not actually define the term leaving the courts to develop a legal framework for it.  It has been said that this provision of the law was really a compromise between the Philippine Catholic church (which for some reason opposes an absolute divorce law in the Philippines) and the group of legal luminaries which drafted the Family Code. True enough, jurisprudence has evolved a definition based initially and mainly on Canon Law, progressing towards a clinical form of incapacity, to its present state of non clinical incapacity. Perhaps, the term really escapes definitiion, as it should  if it is to evolve legally, the only guidance being the failure to fulfill the essential obligations of the marriage. Conditions such as homosexuality, drug or substance abuse, physical, verbal, psychological, and economic abuse, among others, have been used to define the term. From a legally theoretical point of view then , it should be very difficult to obtain an annulment but the Office of the Solicitor General pointed to the fact that there were more than 7,000 petitions for annulment filed this year alone. Why the deluge if one has to go through the eye of a needle just to right what is wrong.  Would our legislators, by failing to come up with an honest to goodness divorce law finally see the light or the hypocrisy of it all.  Should there be pride in the fact that divorce is not legal only in the Philippines and Malta, but is allowed around the rest of the world, and particularly in  Italy where the hallowed walls of the Vatican is?  Should we be more popish than the Pope? To my mind, the fact alone that people cannot seem to live together harmoniously if not idylically and would choose to be separated from each other and be with someone else (which is usually the situation when one starts to approach a lawyer for a possible annulment ) is proof enough of incapacity.  Was it Elizabeth I of England, after ordering off the head of one of her rumored lovers,  who said that the most difficult thing to govern is the heart? What say you?

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. may i ask for a more information on what really is psychological incapacity? and some court decision where psychological incapacity was the turning point reason on agreeing for an annulment? Tnx. help very much appreciated. More power!

  2. My friend’s first marriage was already annuled and she got married again.But her 2nd marriage didn’t last because her ex is a drunkard and spends most of his time with his peers.It also came to a point that he physically abused my friend.She filed a case against her ex for physical abuse but the case was dismissed due to non-appearance of my friend because she was thinking about her kids.They reconciled for 2 months but got separated again when my friend contracted an STD.It almost put her life in danger.She decided to separate for good.Her ex is now living with another woman.She wants an annulment and seems helpless.Please help.thanks

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