What is Psychological Incapacity?

Habitual drunkenness, gambling and failure to find a job, while undoubtedly negative traits, are nowhere nearly the equivalent of psychological incapacity, in the absence of incontrovertible proof that these are manifestations of an incapacity rooted in some debilitating psychological condition or illness. Suazo v. Suazo; Singson vs. Singson, G.R. No. 210766, Jan. 08, 2018.

‘Psychological incapacity,’ as a ground to nullify a marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code, should refer to no less than a mental – not merely physical – incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed in Article 68 of the Family Code, among others, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love respect and fidelity and render help and support. Singson vs. Singson, G.R. No. 210766, Jan. 08, 2018.

Psychological incapacity must be characterized by: (a) gravity (i.e., it must be grave and serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in a marriage); (b) juridical antecedence (i.e., it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage); and (c) incurability (i.e., it must be incurable, or even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved). Singson vs. Singson, G.R. No. 210766, Jan. 08, 2018.

“Psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code contemplates an incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and to assume basic marital obligations, and is not merely the difficulty, refusal, or neglect in the performance of marital obligations or ill will.” Republic v. Court of Appeals, 698 Phil. 257, 265 (2012). Singson vs. Singson, G.R. No. 210766, Jan. 08, 2018.

The parties’ child is not a very reliable witness in an Article 36 case as “he could not have been there when the spouses were married and could not have been expected to know what was happening between his parents until long after his birth.” Toring v. Toring, 640 Phil. 434, 452 (2010). Singson vs. Singson, G.R. No. 210766, Jan. 08, 2018.

“There must be proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor that effectively incapacitated the respondent spouse from complying with the basic marital obligations x x x.” Republic v. Court of Appeals  

“A cause has to be shown and linked with the manifestations of the psychological incapacity.”[51] Republic v. Galang[51]

To support her Article 36 petition, petitioner ought to have adduced convincing, competent and trustworthy evidence to establish the cause of respondent’s alleged psychological incapacity and that the same antedated their marriage.[57] Republic v. Galang; Republic v. Pangasinan[57] 

See the complete decision in the case of Singson vs. Singson, G.R. No. 210766, Jan. 08, 2018.