Agraviador v. Agraviador (G.R. No.170729; December 8, 2010)


On May 23, 1973, the petitioner and the respondent contracted marriage. They begot four children.

On March 1, 2001, the petitioner filed with the RTC a petition for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with the respondent, under Article 36 of the Family Code. He alleged that the respondent was psychologically incapacitated to exercise the essential obligations of marriage as she was carefree and irresponsible, and refused to do household chores like cleaning and cooking; stayed away from their house for long periods of time; had an affair with a lesbian; did not take care of their sick child; consulted a witch doctor in order to bring him bad fate; and refused to use the family name Agraviador in her activities.

The respondent moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that the root cause of her psychological incapacity was not medically identified and alleged in the petition. The RTC nullified the marriage of the petitioner and the respondent in its decision. It saw merit in the petitioners testimony and the psychiatric evaluation report. The CA reversed and set aside the RTC resolution, and dismissed the petition.

ISSUE: Is there basis to nullify the petitioners marriage to the respondent on the ground of psychological incapacity to comply with the essential marital obligations?

HELD: The court resolves to deny the petition for lack of merit, and hold that no sufficient basis exists to annul the marriage, pursuant to Article 36 of the Family Code and its related jurisprudence.

The totality of evidence presented failed to establish the respondents psychological incapacity. In the present case, the petitioners testimony failed to establish that the respondents condition is a manifestation of a disordered personality rooted on some incapacitating or debilitating psychological condition that makes her completely unable to discharge the essential marital obligations. If at all, the petitioner merely showed that the respondent had some personality defects that showed their manifestation during the marriage; his testimony sorely lacked details necessary to establish that the respondents defects existed at the inception of the marriage.In addition, the petitioner failed to discuss the gravity of the respondents condition; neither did he mention that the respondents malady was incurable, or if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the respondents means to undertake. The petitioners declarations that the respondent "does not accept her fault," "does not want to change," and "refused to reform" are insufficient to establish a psychological or mental defect that is serious, grave, or incurable as contemplated by Article 36 of the Family Code.

The Court also finds that the Psychiatric Evaluation Report fell short in proving that the respondent was psychologically incapacitated to perform the essential marital duties. The doctor did not personally evaluate and examine the respondent. Largely, the doctor relied on the information provided by the petitioner. DENIED.