THE FIRM ATTORNEY PROFILES PRACTICE AREAS CLIENT EXTRANET LOGIN
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Primary Contact

316 Mile Long Building

Amorsolo Street

Legaspi Village

Makati City

1200 Philippines

Telephone: (632) 8941441

TeleFax: (632) 8124296

e-mail: gtalaw@gtalawphil.com

 

Office Hours

9:30AM to 5:30PM PH Time

Monday - Friday

 

www.gtalawphil.com

             
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

ANNULMENT 101:  Philippine Annulment Law Made Easy

 

 

LESSON V: COURT PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE TO PROVE PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY
 

March 15, 2003 is the date of effectivity of the New Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages promulgated by the Supreme Court. Thereafter, we wrote an article simplifying this Rule for easy understanding to laymen (Please step-by-step procedure here). We received numerous feedback from our web audience that the article was very useful and informative to them. But education is a continuing process, so is our passion and commitment to translate the law in layman’s term.

Q. Do I need a psychological report before I could file a petition for annulment?

GTALAW: No. Generally, a psychological report is not required before you could file the petition to declare your marriage void. It is also specified under the New Rule that an expert opinion is not required to be alleged in the Petition.

Q. But does your Firm require your clients to submit to a psychological evaluation before filing the Petition?

GTALAW: Yes. The psychological report is the very foundation of your petition. It is like going to battle fully prepared. In this case, it would be easier for us to allege the manifestations of psychological incapacities because these facts are already stated in the psychological Report.

Q. If I am the one filing the Petition, do I still need to take a psychological test?

GTALAW: Yes, you have to take the test because the psychological report is the very foundation of your Petition. In the psychological test, our resident psychologist will determine the psychological incapacities of your husband or even your own incapacities. We usually recommend

that you take the test prior to the filing of the Petition.

Q. I am planning to file an annulment case on the ground of the psychological incapacity of my husband. The lawyer that I have contacted over there told me that I can already receive the decision after five (5) to eight (8) months. But I don’t remember him mentioning about psychological report. Do I have reason to be suspicious?

GTALAW: Every lawyer has its own style in handling the case. We are not at liberty to comment about it. But for your information, the Supreme Court has already set guidelines in proving a case for a petition for nullity of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.

We would like our web audience to be informed about these guidelines

which are as follows:

1. The burden of proof to show nullity of the marriage belongs to the plaintiff and any doubt must be resolved in favor of the existence of marriage and against its nullity.

2. The root cause of the psychological incapacity must be:

a. medically or clinically identified;
b. alleged in the complaint;
c. sufficiently proven by experts; and
d. clearly explained in the decision

3. Incapacity must be proven to be existing at “the time of the celebration” of the marriage, although the manifestation need not be perceivable at such time.

4. Such incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable, although the incurability may be relative only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily absolute against everyone of the same sex. Furthermore, the incapacity must be relevant to the assumption of marriage obligations, not to those not related to marriage like the exercise of profession or employment

in a job.

5. Such illness must be grave enough to bring about the disability of the party to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

6. The essential marital obligations must be those embraced by Articles 68 to 71 of the Family Code as regards the husband and wife as well as Articles 220, 221, and 225 of the same code in regards to parents and their children. Such non-compliance must also be stated in the petition, proven by evidence, and included in the text of the decision.

7. Interpretations given by the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, while not controlling or decisive, should be given great respect by our courts.

8. The trial court must order the fiscal and the Solicitor General to appear as counsel for the state. No decision shall be handed down unless the Solicitor General issues a certification, which will be quoted in the decision, briefly stating therein his reasons for his agreement or opposition, as the case may be, to the petition. The Solicitor General, along with the prosecuting attorney, shall submit to the court such certification within fifteen (15) days from the date the case is deemed submitted for resolution of the court.
 

Obviously, an annulment case cannot be concluded in the five (5) to eight (8) months and without the psychological report if Courts will follow the guidelines.

Q. I was informed that my annulment case would take longer if the Solicitor General’s Office will appeal the RTC Court decision to the Court of Appeals. How true is this?

GTALAW: Yes, your annulment case would take longer than what is expected. The good news is, appeal by the Solicitor General to the Court of Appeals is not anymore mandatory under the New Rule. But sometimes, the Solicitor General would make an Appeal to the Court of Appeals if it feels that the proceedings in the RTC Court was patently erroneous. We would like to take this opportunity to express our opinion that an annulment case is not a walk in the park. We already heard so many nightmare stories about Petitions being denied by the Court of Appeals. We would like to tell litigants

to concentrate on strengthening their cases rather than entertaining any idea of approaching the prosecutors or judges to expedite the process of their annulment.

Q. How long does it take to get my marriage annulled?

GTALAW: For uncontested petitions, the estimated processing time of the annulment petition is one year and six months to two years depending on the availability of witnesses and the court’s trial dates. The case would take longer if the Petition is contested – meaning the other spouse is interposing an opposition. Custody of children and property issues are also known factors that cause delay. There are also factors outside of our control that cause delay like unexpected postponements of trial due to sickness of thejudge or the prosecutor; retirement of the judge or postponements due to inclement weather.

Q. Am I required to appear in every Court hearing?

GTALAW: No, you are not. As petitioner, you are only required to appear during the pre-trial conference and during your scheduled testimony in Court.

Q. How many witnesses do we need to present in Court in order to prove my case?

GTALAW: We need to present you as our principal witness, the psychologist/psychiatrist as expert witness to prove the psychological incapacity; one or two more witnesses who have personal knowledge of your marital relations and who can affirm your story.

Q. My husband and I are planning to file the petition jointly. Will this help expedite my case?

GTALAW: Your case will be dismissed by the Court. The New Rule says that the petition can only be filed solely by the husband or the wife. Besides, this is a clear evidence of “collusion” oragreement of the spouses to annul their marriage, which is a ground to dismiss the petition.

Q. The public prosecutor summoned me to appear for investigation regarding the annulment case which I filed earlier? What is this investigation all about? Can I just send my lawyer instead?

GTALAW: This investigation is usually conducted by the prosecutor to find out if there was an agreement or “collusion” between the spouses to annul their marriage. This happens especially in

uncontested petitions when the respondent spouse did not submit his/her Answer to the petition despite receipt of the Court Summons.

If you are in the country, I suggest that you attend the investigation together with your lawyer. During our early years of practicing Family Law, we have had an experience that the prosecutor submitted a Certification of the Presence of Collusion between the parties because our client, the petitioner, failed to attend in the investigation.

The Certification was only withdrawn by the public prosecutor when our client appeared. However, prosecutors are very considerate if you can give a valid excuse for not attending the investigation.
 

:: Related Topics

 

Lesson I: Annulment of Marriage

 

Lesson II: Declaration of Nullity of Marriage

 

Lesson III: Issues About Marriage License

 

Lesson IV: Issues About Psychological Incapacity

 

Lesson V: Court procedure and evidence to prove psychological Incapacity

 

Lesson VI: Solutions for Petitioners Working Overseas

 

Lesson VII: Issues after the issuance of Annulment Decision

 

Lesson VIII: Divorce obtained by former Filipino citizens

 

Lesson IX: Our Fee Structure

 

 

 

 

 

       
     

 

COURT DECISIONS

Read latest decisions of the

Supreme Court on Nullity

of Marriage

 
   

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Annulment or Declaration

of Nullity of Marriage?

 
               

Annulment Main

             

 

ANNULMENT PROCEDURE

Step-by-step procedure in

filing a Petition for Nullity

Nullity of Marriage

 
                   
             

 

ANNULMENT LAW

Read the Rule on

Declaration of absolute

Nullity of void Marriages

and Annulment of void

Marriages

 
                     
                       
                         

 

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Guzman Tañedo & Acain Law Offices
316 Mile Long Building, Amorsolo Street, Makati City, Philippines - Telephone: 894.14.41; Telefax: 812.42.96

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