A psychologically incapacitated person may not legally remarry?

Almost all persons who came to us for a legal consultation for the purpose of terminating their existing marriages also manifested their intention to remarry whenever the Court would grant them the annulment decree. It is either that they are already into an existing relationship or that their american fiance will soon petition them for the issuance of a fiancee visa or popularly known as the K-1 visa. The ground for nullity of marriage is always the same – psychological incapacity.

However, the result of the psychological evaluation is not always favorable to the person who sought the annulment because sometimes, they themselves are the persons who are pscyhologically incapacitated. Although the new Rules for the declaration of absolute nullity of marriage do not prohibit a person from filing the Petition on the ground of his/her own psychological incapacity but the court judgement nullifying the marriage on the ground of the person’s own psychological incapacity will have legal implications if the said person will remarry in the future.

According to the Supreme Court in the case of Marcos vs. Marcos, 397 Phil. 840,851 (2000), the term “psychological incapacity” to be a ground for the nullity of marriage 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 permanent as to deprive one of awareness of the duties and responsibilities of the matrimonial bond one is about to assume. Importantly in order to be granted the annulment, the psychological incapacity must also be shown to be medically or clinically permanent or incurable. Such incurability may be absolute or even relative only in regard to the other spouse, not necessarily absolutely against everyone of the same sex. This is what the Supreme Court said in the landmark decision in the case of Republic vs. Court of Appeals and Molina, 268 SCRA 198 (1997).

The incurability of the person’s psychological incapacity may make his or her subsequent marriages invalid.

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