Query:  Do you want your marriage declared null and void? What could be a possible ground?

The common ground is provided under Art. 36 of the Family Code. It provides: A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was spychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.

The Family Code did not define the meaning of psychological incapacity. The concept is based on paragraph 3, Canon 1095 of the New Code of Canon Law (effective on November 27, 1983) which also made no attempt to define the term. (SOURCE: THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES ANNOTATED, 1999 EDITION, BY ATTY. ERNESTO L. PINEDA).

Considering that psychological incapacity is just lifted from the Canon Law the pertinent decisions of the marriage tribunals of the Catholic Church may be used as precedents if they are not contrary to the civil law and existing civil jurisprudence. According to Church authorities, aside from the well-known psychological cases of psychoses, psychoneuroses, and other psychic disorders which render a party or spouse psychologically unfit to assume the essential functions and duties of marriage, the following may also be considered as causes of psychological incapacity: (a) homosexuality, (b) lesbianism, (c) satyriasis, (d)nymphomania, (e) emotional immaturity or irresponsibility, (f) epilepsy, (g) habitual alcoholism, and (h) criminality. This list is not exclusive. (IBID)

Early jurisprudence related incapacity either to the ability to exchange the right of the body for hetoro-sexual acts or to the essential obligations arising from the three goods of marriage: (a) children, (b) fidelity and (c) permanence. As the object of marital consent was expanded to include the right to the community of the whole life, so the understanding of marital incapacity has expanded to include other essential obligations of marriage. (IBID)

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