Civil Law,  Legally Yours

Mendoza v. Republic

Civil Law. Persons and Family Relations.  Article 36 Family Code. Psychological Incapacity.
Mendoza v. Republic
G.R. No. 157649; November 12, 2012

FACTS:
Anabelle and Dominic met in 1989 upon his return to the country from his employment in Papua New Guinea. After a month of courtship, they became intimate and their intimacy led to her pregnancy. They got married 8 months after on June 24, 1991. Being one with the fixed income, she shouldered all of the family’s expenses. Ironically, he spent his first sales commission on a celebratory bash with his friends. In September 1994, she discovered his illicit affair with his co-employee and they started to sleep in separate rooms affecting their sexual relationship. Dominic eventually got fired from his employment and was criminally charged with the violation of B.P. 22 and estafa.

ISSUE:
Is the marriage null and void on the basis of Article 36 of the Family Code?

HELD:
The appeal has no merit. The CA correctly indicated that the ill-feelings that the petitioner harbored against Dominic furnished the basis to doubt the findings of the expert witness; that such findings were one-sided and that he did not participate in the proceedings. The findings and conclusions on his psychological profile were solely based on the self-serving testimonial descriptions of him by the petitioner and her witnesses. The court finds the totality of evidence adduced by the petitioner insufficient to prove that Dominic was psychologically unfit. Accordingly, the RTC’s findings that Dominic’s psychological incapacity was characterized by gravity, antecedence, and incurability could not stand scrutiny. His alleged immaturity, deceitfulness, and lack of remorse did not necessarily constitute psychological incapacity. The court denies the petition for certiorari and affirms that decision of the Court of Appeals.

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