Doc’s psychological incapacity not enough to nullify marriage

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The Court of Appeals (CA) has turned down a physician’s petition to reconsider the annulment of his marriage of 35 years as the alleged condition of psychological incapacity was not convincing.

Dr. Noel Fabian’s previous annulment case was denied by the Imus, Cavite Regional Trial Court Branch 22 in 2017 and subsequently upheld by the CA on May 11.

In his motion for reconsideration, Fabian said he preferred to be with his friends than to spend time with his family; indulged in extra-marital affairs; and would always be dominant and controlling of his wife.

He said those are instances that are "serious and clearly demonstrative of his inability to recognize the significance of marriage".

He presented a psychiatric report showing that he has Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, rendering him psychologically incapacitated from complying with fundamental marital obligations to his wife, with whom he has three children.

The court did not find the doctor’s arguments convincing.

"As this Court sees it, petitioner-appellant’s preference to be with his friends, infidelity and dominant attitude towards his wife do not rise to the level of psychological incapacity that would justify the nullification of the parties’ marriage," it said.

It added that psychological incapacity "refers only to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage".

"We reiterate that irreconcilable differences, sexual infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity and irresponsibility and the like, do not by themselves warrant a finding of psychological incapacity as the same may only be due to a person's refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage," the decision read.