G.R. No. 112019 January 4, 1995

FACTS: Leouel Santos, a First Lieutenant in the Philippine Army, met Julia in Iloilo. The two got married in 1986 before a municipal trial court followed shortly thereafter, by a church wedding. The couple lived with Julia’s parents at the J. Bedia Compound. Julia gave birth to a baby boy in 1987 and was named as Leouel Santos Jr. Occasionally, the couple will quarrel over a number of things aside from the interference of Julia’s parents into their family affairs.
Julia left in 1988 to work in US as a nurse despite Leouel’s pleas to dissuade her. Seven months after her departure, she called her husband and promised to return home upon the expiration of her contract in July 1989 but she never did. Leouel got a chance to visit US where he underwent a training program under AFP, he desperately tried to locate or somehow get in touch with Julia but all his efforts were of no avail.

Leouel filed a complaint to have their marriage declared void under Article 36 of the Family Code. He argued that failure of Julia to return home or to communicate with him for more than 5 years are circumstances that show her being psychologically incapacitated to enter into married life.

ISSUE: Whether their marriage can be considered void under Article 36 of the Family Code.


The intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of psychological incapacity to the most serious cases of personal disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. This condition must exist at the time the marriage is celebrated.

Undeniably and understandably, Leouel stands aggrieved, even desperate, in his present situation. Regrettably, neither law nor society itself can always provide all the specific answers to every individual problem. Wherefore, his petition was denied.
psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. The incapacity must be grave or serious such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage; it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage; and it must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved.


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