In the case of Ligeralde vs. Patalinghug and Republic (G.R. No. 168796; 15 April 2010), the High Court held that the “(wife’s) act of living an adulterous life cannot automatically be equated with a psychological disorder, especially when no specific evidence was shown that promiscuity was a trait already existing at the inception of marriage.” Her husband, who petitioned to have their marriage declared void, must be able to establish that his wife’s unfaithfulness was a manifestation of a disordered personality, which made her completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of the marital state. He failed in this respect; neither his testimony nor the psychologist’s findings showed the root cause of his wife’s alleged incapacity. The Court stressed that the root cause of the psychological incapacity must be identified as a psychological illness, its incapacitating nature fully explained and established by the totality of the evidence presented during trial. The Court concluded that while petitioner’s wife had some character flaws and was far from being a perfect wife and a good mother, these imperfections did not warrant a conclusion that she had a psychological malady at the time of the marriage that rendered her incapable of fulfilling her marital and family duties and obligations.
Click on Digested Cases under Tools for a digest of Ligeralde vs. Patalinghug and Republic (G.R. No. 168796; 15 April 2010).