Tan-Andal v. Andal (2021): psychological incapacity is not a medical but a legal concept

On May 12, 2021, the Highest Court in the case of Tan-Andal v. Andal, G.R. No. 196359 ruled that “psychological incapacity is not a medical but a legal concept It refers to a personal condition that prevents a spouse to comply with fundamental marital obligations only in relation to a specific partner that may exist at the time of the marriage but may have revealed through behavior subsequent to the ceremonies.”

This serves as the modified interpretation of Article 36 of the Family Code which provides that a marriage is null and void if a spouse “was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage…even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.”

The ruling was penned by Justice Leonen who also happens to be the Bar Chairman for the coming November 2021 Bar Examination. The case disposition further provides that, “It need not be a mental or personality disorder. It need not be a permanent and incurable condition. Therefore, the testimony of psychologist or psychiatrist is not mandatory in all cases. The totality of the evidence must show clear and convincing evidence to cause the declaration of nullity of marriage, ” the SC said in a media briefer.

Landmark case: Tan-Andal v. Andal, G.R. No. 196359

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