G.R. No. 1473376, 26 November 2002


Leni Choa and Alfonso Choa got married in 1981. They have 2 children namely Cheryl Lynne and Albryan. In 1993, Alfonso filed an annulment of his marriage to Leni. Afterwards, he filed an amended complaint for the declaration of nullity of their marriage based on psychological incapacity. The case went to trial and the trial court further held that Alfonso presented quantum evidence that Leni needs to controvert for the dismissal of the case.Alfonso claimed that Leni charged him with perjury, concubinage and deportation which shows latter’s psychological incapacity because according to him it clearly showed that his wife not only wanted him behind bars but also to banish outside the country.


Whether or not Alfonso Chua presented quantum evidence for the declaration of nullity of his marriage with Leni on the ground of psychological incapacity.


The court held that documents presented by Alfonso during the trial of the case do not in any way show the alleged psychological incapacity of his wife. The evidence was insufficient and shows grave abuse of discretion bordering on absurdity. Alfonso testified and complained about three aspects of Leni’s personality namely lack of attention to children, immaturity, and lack of an intention of procreative sexuality and none of these three, singly or collectively, constitutes psychological incapacity.

The law provides that: “Psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a) juridical antecedence, (b) gravity and (c) incurability.” In the case at bar, the evidence adduced by respondent merely shows that he and his wife could not get along with each other. There was absolutely no showing of the gravity or juridical antecedence or incurability of the problems besetting their marital union.

Psychological incapacity must be characterized by gravity, juridical antecedence, and incurability. It must be more than just a difficulty, a refusal or neglect in the performance of marital obligations. A mere showing of irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities does not constitute psychological incapacity.Furthermore, the testimonial evidence from other witnesses failed to identify and prove root cause of the alleged psychological incapacity.

It just established that the spouses had an incompatibility or a defect that could possibly be treated or alleviated through psychotherapy. The totality of evidence presented was completely insufficient to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity more so without any medical, psychiatric or psychological examination.

* Case digest by Neah Hope L. Bato, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018