Profligacy no ground for annulment

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I have been married for ten years with two kids. My wife has the propensity to spend beyond our financial capability. She always buys expensive jewellery, bags and shoes. She always begs to buy anything which is new in the market. This is always the source of our disagreement. I also discovered that she obtained loans from different lending corporations and friends. As of now, I am not giving her my salary because she will squander it and she will not reserve any amount for our daily expenses. I am already fed up and I want to file an annulment of marriage based on psychological incapacity. Please guide me on this matter.    

Dear Reynaldo,
Under Article 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines, a marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall likewise be void even is such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.

The Supreme Court in Mendoza vs Republic of the Philippines(G.R. No. 157649, November 12, 2012), has explained psychological incapacity as:

“We have time and again held that psychological incapacity should refer to no less than a mental, not physical, incapacity that causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that must concomitantly be assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage that, as so expressed by Article 68 of the Family Code, include their mutual obligations to live together, to observe love, respect and fidelity, and to render help and support. We have also held that the intendment of the law has been to confine the meaning of psychological incapacity to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriage. To qualify as psychological incapacity as a ground for nullification of marriage, a person’s psychological affliction must be grave and serious as to indicate an utter incapacity to comprehend and comply with the essential objects of marriage, including the rights and obligations between husband and wife. The affliction must be shown to exist at the time of marriage, and must be incurable”.

In your situation, your wife’s lifestyle or manner in managing your finances cannot be equated to psychological incapacity. Based on the above-decision of the Supreme Court, psychological incapacity must be grave and serious so that the person cannot comply with the essential marital obligations. It is your wife’s total conduct that should be considered because she might be frugal but she cannot comply with her obligation in some other aspects of your marriage.

Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.

We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to


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1 Comment

  1. ronnel roldan on

    hi po atty Acosta..
    I need po legal assistance..
    yung ex wife ko po kasi tinitreat ako na ihahabla ako ng concubinage..naghiwalay na po kami last 2014 pa po kasi nakipagrelasyon po sya sa 2nd cousin ko habang nagtatrabaho ako abroad..then nung 2015 tumira po sya ng ilang buwan sa bahay ng pinsan ko..pag uwi ko po last sept 2015 lumipat po sya ng place para cguro maiwasan na maghabla ako ng adultery..pinabayaan ko nalang po sya total wala na ko pakialam sa kanya..may 2yrs old na anak po kmi at tuloy po nman ang sustento ko sa anak ko…ngaun po nung nlaman nya na mag gf na ko at nabuntis ko hinahabol po nya ako..may gusto po sya papermahan sakin na affidavit of support sa bata di ko po penirmahan kasi po malaki..15k monthly po sustento ko sa anak ko monthly…nung di po ako pumayad dun sa gusto nya ginugulo po nya yung gf ko at tinatakot na kakasohan kami ng concubinage…meron po sya mga nakuha na pics nmin sa fb nung nagbakasyon kami ng gf ko pero may mga kasama kami na iba po..
    tanong ko lang po pwede na po sya makapagfile ng kaso gamit ang ebidensya na yun??tatanggapin na po ba yun ng piskalya para ituloy ang kaso sakin??kung magkaganun po pwede po ba ako magcounter sa kanya ng adultery??makakakuha po ako ng mga witness kasi sa brgy mismo nmin tumira sila ng pinsan ko..
    dto po ako ngaun sa labas nagtatrabaho at wala p[o ako magawa na ginugulo at iniiskandalo nya gf ko…sana po matulungan nyo po ako..
    salamat po..