Refusal to cohabit

LAW EACH WEEK

Can a marriage be annulled because the husband separated right after marriage from his wife by not living in the same house?

Physical separation after the celebration of marriage is not per se a ground for annulment. For the law to allow such means that it will be very for couples to have their marriage annulled or declared void by simply physically separating themselves or by living apart.

What is the remedy of the spouse if his or her spouse refuses to cohabit after marriage?

Under Philippine jurisprudence, the Supreme Court pronounced that the refusal or failure to cohabit could be an indication that either one of the parties of the marriage is suffering from psychological incapacity.

What is the relevance of psychological incapacity in annulling a marriage?

Article 36 of the Family Code provides that “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 if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.”

What steps can be taken to annul the marriage based on psychological incapacity?

Psychological incapacity has to be proved by concrete evidence such as the results of a clinical evaluation of a licensed psychologist or a psychiatrist. From there, a petition for nullity of marriage may be filed at the court of competent jurisdiction and the court finds the case with merit then the court will declare the marriage entered into between the spouses as null and void.

What is meant by a “null and void” marriage?

A marriage declared as null and void means that the marriage never took place as if the marriage never existed.

Are the children of a marriage declared null and void legitimate?

It depends on the ground for declaring the marriage void. According to Article 54 of the Family Code, children conceived or born before the judicial declaration of nullity of marriage due to psychological incapacity are considered legitimate.