Time and again, there is talk about the annulment of marriage especially among movie personalities with failed conjugal unions. And such talk is usually accompanied with the phrase “psychological incapacity” as the usual ground for marriage annulment before the local civil courts concerned.
There are three more relevant observations that beg some clarification for proper understanding of the above realities.
Before civil law, there are two ways of doing away with a de facto marriage: one is the declaration of nullity and the other is the judgment of annulment.
Before civil law wherefore, there are also two kinds of marriages as far as their dissolution is concerned: there are null and void marriages which are open to the declarations of nullity. And there are valid but voidable which in turn is receptive of annulment.
Before the civil law finally, psychological incapacity on the part of either or both spouses is a ground for the annulment of their marriage. Such incapacity has something to do with the adverse mental and/or emotional personality constitution of the person concerned that renders this psychically disabled for insoluble marriage.
There are therefore three questions that must be well and clearly answered:
First is how come a valid marriage can be invalidated? Is marriage just like any contract that can be dissolved at the will of their or both contracting parties?
Second, may someone proven psychologically incapacitated marry again? If so, would the marriage be again voidable on account of psychological incapacity?
Third, how many marriages may one who is psychologically incapacitated enter into? How many marriages may one and the same party seek annulment on the ground of psychological incapacity?
The above questions being rational and relevant, need logical and wherefore convincing answers. They are important for the protection and promotion of the dignity and stability of marriage in this country.
12 November 2006