Monday, November 16, 2015

Declaration of nullity of marriage; refusal to have sex with spouse.

See - The Unforgettable Case of Chi Ming Tsoi - Trial Trendy

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Believe it or not, this is a very important legal case. In fact, it is a landmark case because it laid down an important legal doctrine. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that refusal of one party to consummate the marriage is a sign of psychological incapacity and hence, a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage. Indeed, the Supreme Court declared the marriage between Chi Ming Tsoi and his wife as null and void. Since it was proven that Chi Ming Tsoi was not impotent, it was clear that he simply refused to have sex with his wife. Thus, according the Supreme Court:
If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her essential marriage obligations, and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to stubborn refusal. Senseless and protracted refusal is equivalent to psychological incapacity. Thus, the prolonged refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or her spouse is considered a sign of psychological incapacity.
Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is ‘to procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage.’ Constant non- fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage. In the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the above marital obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.”
This case is also remembered for its definition of love and marriage. In its final statements, Justice Torres stated:
While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, the sanction therefor is actually the ‘spontaneous, mutual affection between husband and wife and not any legal mandate or court order’. Love is useless unless it is shared with another. Indeed, no man is an island, the cruelest act of a partner in marriage is to say ‘I could not have cared less.’ This is so because an ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing but himself. In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.”
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Click here for the full text of the case of Chi Ming Tsoi vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. No. 119190, January 16, 1997) –
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