2014 (Civil Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 1

[Answer/discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Civil Law Instructions; 2014 Labor Law essay and multiple choice Questions234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829 and 30; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

I.

Ariz and Paz were officemates at Perlas ng Silangan Bank (PSB). They fell in love with each other and had a civil and church wedding. Meanwhile, Paz rapidly climbed the corporate ladder of PSB and eventually became its Vice- President, while Ariz remained one of its bank supervisors, although he was short of 12 units to finish his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Ariz became envious of the success of his wife. He started to drink alcohol until he became a drunkard. He preferred to join his “barkadas”; became a wife- beater; would hurt his children without any reason; and failed to contribute to the needs of the family. Despite rehabilitation and consultation with a psychiatrist, his ways did not change.

After 19 years of marriage, Paz, a devout Catholic, decided to have their marriage annulled by the church. Through the testimony of Paz and a psychiatrist, it was found that Ariz was a spoiled brat in his youth and was sometimes involved in brawls. In his teens, he was once referred to a psychiatrist for treatment due to his violent tendencies. In due time, the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal (NAMT) annulled the union of Ariz and Paz due to the failure of Ariz to perform and fulfill his duties as a husband and as a father to their children. The NAMT concluded that it is for the best interest of Paz, Ariz and their children to have the marriage annulled.

In view of the NAMT decision, Paz decided to file a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage of their civil wedding before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City using the NAMT decision and the same evidence adduced in the church annulment proceedings as basis.

If you are the judge, will you grant the petition? Explain. (5%)

13 comments

  1. No, I will not grant the petition for declaration of nullity.

    Marriage is the foundation of the family, an inviolable social institution, which must be upheld by the courts and will not be lightly dissolved. There is no showing in this case that the condition existed before the marriage and that it is incapable of being cured. The court must apply the law, which, according to the Civil Code, includes the decisions of the Supreme Court. The decision of the NAMT cannot be given any persuasive value in this case because the NAMT is neither the Supreme Court nor a superior court.

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  2. No, I will not grant the petition.

    As a well grounded jurisprudence, the decision rendered by the NAMT is not binding to any court, thus it will not be recognized by the courts jurisdiction. Further, the Family Code provides different requirements in granting a decree for annulment of marriages. In this case, evidences adduced in the church annulment proceedings cannot sufficiently produce sound judgment for the court since they do not merely conform with what is required by the law.

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  3. If I were the judge I will deny the petition.

    It is well-settled that a Petition for a Declaration of Nullity of Marriage is predicated on Art. 26 of the Family Code on the ground of psychological incapacity. And psychological incapacity exists when a spouse fails to perform the essential marital obligations under Art. 68 of the family Code. It must therefore be established that psychological incapacity exists at the time of the celebration of marriage renderring the marriage void ab initio. It is significant therefore to prove psychological incapacity.

    In the case at bar, the findings of NAMT although can be given credence, our courts cannot be bound for the following reasons:
    (a) Separation of Church and State; and,
    (b) Supremacy of our courts.

    It is thus proper that only on grounds provided under the Family Code a marriage can be declared Void ab initio. Hence, petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage must be denied.

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    1. 2014 (Civil Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 1
      Atty. FredOctober 6, 2014Bar Exams2014 bar exam, bar exam, bar exam questions, Civil Law

      [Answer/discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Civil Law Instructions; 2014 Labor Law essay and multiple choice Questions: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]

      I.
      Ariz and Paz were officemates at Perlas ng Silangan Bank (PSB). They fell in love with each other and had a civil and church wedding. Meanwhile, Paz rapidly climbed the corporate ladder of PSB and eventually became its Vice- President, while Ariz remained one of its bank supervisors, although he was short of 12 units to finish his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

      Ariz became envious of the success of his wife. He started to drink alcohol until he became a drunkard. He preferred to join his “barkadas”; became a wife- beater; would hurt his children without any reason; and failed to contribute to the needs of the family. Despite rehabilitation and consultation with a psychiatrist, his ways did not change.

      After 19 years of marriage, Paz, a devout Catholic, decided to have their marriage annulled by the church. Through the testimony of Paz and a psychiatrist, it was found that Ariz was a spoiled brat in his youth and was sometimes involved in brawls. In his teens, he was once referred to a psychiatrist for treatment due to his violent tendencies. In due time, the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal (NAMT) annulled the union of Ariz and Paz due to the failure of Ariz to perform and fulfill his duties as a husband and as a father to their children. The NAMT concluded that it is for the best interest of Paz, Ariz and their children to have the marriage annulled.

      In view of the NAMT decision, Paz decided to file a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage of their civil wedding before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City using the NAMT decision and the same evidence adduced in the church annulment proceedings as basis.

      If you are the judge, will you grant the petition? Explain. (5%)

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      TryLangOctober 20, 2014 at 9:31 am
      No, I will not grant the petition for declaration of nullity.

      Marriage is the foundation of the family, an inviolable social institution, which must be upheld by the courts and will not be lightly dissolved. There is no showing in this case that the condition existed before the marriage and that it is incapable of being cured. The court must apply the law, which, according to the Civil Code, includes the decisions of the Supreme Court. The decision of the NAMT cannot be given any persuasive value in this case because the NAMT is neither the Supreme Court nor a superior court.

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      JuanOctober 22, 2014 at 8:38 am
      No, I will not grant the petition.

      As a well grounded jurisprudence, the decision rendered by the NAMT is not binding to any court, thus it will not be recognized by the courts jurisdiction. Further, the Family Code provides different requirements in granting a decree for annulment of marriages. In this case, evidences adduced in the church annulment proceedings cannot sufficiently produce sound judgment for the court since they do not merely conform with what is required by the law.

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      Reply ?
      SeniorLawStudentFebruary 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm
      If I were the judge I will deny the petition.

      *** (edited text) It is well-settled that a Petition for a Declaration of Nullity of Marriage is predicated on Art. 26 of the Family Code on the ground of psychological incapacity. And psychological incapacity exists when a spouse fails to perform the essential marital obligations under Art. 68 of the family Code. It must therefore be established that psychological incapacity exists at the time of the celebration of marriage rendering the marriage void ab initio.

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