Is adultery a ground for annulment in the Philippines?

Infidelity in marriage means having extramarital affairs. If the wife committed the offense, it is called adultery. If the husband committed the offense, it is called concubinage. Both adultery and concubinage are criminal offenses penalized under the Revised Penal Code.

Adultery per se is not a ground for nullity of marriage. For a behavior to become a ground for nullity of marriage, it must come within the meaning of ‘psychological incapacity’.

In Dedel vs. Court of Appeals1, the Supreme Court held that sexual infidelity of a person does not by itself constitute psychological incapacity. It “does not necessarily prove that a person is mentally or physically ill to such an extent that he or she could not have known the obligations of marriage, or knowing them, could not have given valid assumption thereof”.

The court stated that “sexual promiscuity, to be a ground for psychological incapacity must be ‘manifestations’ of a disordered personality which makes the respondent completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of marriage”.

Given the above, the evaluation and professional opinion of a psychologist is necessary to make your case. The psychologist will be able to appraise if the infidelity of the spouse, taking into consideration your unique situation and other relevant circumstances, constitute psychological incapacity, thus, may be a ground for nullity of marriage.

Go back to the main article: How to File Annulment in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide



  1. David Dedel v. Court of Appeals and Sharon Corpuz-Dedel a.k.a. Jane Ibrahim, G.R. No. 151867 (Supreme Court of the Philippines 2004).