Is Love Legally Demandable?

It’s the love month and the internet is abuzz with tons and tons of articles about love and other romantic stuff. That’s how mainstream love is.

Love is basically a right. You have the right to love and no State, law or government may take that away from you. But conversely, is it a right to be loved? Or as this article expressed at the onset, is it legally demandable?  And when we say legally demandable, can you sue someone before a court of law compelling that person to love you?

Obviously, if you’re in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, the answer is a resounding “NO!”

But what if your relationship is within the legal bounds of marriage?

Let me bring your attention to an intriguing provision of our Family Code particularly Article 68 which states:

The husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support.

The above provision actually outlines some of the marital obligations between a married couple. Note how  the law provides that one of the obligations of a married couple is to “observe mutual love”.

Marriage is essentially a contract. It’s not the wedding that makes a marriage official but rather the signing by both groom and bride of the marriage contract.

In a contract, there are obligations to be followed and non-fulfillment of these obligations could result to a breach thereby creating a cause of action for either party to sue whoever is at fault. So, since it is a married person’s obligation to provide and observe mutual love, would non-observance of love by one, say the husband, provide a cause of action for the wife to sue the husband in order to compel the latter to “observe mutual love”?

Well the answer is still “No”.

Marriage is a special contract. It is in a class of its own. It is not to be compared with regular contracts. Besides, the provisions of Article 68 on mutual love provides no substantive right. At best, it is just a legal recognition of how ideal a married life should be. Or one can say it is just a legal rambling about love with the facet of law but without the force of law.

Further, just imagine if love is made to be legally demandable. This will open the flood gates of suits compelling one to love one. This will just clog the court dockets. Further still, compelling emotions is not a valid subject of litigation. Just how exactly will you ensure that someone who loses in a “love case” to comply with his obligation to love?

So what are your legal remedies if in case your spouse is being unfaithful or hostile?

Well, there are  provisions of law you can take advantage of. You can sue for the fact that the unfaithful spouse is causing you emotional distress. Or you could be more practical and commence an action for legal separation.

There are also extra-judicial remedies like morally demanding love (for the sake of your children) but I’m not sure if anyone’s that pathetic or romantic (depending on how you look at it) to be begging for love these days.

Human emotion is a realm not that much understood. One day she loves you next morning she loves you no more. There are stories of love living through ages and there are love stories which are just ephemeral. As the Supreme Court stated in one case, “There are reasons of the heart that the law can not understand or comprehend which is why it is best to leave matters of the heart to the heart alone and not within the metes and bounds of the law.”


About the author

Howard Chan (The Student)

Howard considers himself as an armchair activist. Though his street rally days are in a slumber he still advocates changes via social media. He is a strong believer that awareness of various social issues is a good starting point in order to break out from the stranglehold of an oppressive system which only benefits the few. He is also a full time student and a part time blogger, part time web designer, part time web manager/designer for various clients. (Note: Howard Chan passed the 2014 Bar Exams and was admitted to the Philippine Bar on April 29, 2015. That being, all posts after April 29, 2015 authored by him are now under the name Howard Chan for the purpose of distinguishing posts he made as a non-lawyer from posts he made after admission to the bar).

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