Philippine Practice of Forensic Clinical Psychology in Marital Nullification: From Client Assessment to Court Appearance


There appears to be a dearth of documentation of forensic clinical psychology practice in the Philippine cases of marital nullification, as seen from the lens of forensic clinical psychology. The documentation of the forensic clinical psychology practices in marital nullification in this paper comes from the practitioner's actual clinical data and his rich clinical experiences in the forensic setting. Initially, he distinguishes between contested and uncontested cases during the client in-take in the projected petition for the declaration of nullity of marriage; then, he also gets to identify his other roles in these various contested and uncontested cases. He then explains his roles in the forensic mental health assessment of the client, which roles he distinguishes from the roles of the clinical psychologist in an ordinary psychological assessment and non-forensic clinical setting. Further, he mentions his significant lived experiences during his actual court appearances, especially pointing to the routine cross-examination questions that he encounters, as he likewise underscores the usual mistakes that practitioners often commit in responding to these queries. Still further, he accounts for the various unacceptable practices in the area of expert witnessing by the forensic clinical psychologist in marital nullification. At the end of this paper, the forensic clinical psychologist makes recommendations into the best possible practices along the area of expert witnessing in Philippine marital nullification cases.

Author Information
Antero Rosauro V. Arias, Jr., University of Santo Tomas, The Philippines
Arnulfo V. Lopez, University of Santo Tomas, The Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2016
Stream: Mental Health

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