“How can I legally demand financial support from the father of my child/ren?” We answer the question about child support in the Philippines and what to do when you have an illegitimate child.
That is the usual question of single mothers in the Philippines especially the number of teenage and extramarital pregnancies is on the rise. The usual Philippine scenario is single parents raise their kids on their own without any financial aid from the other parent.
Why is this so? Because most young parents are unaware of their own rights as well as the right of their child/ren.
Legality of Child Support in the Philippines
Lawfully, single parents can ask for financial support for their children.
Yes. Single parents have the right to demand legal financial claims because the Philippine 1987 Constitution has provisions concerning child support which work with the law on Violence Against Women and Children.
R.A.’s 193 to 222 of the Family Code enumerate the responsibilities and duties of parents and the list of individuals and who they are responsible for.
The provisions state that both legitimate and illegitimate children, these are children whose parents are unmarried, are entitled to support until the age of maturity in the Philippines. Originally, the age of majority is 21 but was then adjusted to 18.
The provisions require that the parents’ aid in financial, educational, medical, shelter, custody, and transportation needs of the offspring which is proportional to the resources of the supporting party. However, the law in the Philippines also states that the financial aid can be adjusted according to the needs of the child.
Specifics About Illegitimate Children and Child Support in the Philippines
Support is defined under the Family Code of the Philippines (1988) as follows:
Art. 194. Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.
The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.
As enunciated in the Family Code, support is an obligation that arises from family relationship and enumerates those entitled to be supported as follows:
Art. 195. Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:
Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and
Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood.
Illegitimate Children: Child Support Specifics
The properties liable for the support of children are as follows:
1. The support for the common children of both spouses shall be taken from the absolute
community or conjugal property.
2. Likewise, the support for the children of a spouse by a previous marriage shall be taken from the absolute community or conjugal property.
3. The support for the illegitimate children of either spouse will depend upon their property relations, to wit:
3.1. Under the systems of absolute community – The separate property of the parent-spouse, but if the same is insufficient or there is no such property, the absolute community property is liable, but the support is considered as advances on the share of the parent to be paid by him to the community at the time of liquidation.
3.2. Under the system of conjugal partnership – The separate property of the parent-spouse, but if the same is insufficient or there is no such property, the conjugal partnership property is liable if financially capable (i.e., if all the legal obligations of the conjugal partnership have been covered or can be covered), but the support paid to the child shall be deducted from the share of the parent – spouse at the time of the liquidation of the partnership.
During the proceedings for legal separation, annulment of marriage or declaration of nullity of marriage, child support pendente lite shall be taken from the absolute community property or conjugal property.
How much Child Support Should be Paid
The amount of support shall be in proportion to the
a) Resources or means of the giver; and,
b) To the necessities of the recipient.
Support can be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.
Therefore, an order for support is consequently subject to modification and never final. A petition for support is never terminated.
The obligation to give support shall be demandable from the time the person who has a right to receive the same needs it for maintenance, but it shall not be paid except from the date of judicial or extrajudicial demand.
The right to receive support and any money or property obtained as such support are not subject to attachment or execution by creditors because they are essential to the life of the person entitled to support. But support in arrears is not exempt from the attachment or execution as the reason for such exemption no longer exists.
The “Unclaimed” Love Child
In cases where the father refuses to recognize the child in the Philippines, a DNA test can be demanded and the responsibilities and duties of the parent will then apply upon presentation of written proofs: both the DNA result and the demand letter for support.
Failure or rejection to give financial support is penalized by the Philippine Government. This means that failure to comply as well as withholding of custody will be punishable by law as they also violate R.A 9262 known as the Violence Against Women and Children Act.
So, when single mothers think that they don’t have the legal right to ask for paternal support, they are wrong. They can seek help legally as it is also the child’s right in the Philippines, whether legitimate or illegitimate, to live a well-sustained life with help from both parents.