While it is true that the Philippines is a Catholic nation, it cannot be denied that cases of parents separating and fathers abandoning their families have increased over the years too. This often occurs even between unwed partners. With respect to custody-support cases over children, it’s easily understandable that custody is one of the more contested issues. However, the issue on child support should not be as complicated.
For those vexed with the rights involved, Articles 195 and 196 of the Family Code enumerate the persons who are under obligation to support each other, thus:
(1) The spouses; (2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants; (3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; (4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; (5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood; and (6) Brothers and sisters not legitimately related, whether of the full or half-blood, except only when the need for support of the brother or sister, being of age, is due to a cause imputable to the claimant’s fault or negligence.
How much child support is owed? The law is clear that the same should be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and the necessities of the recipient, following to Articles 194, 201 and 202 of the Civil Code:
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.
Art. 201. The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.
Art. 202. Support in the cases referred to in the preceding article shall 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.
Child Support Process
Note: child support is owed by both parents. The father can sue for child support.
- The parent needing child support may obtain legal aid from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO). Other government bodiesthat help are are the Department of Justice and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
- If there is abuse involved , a Protection Order is issued. The children will be in the custody of their mother with an entitlement of support.
- Child support cases (and other related cases) shall be filed in the Regional Trial Courts which will serve as the Family Courts.
- Support applies for both legitimate and illegitimate children. This includes food, clothing, education, and transportation according to the capacity and resources of the father.
- The father’s support is mandatory whether married or not.
- The most important documents you need to have on hand when filing such claims are the PSA Birth Certificates of your children and your PSA Marriage Certificate if you are married to your children’s father or mother. Make sure that all entries in these documents are correct to avoid any technicalities in your case.
Penalties for Failure to Provide Child Support
Father and mothers often flee responsibilities to their children that Congress saw it fit to penalize the withholding of support in certain instances. The crimes are covered under Republic Act No. 9262, otherwise known as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004“. As RA 9262 outlines willful failure to remit child support as a crime, the guilty party will face not just financial sanctions. He can go to jail.