I would like to ask for advice in behalf of my friend. Her father abandoned her since the time she was born. Her parents are not married.
She has been living with her maternal grandparents while her mother is currently living with another man abroad.
She is now 16 years old and will be entering college next school year. She wants to know whether she could still claim support from her father. If yes, what should she consider? Anticipating your soonest response.
Our laws recognize the right of a child to seek financial support from his or her parents which may be necessary to answer his or her needs for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, food, medical attendance, education and transportation. This right is granted not only to legitimate children but also to illegitimate children (Article 195 in relation to Article 194, Family Code of the Philippines).
However, we want to emphasize that the amount of support that a child may seek depends on her actual needs as well as to the financial capacity of her father. This is in consonance with Article 201 of the aforestated law which states that, “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.”
Furthermore, we want to emphasize that the primordial responsibility of the child who is seeking support, or his or her legal guardian, is to establish his or her filiation with the parent or parents concerned, especially in the case of illegitimate children who are, more often than not, left under the care or custody of the other parent or other relatives.
Applying the foregoing in the situation of your friend, we submit that it will be essential for her to substantiate her claim that she is indeed the daughter of her alleged father in order for her to lawfully demand financial support from him. Accordingly, she must present proof of filiation, which may either be: (1) her record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or (2) an admission of filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by her father. In the absence thereof, she may prove their filiation by: (a) her open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child; or (2) any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws (Article 172 in relation to Article 175, Family Code of the Philippines).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org