• Child support depends on parent’s means, youngster’s needs


    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    My ex-boyfriend and I have a 5-year-old son. He recognized our son even if I refused to marry him and he gave support even if we already broke up. The problem is that he resigned from his job last month, because of office politics in their company. He is still looking for work right now, so he said he could not provide support. While I understand his situation, I am also worried for our son because my salary is not enough for his needs. Can I still demand support from my ex-boyfriend? Thank you in advance for your advice.

    Dear Honey,
    There is no question that your ex-boyfriend, having acknowledged his filiation with your 5-year-old son as you have mentioned in your letter, is obliged to give financial support to the boy. It is clearly provided under our laws that parents and their illegitimate children are obliged to support each other (Article 195 [4], Family Code of the Philippines). The support that the parties are required to provide encompasses everything that is indispensable for their children’s respective sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, but in keeping with the financial capacity of the family (Paragraph 1, Article 194, Id.).

    The exercise of the right to demand support is dependent not only on the needs of the party seeking support but also on the financial means of the party responsible to give the same. This is explicitly mentioned under our Family Code, to wit:

    “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.”

    In the situation that you have shared with us, it appears that your ex-boyfriend, the father of your 5-year-old son, is not reneging on his financial responsibilities with the child. It just so happens that he terminated his employment, and he could not provide support at the moment considering that he is yet to find a new job.

    Corollary, he may be exempted from giving financial support until such time he is again gainfully employed.

    Nevertheless, you may demand from him financial support for your 5-year-old son if you can establish that, apart
    from his former employment, he has other means or sources of income.

    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 dearpao@manilatimes.net.


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