After our marriage, my husband told me that he has two illegitimate children and they are currently in the custody of their grandparents. I also learned that my husband had an agreement with the mother of his children that he will shoulder the school expenses of the children and he will still be sending them their allowances. Lately, I observed that the mother demanded too much from my husband and more often I feel that it is getting excessive. I am troubled with this kind of set-up and I want to set things straight. My question is, can we make this agreement legal so that finally the amount of support is pegged to a certain amount?
Our law recognizes the rights of illegitimate children. One of these rights is the right to demand for support. Under the law, support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family (Article 194, Family Code). Further, the education of the person entitled to be supported shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Support for education also includes the fare in going to and from the school.
Although the law gives illegitimate children the right to be supported, the amount of support, however, is dependent on the financial capacity of the giver and the needs of the person entitled to support. The law does not peg the amount of support because the amount of support shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient (Article 201, Family Code). That is, the mother of your husband’s illegitimate children cannot ask for more than what your husband can afford to give. This comes from the principle that a person cannot give more than what he has.
You mentioned that there is already an agreement reached by your husband and the mother of his illegitimate children and you want this to be in writing so that you can fix the amount. This can be done provided that both parties are agreeable to the terms and conditions as set forth therein. If the amount of support is pegged to a reasonable amount consistent with the capacity of your husband and the needs of his children as of the moment, the rights of both sides will be protected and future grudges may be prevented. But the amount that they may agree upon now is only for the time being because the law provides that the amount of support can be changed as circumstances warrant. It can be reduced or increased proportionately according to the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the giver (Article 202, Family Code).
We advise you to inform your husband of your predicament so that he can speak with the mother of his children and come up with an agreement that will be beneficial to both of them. Once an agreement is reached, every party to the agreement shall be bound by the same.
We need to remind you however that the amount of support never becomes final. It may be reduced when the resources of your husband and the necessities of his illegitimate children shrink but may also be increased should there be a need to increase the same. Be that as it may, the amount of support shall always be dependent on the means and resources of the giver and the necessities of the recipient.
We hope that we were able to address your query. 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