• Establish illegitimate filiation of child so court can compel father to give support


    Dear PAO,
    I have an illegitimate child with a married man. When I ended our relationship, the father of my child also stopped providing for monthly support. Can I oblige the father to provide for monthly support even if he has not yet signed our child’s birth certificate? I hope you can guide me.

    Dear JM,
    Your child is an illegitimate child because he was born outside of a valid marriage between his parents. But unlike a legitimate child who is automatically entitled to receive support from his father, an illegitimate child needs to be duly recognized first by the father before he may be entitled for support. While the act of the father in signing an illegitimate child’s birth certificate is the best way of recognizing such child as his own, the same is not the only way in which an illegitimate child may prove his illegitimate filiation.

    Your illegitimate child may still ask for financial support from his biological father even if the latter did not sign his birth certificate. To amicably settle your problem, you may initially ask from the father of your child to sign the birth certificate of the latter. Once he has complied with your request, your child shall possess the status of a recognized illegitimate child and shall have all the corresponding rights including the right to support.

    However, if the father of your child unjustly refused to recognize your child, you may file an action for compulsory recognition and support against him before the Family Court of the place where you or the father of your child resides. You shall need to prove in the said action the illegitimate filiation of your child. According to Article 175 of the Family Code of the Philippines, illegitimate children may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and the same evidence as legitimate children. This may be found in Article 172 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, to wit:

    “Chapter 2. Proof of Filiation Art. 172. The filiation of legitimate children is established by any of the following:

    (1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or
    (2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.

    In the absence of the foregoing evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by:

    (1) The open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child; or

    (2) Any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws.” (265a, 266a, 267a)
    Once you have duly established your child’s illegitimate filiation, the court shall issue an order compelling the father to recognize your child and to provide for financial support.
    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.


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