I just want to know the rights of my minor child. His father and I are not married because he already has a wife and they, too, have children. His wife warned me that she will take legal actions against me, but I never intend to cause any trouble to them. I just want him to provide what is due to our child. What should I do?
A child, whether he or she is legitimate or illegitimate, has the right to be supported by his or her parents. However, it is necessary that his or her filiation with the parent he or she is seeking support from be established first in order for the latter to be legally obligated to provide such support.
There are several ways of establishing filiation between a parent and a child. As provided for under Article 172 of the Family Code of the Philippines, “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.” As for illegitimate children, they may establish their illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same evidence as legitimate children (Article 175, Family Code of the Philippines).
In the situation that you have presented before us, it is essential for you to prove first and foremost that your child has been acknowledged or recognized by his or her father through any of the means stated above. If you are able to establish their illegitimate filiation, you may demand support from him by verbally communicating to him the everyday expenditures of your child. You may also consider giving him a formal demand letter if verbal plea proves futile.
If he has the capacity to answer for the financial needs of your child but refuses to provide the same despite your repeated demands, you may consider filing an action for support before the Regional Trial Court of the place where you and your child reside. The court will determine whether your child legally is entitled to support, and if so, the amount to be granted which is fair and just, taking into consideration all the necessities of your child as well as the resources of his father.
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.