My husband has a child from his former girlfriend who is now in high school. The child is not using his surname and he was not recognized by my husband in his birth certificate. There is no document declaring that this child is an illegitimate child of my husband. We have two kids of our own now, but my husband still gives financial support to his supposed illegitimate child. Since there is no document showing that the child is my husband’s illegitimate child, is my husband still obliged to provide for financial support? Does the child have a right on the properties, salary and bonuses of my husband?
Illegitimate children may prove their filiation by any of the following: (1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or (2) An admission of illegitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and assigned by the parent concerned. However, in the absence of the foregoing, the illegitimate filiation may be proved during the lifetime of the father by (1) 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 of the Family Code).
An illegitimate child is undeniably entitled to support from his father as provided in Article 195 of the Family Code, to wit: the following are obliged to support each other xxx (4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter xxx. He is likewise entitled to legitime as a compulsory heir of his deceased father (Article 176, Family Code, Article 887 Civil Code).
Based from the foregoing, it is not only the child’s birth certificate which may be the proof of illegitimate filiation as illegitimate filiation may likewise be admitted in a public document or a private handwritten instrument signed by the parent concerned. Hence, even if your husband did not acknowledge his illegitimate child in his birth certificate, the latter may still prove his relationship with your husband using other documents. Considering that your husband is not denying the child as his own, you cannot stop the father from giving financial support. If you are worrying about the document proving filiation, your husband may just execute a public document such as affidavit of acknowledgment and have it registered in the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of the place where the child was born. As to the amount of support which must be given to the illegitimate child, your husband is obliged to provide such amount in proportion to his resources or means of and to the necessities of the child (Article 201, Family Code). Thus, there is no percentage or exact amount from the salary or bonus of your husband which needs to be given to his illegitimate child. However, in case of inheritance upon death of your husband, the child shall be entitled to share in the estate equivalent to only one half of the legitime of each of the legitimate children or descendants.
We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated or elaborated.
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