Fathers obliged to support illegitimate children

2
Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
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?
Jeic

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Dear Jeic,
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.

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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2 Comments

  1. Good day .. Im reyann from manila po.gusto ko po sana humingi ng legal advice para sa pde kong gawin or kaso na pdeng ifile to my father and tp his presebt wife.. Tatlo po kaming mag kakapatid sa mother and father ko. Then nag hiwalay po sila kasi babaero ai daddy at adik si mommy 2005 pa po inyon ung sitwasyon .pero ngaun po medyo malalana ung mga nang yayari. Umalis po ako ng bahay kasi nananakit si mommy pero legal age na po ako. Naiwan po sakanya ung siblings ko.a few weeks nag paalam sila na aalis na sila sa side ni mommy at pupunta sa daddy namin ngaun po ung brother ko nag aaral po sya kya nag stay sya sa friend nya near university .. Ung sister ko po nsa father ko na kaso pinapaalis sya ni daddy even though sa maayos na way sinabi na umalis sya dun the point is pinapaalis sya dahil yun ang gusto ng babae.well bahay pp un ni daddy. Meron na din po silang anak ng asawa nya at minsan na din namin po sila natulungan alagaan at palakihin ung unang anak nila. Kung pwede po ako hinihingi ko po ung tulong nyo para alam ko po gagawin ko to get what my siblibg deserve to have. Anak din po kami at nauna kesa sa kinakasma nya ngaun.

  2. Magandang araw Atty Acosta, I’m 38yo, working mother of a 15yo son and have been separated since 2002. Naghiwalay po kami ng asawa ko kasi drug addict po sya, binubugbog ako, wala syang matinong trabaho, tamad at maraming bisyo. Hanggang ngayon, hindi po ako makahingi ng financial support sa ama ng anak ko since jobless po sya at umaasa lang sa kanyang sugar mommy. Wala na po kaming communication for 13yrs. Hindi ko po kayang mag file ng Annulment Case sa laki ng magagastos na aabot ng 150-300k. Kulang pa po sa panggastos namin ang sweldo ko. Maliit lang din po ang kinikita ng lalaking gusto akong pakasalan. I tried to consult our PAO office in Bacolod City pero wala naman pong nangyari. Nagtuturuan sila’t ang bagal pa ng proseso. Hindi ko alam kung kelan matatapos ang paghihirap at pagsasakripisyo kong suportahan ang anak namin ALL BY MYSELF. We’re not getting any younger. Gusto ko lang naman po sanang maituwid ang buhay ko, maiayos ang pamilya ko at mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang anak ko at ang magiging anak namin ng boyfriend ko. I’m suffering for 13yrs now in my failed marriage. Sa ngayon, gulong-gulo po ang takbo ng utak ko. I’m going thru Depression state, hindi ko na po alam gagawin ko. I don’t deserve this treatment in life. Ang pagkakamali ko lang naman ay ang pagpili ng lalaking mapangasawa noon. Pero bakit parang pahirapan sa gobyerno na mabigyan sana ng pagkakataong maituwid ang pamumuhay sa mga taong katulad ko lalo’ng-lalo na sa mga kababaihang biktima ng Domestic Violence. Bakit pinagkakait samin ang kalayaang makapag-asawang muli nang dahil lang sa wala kaming perang panggastos sa Annulment Case? Where is justice? Attorney, your help is badly needed….