• Financial capacity determines dad’s support for illegitimate kids

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    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    In 2009, my former live-in partner and I entered into an agreement as to the amount of support that he will give to our three children. He is religiously complying with our agreement, but I am now having a hard time budgeting the amount of monthly support that my children are receiving because of the increase in their needs and expenses. I was told that my children cannot ask for additional support because they are illegitimate children.

    How much support should my children receive from their father? Can I ask for additional support for my children?
    Michelle

    Dear Michelle,
    The Family Code of the Philippines gives the parents the obligation to provide financial support to their children, whether they may be legitimate or not. The support that is due to their children shall cover everything indispensable for their sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family. (Article 194, Ibid.)

    Our laws do not provide for a specific amount that children should receive from their parents. The amount of support, then, which your children may receive from their father shall depend on their actual necessities and the financial capacity of their father (Article 201, Id.).

    As to your second question, you may still ask for additional support for your children even if they are illegitimate and you entered into an agreement with their father as to the amount of support that they will receive. In the case of Lam vs. Chua (G.R. No. 131286, March 18, 2004), the Supreme Court held that the right to support is of such nature that its allowance is essentially provisional; for during the entire period that a needy party is entitled to support, his or her alimony may be modified or altered, in accordance with his increased or decreased needs, and with the means of the giver. It cannot be regarded as subject to final determination (Ibid.).

    Considering that the needs of your children increased, you may initially ask for additional support from the father of your children by sending him a demand letter, stating therein the additional amount that would cover the increased expenses of your children. If he unjustly refused to give your demand, you may file an action for additional support before the court. In such case, the court will step in and fix the amount of support for your children.

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that 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 dearpao@manilatimes.net

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