I have a son with my ex-boyfriend. After we separated, the father of my son got married and now has his own children. Can I still oblige him to give financial support to our son?
Under our laws, every parent has the obligation to give financial support to their children, whether legitimate or illegitimate. This obligation shall remain even if the father or the mother has subsequently contracted a valid marriage or has had additional children.
Your son is an illegitimate child for being born outside of a valid marriage between his parents. Unlike a legitimate child who is automatically vested with the right to support, an illegitimate child shall only be entitled to receive support from his father if he is duly recognized by the latter as his own illegitimate child. An illegitimate child’s filiation may be proven in the same manner and evidence as that of a legitimate child (Article 175, Family Code of the Philippines). Hence, you may be able to prove your son’s status as an illegitimate child through any of the following: 1) record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; 2) an admission of filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the absence of the foregoing evidence, filiation shall be proven by the open and continuous possession of the status of legitimate child or any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. (Article 172, Ibid.)
If your son has been duly recognized by his father through any of the aforementioned means, you may compel his father to give financial support by sending him a demand letter. If he unjustly refuses to give support despite your demand, you may institute an action against him for support before our courts.
The amount of support that your son may receive will depend upon his actual needs and his father’s means or resources. (Article 201, Id.) It should be noted that allowance for support is essentially provisional. The alimony may be modified or altered in accordance with the increased or decreased needs of your son and with the means of his father (Lam vs. Chua,G.R. No. 131286, March 18, 2004).
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 email@example.com