I am pregnant and the father of my child is a married man. Can I compel him to financially support our child once he is born? Can I also seek reimbursement from the father for all the expenses that I incurred during the pregnancy once my child is born?
Upon his birth, your child shall be considered as an illegitimate child because you are not married to his father (Article 165, Family Code of the Philippines). Under our laws, both the legitimate and illegitimate child shall have the right to receive financial support from their parents (Article 195, Family Code of the Philippines). But unlike a legitimate child who is automatically entitled to support, an illegitimate child’s right to support shall only arise if he was recognized by his father as his illegitimate child.
An illegitimate child may establish his illegitimate filiation in the same way and in the same evidence as a legitimate child (Article 175, id.). These are the following: 1) record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; and 2) an admission of illegitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned. In the absence of the foregoing evidence, illegitimate filiation shall be proved by: 1) 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 (Article 172, Family Code of the Philippines).
Once your child is born, you may ask his father to recognize him as his illegitimate child by accomplishing the Affidavit of Acknowledgment/ Admission of Paternity found at the back of his birth certificate. If your child has been recognized by his father, he shall have the right to receive financial support from him. However, if the father of your child unjustly refuses to recognize your child, you may seek redress from the court by filing a petition for compulsory recognition and support.
The obligation to give support is considered demandable from the time the person who has a right to receive the same needs it for maintenance but it shall only be paid from the date of judicial or extra-judicial demand (Article 203 of the Family Code of the Philippines). Accordingly, since your child’s right to support shall arise only after he was duly recognized by his father once he is born, he shall only be entitled to support from the time that you have actually made a judicial or extra-judicial demand for support from the father. Hence, you cannot demand from the father to reimburse you of the expenses that you incurred before your child was born.
In addition to the right to support, a recognized illegitimate child shall also have the right to use the surname of his father (Section 1, RA 9255), and the right to inherit from him through succession (Article 887, Civil Code of the Philippines).
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.