My children are now graduates from college and all of them are successful in their own chosen field. The first and last child of mine are already married and they are giving me financial support but not on a regular basis. My second son is my problem because he refuses to help me or give me any financial support, despite the fact that he is still single, and he is earning much in his work abroad. I am suffering from a certain illness, which requires continuous medication and treatment; hence, I really need financial support. I intend to file a case in court in order to obtain support from my second son. My sister, however, is discouraging me from filing it because she said that we do not have any legal basis in order to file the case. According to her, it should be the parents who should support the children. Is this true?
There is a legal basis if a parent demands support from his children. This is found under Article 195 of the Family Code of the Philippines, which states:
“Subject to the provisions of the succeeding articles, the following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:
(1) The spouses;
(2) Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
(3) Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
(4) Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and
(5) Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half-blood.”
Relative thereto, Article 200 of the code, also provides:
“When the obligations to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment of the same shall be divided between them in proportion to the resources of each.
“However, in case of urgent need and by special circumstances, the judge may order only one of them to furnish the support provisionally, without prejudice to his right to claim from the other obligors the share due from them.
Xxx xxx xxx.”
Applying the above-mentioned provisions of the law in your case, the support you need should be provided by all your children and the payment thereof shall be in proportion to their resources. Hence, the petition for support should be against all of your children, not against your son only. In instances where there is an urgent need or there are special circumstances, however, the judge may order any of your children to provide the provisional support from any of them.
Your situation falls under special circumstances or a case of urgent need, because you need the financial support for your continuous medication and treatment. Thus, there is a clear legal basis if you file the petition for support against all of your children. The claim of your sister that only the parents have the obligation to support their children is therefore incorrect or not true.
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.
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