The Family Code of the Philippines states that parents are “obliged to live together” and “render mutual help and support” to the family. However, it is also a fact that contemporary marriages don’t always work, and families do not forever remain as a unit.
Many reasons lead to broken families and eventual single parenthood. For cases like these, some guidelines will help a single parent get the support they need to raise the children they are left with.
How can Single Parents File for Child Support
When filing for child support in the Philippines, here are some important things to remember:
- Any single parent looking to get child support may ask for legal assistance from either the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) or other government agencies like the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
- If the children are under the mother’s custody and the family has a history of physical abuse or violence, the children are entitled to financial support and a Protection Order.
- Cases related to child support are filed in Regional Trial Courts (RTC) which also serve as Family Courts.
- Child support to cover for food, clothing, education, and transportation is available for both legitimate and illegitimate children, but the actual amount is dependent on the father’s resources.
- The father’s support is mandatory regardless if the children’s parents were married or not. If the custody is with the mother, the children’s father must provide monetary support to the children’s mother. If the father has the custody, then he must take care of the children.
- Minor children are automatically entitled to support from both parents.
What are the Documentary Requirements
These are the documents that you need to have on hand if you are filing for child support claim:
- PSA Birth Certificates of your children
- PSA Marriage Certificate (if married)
How much Child Support Should be Paid
The amount of child support may be changed, depending on and in proportion to:
- Resources or means of the giver; and,
- To the necessities of the recipient.
Regardless of the amount, however, the obligation to support a child is demandable. An order for support is subject to change and is never final, though a petition for support can never be terminated. Child support can be demanded by the rightful recipient as needed, but it won’t be paid until a judicial or extrajudicial demand was filed.
Child support, be it money or property, is not subject to creditor attachment or execution because it is a received as a necessity. Support in arrears, however, do not receive the same exemption.
What are the Legal Liabilities
Failure or denial of financial support to a child is punishable by law in the Philippines. That said, failure to comply and blatant disregard of custody are all detailed as illegal by law as these acts are in violation of RA 9262, or the Violence Against Women and Children Act.
So, when single parents think that they don’t have the legal right to ask for child support, the Philippine law says it is a child’s right to live with help from both parents, regardless of legitimacy.