2018 Guide to Child Support in Philippine Law

by | Oct 7, 2018 | Family Law, Custody & Support

An angry couple fighting amidst the tears of a crying baby.

Child support is a major area of disagrement among separated couples.

Child support is often an major area of disagreement between separating spouses, bogging down proceedings and causing increasingly hostile negotiations.

The Philippines has several laws dealing with custody and support of children.

Philippine Law and Child Support

A child is entitled to support from both parents

A baby is expensive!

Support in the law is described as everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education, and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

The law emphasizes that this support should include schooling or training for some profession, even beyond the age of majority. [Art 194, Family Code of the Philippines]

Those who are obliged to support each other are enumerated in Art 195:

  • The spouses;
  • Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
  • Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;
  • Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter; and
  • Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood

You’ll immediately see that regardless of whether the child is legitimate or illegitimate, support is an obligation from both parents.

How much support can I expect?

You might think there is some support calculator to define exactly how much support you can expect for your child.

You’ll be surprised to know that how much support really differs from case to case.

The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient. [Art 201, Family Code of the Philippines]

A scale showing the balance between support needed and the support that can be given.

The needs of the child is balanced with the income generated by the parent.

What this means is that support really depends on the capacity of the giver.

Does he or she have good investments?

Does he or she have a good job?

If that is the case, support can be drawn from these sources. If not however, there is no possible way that support can be received even if there is a court order for it.

If you are preparing to negotiate with your ex-partner, it would be helpful to create an accounting of the child’s expenses for schooling and maintenance.

This can help guide the discussion and set realistic expectations.

How can the court order for support be implemented?

A gavel surrounded by the items that can provide child support.

Enforcement plans need to be thought through!

You might think that after receiving a court order, support will automatically be sent to your account from your ex-partner’s.

It is a little more complicated than that.

As the Philippines has no uniform infrastructure to ensure support is actually given, the options for receiving support can be very specific:

  • You might be able to request the deduction of support from your ex-partner’s payroll.
  • You might be able to receive support by asking the court to garnish his assets such as by taking his cars or other properties.

These court orders can then help ensure that the court’s decision translates into actual financial support for the child.

R.A. 9262 or Criminalizing Lack of Father’s Child Support

A father can be charged through RA 9262 when he doesn't provide support

RA 9262 criminalizes lack of support.

R.A. 9262 puts pressure on a father to provide for his child by threatening him with criminal action if he does not provide support.

Section 5 e (2) in particular discusses Child Support:

Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support legally due to her or her family, or deliberately providing the woman’s children insufficient financial support.

Meanwhile, Sec 6 (c) discusses the penalty as punishable by prison correctional or jail.

In successful support cases, however, it is when there is true cooperation and trust that the child’s welfare is of primary importance that support is consistent and regular.

It is when a father is involved in the discussion and that he trusts that the money is truly going to his child that support cases achieve their goal.

How do I file a Child Support Case?

You’ll usually file a case for child support where one of the spouses resides. It may be its own independent case or ancillary to a case for legal separation, annulment of marriage or the like.

Once the case is filed, your court will send a notice and the full copy of the petition to your ex-partner ordering him to show why the petition should not be granted.

A child split between two parents.

Child support begins with filing a case.

Your court will then conduct a preliminary conference between the parties to see if a resolution without full-blown trial is possible.

In the meantime, the court has the power to issue provisional orders for support after giving the other party the opportunity to respond to the provisional claim and the allegations about the financial conditions of both parties, as supported by affidavits, depositions or other authentic documents. The court can, therefore, issue a provisional order for support which will be enforced even while the case is not yet finished.

The guidelines for such provisional support are as follows:

The common children of the spouses shall be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal partnership.

Subject to the sound discretion of the court, either parent or both may be ordered to give an amount necessary for the support, maintenance, and education of the child. It shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.

In determining the amount of provisional support, the court may likewise consider the following factors: (1) the financial resources of the custodial and non-custodial parent and those of the child; (2) the physical and emotional health of the child and his or her special needs and aptitudes; (3) the standard of living the child has been accustomed to; (4) the non-monetary contributions that the parents will make toward the care and well-being of the child,

The Family Court may direct the deduction of the provisional support from the salary of the parent.

Parents arguing with a baby between them.

Agreement between ex-partners is essential!

But if the court elects not to order provisional support, all your evidence and witnesses’ testimonies will be heard in a full-blown trial and then the court will make its decision.

You might wonder how long a full-blown case for support lasts.

Well, it depends on how quickly you and your ex-partner can agree on terms.

When you and your partner can negotiate a compromise agreement where both needs are met, then the court process is smoother. You may spend only a year to a year and a half in court.

However, it can take years if you and your ex-partner cannot agree and are unwilling to compromise.

How much will I spend?

A child watching his parents argue about support.

Costs depend on how quickly you can come to an agreement.

When you and your ex-partner cannot agree, a case will become more complicated and more expensive.

More evidence, court appearances, and coordination between lawyers will be required.

As such, the cost of the case will primarily depend on you and your spouse.

The normal court costs are the following:

  • Acceptance fee which varies per lawyer and depends on how complicated your case is
  • Court fees for filing the petition
  • Document processing fees such as notarization and postal service
  • Pleading fees for each written submission to the court
  • Court Appearance fees for each appearance to the court

What documents do I need for a Child Support Case?

People amidst documents they've put together for child support

Gather documents to support your case!

You’ll need several documents for a child support case:

  • PSA Birth Certificate and proof of paternity such as Affidavit of Paternity and any other proofs, if illegitimate.
  • PSA Marriage Certificate if you were married
  • Summary of receipts and expenditures related to the child
  • Summary of properties and proof such as titles, bank accounts, etc. of the other spouse
  • Summary of your ex-partner’s income and proof

The more information that you gather helps in explaining to the court what the requirements of the child are in addition to proving the capacity of your ex-partner to pay.

This is important and helps a great deal.

What if my ex-partner is a foreigner and or abroad?

Two people in separate parts of the world.

When an ex-partner is abroad or a foreigner, it may be more complicated to get support.

When your ex-partner is a foreigner and when he currently lives abroad, the laws of his country and of the country where he currently lives in comes into play.

Obtaining and enforcing a court order may require engaging lawyers in the foreign country. Furthermore, your personal appearance abroad may be needed to file the petition there. What is required will depend on the law of the country from which relief is sought. It will certainly require close coordination between you and your lawyer.

Your ex-partner can be asked for child support in his home country and be compelled to pay, especially when:

  • The child is a citizen of that country
  • There is clear proof of paternity/maternity

In the United States, there are a number of ways to compel a parent to provide support.

The amount owed may be deducted from wages otherwise his passport may be confiscated, his driver’s license suspended or he may go to jail among other penalties.

Resorting to these will require some familiarity with the laws involved and the possible enforcement mechanisms.

24 Comments

  1. Maricris Young

    good day. i want to file for child support claims but don’t have the capacity to pay the lawyer, since my salary are used up for all the daily expenses. i have 2 daughters, 13 and 11 years old girls. i suffered verbal aggression from my husband and he doesn’t do his obligations to our family, adding up to it is he is bipolar, as to my experience of saving our marriage for 14 yrs. that’s why i’ve been separated for almost 2 yrs now. i badly need your advice since he is threatening me that he will hex/bewitched me because i am telling him that he needs to face his obligation of giving financial support to our daughters but he keeps on turning it back the blame to me regarding the school expenses (tuition) of my daughters. it’s been 10 months of not receiving any financial support from him plus he owes me 20k for all the payment i’ve made for thr tuition in which he didn’t gave any money for it. thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Will send you an email.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I am glad ive read your article. I have the same dilemma with my husband. Ive suffered verbal abuse. I want to ask for financial assistance as well. Since we were married i didnt obliged him to give as long as he wont give me any problem. We are both teachers. People would be easily fooled by him coz he is so professional from jead to toe. A total package with his looks. But it was all a lie. He would accused me of cheating.. He would call me names like slut.. And it breaks me everytime he does that. Please help. Thank u so much in advance

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  3. anonymous

    I am a Filipino citizen wanting to ask on what to do about the child support for my kids from their father. We were married in civil and in church in 2003. I had filed a case against my husband – it is under R.A. 9262 (anti-violence against women and children)in 2004. The case was finished with a court order for the child support. But my husband did not comply with the court order when he arrived in Canada with a working permit in 2012. He is now working there. He complied to the support order in 2010 until early 2011. On the later part of 2011, he is only giving half of the amount of the support. Until 2013 came, no more support as in none. It is just now that I have learned about his whereabouts and all we want is for him to continue his child support to his 2 legitimate kids compared to his illegitimate kids all born in Canada.
    I want to inquire about the steps I need to do for the child support. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi:

      You’d need to have the court order enforced in Canada.

      This may involve referring it to Canadian authorities.

      Will send you an email.

      Reply
  4. Carla

    Hi. I would like to asked your assistance. My husband has an illegitimate son with her ex-girlfriend. My husband is continuously providing financial support for his son but the child’s mother keep on demanding more which my husband could not afford. what will be our move for this? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi:

      By law, the amount of child support depends on the needs of the child and the capacity of the giver.

      You may want to prepare a summary of your husband’s income and expenses and present a justification of what and why he can give a certain amount.

      If they cannot agree between them, the figure may need to be settled in court.

      Reply
  5. Marilyn M.

    Thank you for the article. I am currently pregnant with a child out of wedlock. The father of the child has stopped communicating since we found out about the pregnancy. I have a stable job, but is still worried about the financial burden that I have to face all alone especially after the child’s birth. How and when can I claim for child support? Please help. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Marilyn:

      If you and the father cannot reach an agreement, a child support case may be filed in court to compel the father to provide.

      The details and the process can be found in the post above.

      Reply
  6. Mika

    Hi I would like to ask your assistance. The father of my child is not supporting for years. As much a I remember he only gave once this year. I am planning to file child support but I don’t have the capacity to get my own lawyer. How and what is the process of filing for child support in either DOJ or DSWD? How long is the process for child support request? Please do let me know. As i am worried that my daughter will start schooling next year too. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Mika:

      Go to your local hall of justice and speak to the Public Attorney. He can assess your situation and advise you.

      The process can take a minimum of 2 years and you will have to spend for court fees, document gathering and notarization expenses and other incidental costs even if you engage the Public Attorney.

      In addition, work out the correct enforcement method with your attorney.

      Reply
  7. Domiliza

    Hello I need help. I am married to a german we have a child two yrs old. And he left us. Im not begging for him to stay anymore as he decide to leave us completely for another woman. now my concern here is his support. im a fulltime mom. And only wants to take care of our child. Before when everything was ok. He would send me 20k a month which is totally fine for everything. Like bills house rent needs of my daughter foods etc.
    Now that he wants he leave he only send us 10k a month php. Knowing he has 5k euro a month of sallary. I need help how can i demand him more because 10k is a struggle for me and my daughter. I need your help.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Domiliza:

      I’m sorry for the situation.

      The Philippines has no authority over a foreigner not in the Philippines.

      It may be best to consult a German family lawyer and file a case in Germany, if necessary.

      Reply
  8. Joan

    Hi. If the father (my ex) refuses to divulge information about his work and earnings, can he be compelled to do so legally?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Joan:

      Yes, the court can compel the father to divulge information about his work and his earnings in the course of a court case.

      Reply
  9. Danah

    My ex and i got separated after he knew i was pregnant he never get the chance to sign on the Birthcertificate of my child,is it possible to file child support with my case?my daughter is now 21 months and he barely see his child nor give financial support even when i beg money for medical reasons he failed to give help for my child.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Danah:

      You will need proof of paternity to request any child support.

      An affidavit of paternity or other official document would be sufficient.

      Reply
  10. Jennifer O. Anastacio

    Good day. I need assistance. I have a daughter who is just 3months old to a Bangladeshi who is currently residing in Dubai UAE. After giving birth here in Philippines I send my baby’s birth certificate in Dubai for him to sign. And he actually acknowledged my daughter and let her use his surname. After that he already stop sending financial support for my baby. How can I demand him to give financial support for my daughter? Please give me advice. Thank you

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Jennifer:

      Since your ex-partner is a foreign national, it is best to consult with a lawyer from his home country to see what can be done.

      Additionally, it may be wise to consult a lawyer where you ex-partner currently is to see how it can be enforced.

      Reply
  11. Nina

    Hi,

    Good day!

    The father of my two kids works in Kuwait but I don’t know what company, where can I ask for help to legally demand for support?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Nina:

      If the father is a foreigner, it is best to consult with a lawyer from his home country.

      If he is a Filipino, then it is possible to try for support within the framework of Filipino law.

      Reply
  12. Arriane

    My boyfriend is korean he never support financially to our dauhter before we live in together until i gave birth when my baby 4 mos he back to korea without any support after 7 mos he back to philippines fee months later i caught him with other girl now he change house now i decided just he must go back to korea and give our daughter financial support. Tha he staying here in philippines just flirting other girl

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi Arriane:

      If your boyfriend is in the Philippines, you can certainly ask for child support.

      You can also bring this up with the barangay or DSWD.

      As a last resort, a case can be filed through the Public Attorney’s office in your local Hall of Justice.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This