Child custody and child support are the big issues to tackle after a couple decides to part ways, either by annulment or by a separation.
Article 213 of the Family Code tells us that the custody for children under the age of 7 automatically falls to the mother, whether the child is legitimate or illegitimate. The law also tells us that in each case, the father is expected to fulfill his responsibilities of providing for the child.
Although seemingly simple, this type of arrangement is often a struggle for many separated couples to fulfill, particularly for fathers who fail to provide for their children. Reasons differ why some fathers fail at doing that but some point out trust issues with their estranged wives.
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So does a mother have a right to go after a father if he does not support their children? This can be a sensitive topic but allow us to provide you with some basic details regarding the subject.
To begin with, let’s address the question of how much should a father give as financial support for his children.
Articles 194, 201, and 202 of the Family Code defines support as that which comprises everything essential for “sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education, and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.”
Meanwhile, the amount of support, according to Articles 195 and 196, depend on the giver’s resources or means. As such, the said support may be proportionately increased or reduced, depending on the person’s income and capacity.
As the Family Code tells us, “The amount of support shall be based on the children’s needs and the father’s capacity to provide (earn).”
As for mothers wondering if they can demand support from a father who is already married to another woman, the answer is, of course, a yes.
Article 195 of the Family Code dictates that both legitimate and illegitimate children are entitled to receive financial support from their parents. It should be noted, however, that an illegitimate child is only entitled to support if he was recognized by his biological father.
An illegitimate child can prove that he is recognized by his father through the following:
- Record of birth with the father completing the Affidavit of Acknowledgement / Admission of Paternity found at the back part of the birth certificate.
- Admission of illegitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.
In cases where a father refuses to recognize his child, the mother may choose to take legal action by filing a Petition for Compulsory Recognition and Support.