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While it is true that the Philippines is a Christian nation (predominantly Catholic), it cannot be denied that cases of parents separating and fathers abandoning their families have increased over the years too. Take a trip to a small urban village in Metro Manila and you will be surprised to find out that a lot of the residents are single mothers or married women who have sought annulment of their marriages (for various reasons). In most cases, the children are left under the care of their mothers; in the Philippines, the law dictates that children below 7 years old must be in the custody of his mother in case his parents separate.

This leaves Pinays with the burden of raising their children on their own. Even if the mother is gainfully employed, it is not a secret that sending your kids to school until they graduate from college, providing for all of their basic needs, and performing the role of both a father and a mother is a herculean task. Of course this is not limited to the female parent only as there are also cases where the father is left to take care of the children’s needs on his own.

So how does a single mom (single dad) demand for child support from their respective ex-spouses or partners?

Here are some guidelines when filing for child support in the Philippines:

  1. The parent seeking child support may opt to seek legal assistance from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO). Other government agencies that cater to these cases are the Department of Justice and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
  2. If there is physical violence involved in the case and there is evidence that the family’s safety is in jeopardy, a Protection Order is issued. The children will be in the custody of their mother with an entitlement of support.
  3. Child support cases (and other related cases) shall be filed in the Regional Trial Courts which will serve as the Family Courts for hearing cases.
  4. Support applies for both legitimate and illegitimate children. This includes food, clothing, education, and transportation according to the capacity and resources of the father.
  5. The father’s support for his family is compulsory whether he is married to the children’s mother or not. He hands over the monetary support to the children’s mother if the children live with their mother; otherwise, the father must be able to take the children under his care.

Minors are automatically entitled for support from both parents.

The most important documents you need to have on hand when filing such claims are the PSA Birth Certificates of your children and your PSA Marriage Certificate if you are married to your children’s father or mother. Make sure that all entries in these documents are correct to avoid any technicalities in your case.