Tag Archive: Family Code


05 - 23

Brenda, a Pinay tourist in the US, married her cousin’s friend Doug, a US citizen, while on vacation in Florida.  A few months after the wedding, the couple traveled back to the Philippines to break the news to Brenda’s parents.  Sadly though, her parents vehemently opposed their daughter’s rash decision to marry a person they hardly know.  Because of the sad turn of events, Doug traveled back to the US on his own, leaving Brenda to deal with her family’s shock and disapproval.

Brenda and Doug never got the chance to see each other again.  Soon enough, the incessant email exchanges and nightly phone calls between the newlyweds slowly dwindled to brief text messages and unreturned missed calls.  Before long, Brenda met a new guy at work and quickly fell in love.  This time, she knew he was “the one”.  She introduced him to her parents who immediately approved of their budding romance.  Less than a year later, she was, again, busy planning her wedding.

“Di ba kasal ka na sa U.S.?” asked one of Brenda’s aunts.

“Oo, pero hindi naman niya pinarehistro dito sa Pilipinas yung kasal niya. So single pa din siya dito.” came Brenda’s Mom’s firm reply.

Could this be true?  Can one simply disregard a marriage solemnized in another country by not declaring it before a Local Civil Registry office?  Can you be married in one country and single in another?

We received this same question from an avid reader and thought it wise to find out if overseas marriages are not considered valid in our country.  Below are our findings:

Lex Loci Celebrationis

This is the rule we follow for marriages celebrated abroad between two Filipinos or a Filipino and a person of different citizenship.  The Latin phrase translates to “law of the place of the ceremony”.

This means that the Philippines recognizes a marriage celebrated or solemnized in a different country as long as it follows the requirements set by the law of that state.  Hence, if the marriage is deemed valid in that country, it is then deemed valid in the Philippines, even if it did not comply with the procedures and requirements set the Family Code of the Philippines.

Exceptions to the Rule           

Article 26 of the Family Code excludes the following prohibited marriages:

  1. Cases where a party is below eighteen years old at the time of marriage;
  2. A party is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations;
  3. Mistake in identity of a spouse;
  4. Subsequent marriages celebrated without properly terminating, liquidating, and distributing the properties of a previous marriage;
  5. Bigamous or polygamous marriages;
  6. Incestuous marriages;
  7. Void marriages for reason of public policy such as marriage between collateral blood relatives up to fourth civil degree or between step-parent and step-child.

If the marriage abroad does not fall under any of the above-mentioned exceptions, then it is considered valid in the Philippines.

But the marriage was not registered in the Philippines

The marriage’s validity is not at all affected by the fact that it was not properly registered in the Philippines.  For as long as it is considered valid in the country where it was celebrated, the marriage is deemed valid in the Philippines as well.  Registering a marriage is done to simply record an event affecting the civil status of the persons involved; it serves as evidence of the act or occurrence.  Its absence does not invalidate the marriage.

Can Brenda continue with her plans of marrying her Filipino boyfriend?

If we are to apply the principles of Lex Loci Celebrationis, Brenda is no longer free to marry another person, in the US or here in the Philippines.  And the only way she can regain her single status and be able to marry another person is if Doug, being the US citizen, files for divorce abroad.

We hope you found these information helpful.  If you have questions about civil registration in the Philippines, please feel free to drop us a line and we will do our best to find the answers for you.

Source:

www.gov.ph (The Family Code of the Philippines)

http://www.manilatimes.net

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04 - 03

When a married couple separates, whether on their own terms or as prescribed by an annulment proceeding, child custody and support become a fundamental issue between the parties.  With whom should the children stay?  How often can their father / mother see them?  How will their basic needs be met?

In the Philippines, custody of children under seven years old is automatically granted to the mother as mandated by Article 213 of the Family Code.  This is applicable whether the child’s birthright is legitimate or illegitimate.  In the same manner, the father is expected to continue providing the needs of his children and not leave the mother to fend for the family on her own.

This arrangement is easier said than done as most post-annulment / separation issues stem from the fact that fathers fail to consistently provide for their children.  Each has his own reason for not being able to live up to what is expected of him (as the provider); others admit that they chose to discontinue financially supporting their children through the estranged wife because of trust issues.

In the midst of these marital (and extra-marital) issues are the children and their escalating living necessities.  This blog receives a lot of questions about child support and legal actions against fathers who fail to provide for their children.  We all have that one friend who is perpetually asking about means to compel her ex-husband to give and give more as the children’s basic needs rapidly become anything but basic.

We ran a research on child support, as dictated by Philippine laws, in an attempt to shed light in this touchy issue.  We hope these information help put your questions on child support to rest, or at least lead you towards the right decisions in upholding the rights of your children.

How much should a father give as financial support to his children?

According to the Family Code (Articles 194, 201, and 202):

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

The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include his schooling or training for some profession, trade, or vocation, even beyond the age of majority.  Transportation shall include expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.

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.

Support in the cases referred to in the preceding article shall be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.

According to the Family Code:

  • The amount of support shall be based on the children’s needs and the father’s capacity to provide (earn).
  • The father is obligated to support his children’s education even after they have reached the age of emancipation.

Can I demand for support from my child’s father even if he is married to another woman (and my child, effectively, is illegitimate)?

Article 195 of the Family Code provides that both legitimate and illegitimate children have the right to receive financial support from their parents.  However, an illegitimate child’s right to support shall only arise if he was duly recognized by his father.

An illegitimate child may prove that he is recognized by his biological father through the following:

  1. Record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment – with the father accomplishing the Affidavit of Acknowledgment / Admission of Paternity found at the back of his birth certificate.
  2. An admission of illegitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.

If the father refuses to recognize the child, the mother may seek to the court’s assistance by filing a Petition for Compulsory Recognition and Support.  This will entail hearings and other court proceedings and the mother must be prepared to fight it out in public.

If I win the petition, can I demand the father of my child to reimburse the expenses I incurred in the years that he did not provide for my child?

No; the father’s obligation to financially support the child begins from the date of judicial demand, or once the Petition for Compulsory Recognition and Support is approved by the court.

Do I have the right to demand for financial support from my ex-husband even if he is jobless?

In cases when the children’s father is jobless and has no means of income, financial support may be derived from the separate properties.  If the father does not have a separate property to liquidate, the funds may be taken from his and the children’s mother’s conjugal properties.  It shall be treated as an advance and will be deducted from the ex-husband’s share of the estate when it is liquidated.

Can I sue my ex-husband if he continues to ignore his parental responsibilities?

Filing a case in court to compel the children’s father to continue his obligation to provide for the children should be the last resort.  Yes, a mother can seek the court’s assistance in demanding for child support.  A father’s failure to comply with his obligation despite repeated reminders is a violation of RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, or RA 9262 – Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004) and is a criminal offense.

Sources:

www.gov.ph

http://jlp-law.com

http://www.manilatimes.net

Chips And Nibblers (1)

Closet Queen

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