Friday, June 08, 2007

Can a mother be deprived of custody of her child?

Summary:

[1] In custody disputes, the paramount concern is the welfare and well-being of the child.

[2] General rule: custody of a child below seven years of age belongs to the mother.

[3] Exception: if there are compelling reasons, custody may be denied and granted to another person under Article 214 of the Family Code.

[4] Compelling reasons for a mother to lose custody: neglect; abandonment; unemployment and immorality; habitual drunkenness; drug addiction; maltreatment of the child; insanity; affliction with a communicable illness.

Free PDF newsletter can a mother be deprived of custody of her childNotes: (1) Click the picture to download a free PDF newsletter on this topic; and (2) Please also read my related articles titled “Visitation rights over illegitimate children”, “What surname should illegitimate children use?” and “How do our courts determine which parent has the right of custody of the children?

General rule and exception as to a mother's custody of a child below seven
Article 213 of the Family Code of the Philippines states the general rule and the exception as to a mother's custody of a child below seven years of age:
In case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.

No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.
[1] General rule: custody of a child below seven years of age belongs to the mother.

[2] Exception: if there are compelling reasons, such custody may be denied and granted to another party, as provided for by Article 214.

Compelling reasons for a mother to lose custody

The Supreme Court in the case of
Tonog vs. CA (G.R. No. 122906, February 7, 2002) enumerated some of these compelling reasons:
  • neglect
  • abandonment
  • unemployment and immorality
  • habitual drunkenness
  • drug addiction
  • maltreatment of the child
  • insanity
  • affliction with a communicable illness
Paramount consideration in custody disputes is the welfare and well-being of the child

The Court explained that "in custody disputes, it is axiomatic that the paramount criterion is the welfare and well-being of the child. In arriving at its decision as to whom custody of the minor should be given, the court must take into account the respective resources and social and moral situations of the contending parents."


Below are excerpts of the Tonog ruling (emphasis by boldfacing supplied):
Petitioner contends that she is entitled to the custody of the minor, Gardin Faith, as a matter of law. First, as the mother of Gardin Faith, the law confers parental authority upon her as the mother of the illegitimate minor. Second, Gardin Faith cannot be separated from her since she had not, as of then, attained the age of seven. Employing simple arithmetic however, it appears that Gardin Faith is now twelve years old.

In custody disputes, it is axiomatic that the paramount criterion is the welfare and well-being of the child. In arriving at its decision as to whom custody of the minor should be given, the court must take into account the respective resources and social and moral situations of the contending parents.
In turn, the parents’ right to custody over their children is enshrined in law. Article 220 of the Family Code thus provides that parents and individuals exercising parental authority over their unemancipated children are entitled, among other rights, “to keep them in their company.” In legal contemplation, the true nature of the parent-child relationship encompasses much more than the implication of ascendancy of one and obedience by the other. We explained this in Santos, Sr. v. Court of Appeals:

"The right of custody accorded to parents springs from the exercise of parental authority. Parental authority or patria potestas in Roman Law is the juridical institution whereby parents rightfully assume control and protection of their unemancipated children to the extent required by the latter’s needs. It is a mass of rights and obligations which the law grants to parents for the purpose of the children’s physical preservation and development, as well as the cultivation of their intellect and the education of their heart and senses. As regards parental authority, “there is no power, but a task; no complex of rights, but a sum of duties; no sovereignty but a sacred trust for the welfare of the minor.”

Parental authority and responsibility are inalienable and may not be transferred or renounced except in cases authorized by law. The right attached to parental authority, being purely personal, the law allows a waiver of parental authority only in cases of adoption, guardianship and surrender to a children’s home or an orphan institution. When a parent entrusts the custody of a minor to another, such as a friend or godfather, even in a document, what is given is merely temporary custody and it does not constitute a renunciation of parental authority. Even if a definite renunciation is manifest, the law still disallows the same.

Statute sets certain rules to assist the court in making an informed decision. Insofar as illegitimate children are concerned, Article 176 of the Family Code provides that illegitimate children shall be under the parental authority of their mother. Likewise, Article 213 of the Family Code provides that “[n]o child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.” It will be observed that in both provisions, a strong bias is created in favor of the mother. This is specially evident in Article 213 where it may be said that the law presumes that the mother is the best custodian. As explained by the Code Commission:

The general rule is recommended in order to avoid many a tragedy where a mother has seen her baby torn away from her. No man can sound the deep sorrows of a mother who is deprived of her child of tender age. The exception allowed by the rule has to be for “compelling reasons” for the good of the child; those cases must indeed be rare, if the mother’s heart is not to be unduly hurt. If she has erred, as in cases of adultery, the penalty of imprisonment and the divorce decree (relative divorce) will ordinarily be sufficient punishment for her. Moreover, moral dereliction will not have any effect upon the baby who is as yet unable to understand her situation.

This is not intended, however, to denigrate the important role fathers play in the upbringing of their children. Indeed, we have recognized that both parents “complement each other in giving nurture and providing that holistic care which takes into account the physical, emotional, psychological, mental, social and spiritual needs of the child.” Neither does the law nor jurisprudence intend to downplay a father’s sense of loss when he is separated from his child: While the bonds between a mother and her small child are special in nature, either parent, whether father or mother, is bound to suffer agony and pain if deprived of custody. One cannot say that his or her suffering is greater than that of the other parent. It is not so much the suffering, pride, and other feelings of either parent but the welfare of the child which is the paramount consideration.

For these reasons, even a mother may be deprived of the custody of her child who is below seven years of age for “compelling reasons.” Instances of unsuitability are neglect, abandonment, unemployment and immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable illness. If older than seven years of age, a child is allowed to state his preference, but the court is not bound by that choice. The court may exercise its discretion by disregarding the child’s preference should the parent chosen be found to be unfit, in which instance, custody may be given to the other parent, or even to a third person.

In the case at bar, we are being asked to rule on the temporary custody of the minor, Gardin Faith, since it appears that the proceedings for guardianship before the trial court have not been terminated, and no pronouncement has been made as to who should have final custody of the minor. Bearing in mind that the welfare of the said minor as the controlling factor, we find that the appellate court did not err in allowing her father (private respondent herein) to retain in the meantime parental custody over her. Meanwhile, the child should not be wrenched from her familiar surroundings, and thrust into a strange environment away from the people and places to which she had apparently formed an attachment.

Moreover, whether a mother is a fit parent for her child is a question of fact to be properly entertained in the special proceedings before the trial court.

158 comments :

Anonymous said...

If and when the mother is proven to have committed adultery, does it means that custody be given to the father should they decide to separate?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The general rule is that custody of a child below seven years of age belongs to the mother. The exception however is that if there are compelling reasons, such custody may be denied and granted to another party, as provided for by Article 213 of the Family Code. Even a mother may be deprived of the custody of her child who is below seven years of age for “compelling reasons.”

Instances of unsuitability are neglect, abandonment, unemployment and IMMORALITY, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable illness.

Thus a mother convicted of adultery (which is clearly a form of immorality) can be deprived of custody of her child. Also, the sentence imposed by the court for adultery may include CIVIL INTERDICTION. This means the mother will be deprived of the exercise of her political rights (like right to vote) and her civil rights (like parental authority and custody of the children).

Anonymous said...

i've been inloved with a man at the duration of my marriage.before i got home,i honesty told my husband that i do not have any feelings for him anymore.i also told my kids that.i have to give the custody to my husband becoz the said man that im inlove with is a foreigner.he doesnt know that i have kids and hes coming to the philippines.i frankly ask my husband permission to take care of the kids for the mean time.but eventually,they wont let me allow to see my kids.they are 7 and 6 years of age...what rights to do i have to gain the custody?am i commiting "compelling reasons"?pls. i need ur help..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Under Article 213 of the Family Code, children below seven years of age cannot be separated from the mother. However, in custody disputes, the courts will determine the fitness of one parent over another, on the basis of the paramount interest and welfare of the children. Your extra-marital relationship (classified as "immorality") can be taken by the courts as a compelling reason to deprive you of custody of your children.

Anonymous said...

how could we get the child custody if a mother is umwployed?the child is more or less 3 yrs old

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

THe Family Code provides that a child below seven years of age cannot be separated from the mother except for compelling reasons. If the mother is unemployed, she can ask the Family Court to issue a Protection Order under RA 9262 to compel the father to support her and the child. She can also avail of the benefits of the Solo Parents Welfare Act which is implemented by the DSWD. Please read my article Support for Abandoned woman and family. You can ask help from the DSWD, the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) and the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) for the issuance of the Protection Order and to regain custody of the child.

Anonymous said...

follow up question,what if the father do the same mistake?what if the i also found out that my husband is commiting an extra marital relationship?during the legal process,since my children are 7 and 6,should they be in my custody?tnx for response

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

In case both parents are unfit, then under Article 214 of the Family Code, the court may grant substitute parental authority and custody of the children to the surviving grandparent. In extreme cases, the court may take the children in as wards of the State.

Anonymous said...

question po...my brother has a 3-yr old son. both my brother and the child's mother were still studying at the time that the child was born. my brother is currently employed but the girl is still studying. the child has been livng with us since my parents were the ones supporting the child's needs. eversince, the girl is welcome at our house and would sometimes sleep there so she could be with her son even though she and my brother are not in a relationship anymore. when my brother started working, he is assigned to a nearby province and goes home only during weekends. the girl was then asked by my parents to sleep at our house to accompany the child since my brother is away. but the girl has issues with her family because of her habit of sleeping over at her friends house without asking permission where they would drink and party. it happened a lot of times for that 3-year duration and that's the same reason why my brother broke up with her. there was a time that she disappeared and nobody knows where she is and she came back 2 weeks after. this same scenario happened a lot of times but our family would still forgive her and would let her still see her son thinking that she is the mother and we won't deprive her of that. by the way, the girl has been living with his legal mother since birth but it is not unknown to everybody that she was adopted from her biological mother right after she was born. the last time that she disappeared was 2 weeks before christmas and when she came back she was dragged by her legal mother to her biological mother saying that she would like to return the girl because she could not tolerate her attitude anymore. her biological mother lives in a different town so for that duration when she was with her biological mother we were not able to see her but her son is with my family. new year's eve she came to our house asking if she could see her son and if she could have him overnight at her legal mother's house which is just a few blocks away from our house. she promised at my mother (since my brother is still at work that time) that they will come back the following day. the following day when my mother went to their house it was already padlocked and they were nowhere to be seen. when we contacted her they were already in her biological mother's house. she won't return her son to us anymore and she just asked my brother to visit him there anytime he wants. of course my parents were devastated of what hapenned since the child has been on our care for 3 years already. the child's clothes and all of his things are with us so we are concerned of what would happen to him. the girl is still studying and has been constantly dropping out of school because of her habit. now she won't be able to finish the second semester since she is with her biological mother. (the school where she enrolled is far from her bio mother's house). their family are not that well-off compared to our family and her bio mother is also taking care of another child (from another daughter who got pregnant).

is there a way that my brother could gain custody of his 3-year old illegitimate child?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Under the Family Code, an illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of the mother. Her parental authority can only be suspended or terminated for compelling reasons.

Your brother must file the proper petition asking the Family Court to terminate the mother’s parental authority over the child and that such authority be transferred to him. Please ask for help from the DWSD in your place and from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your city. IBP chapter offices are usually found in the Hall of Justice of cities.

Anonymous said...

follow-up po regarding the recent post...in case my brother does file a petition to terminate mother's parental authority, will there be a chance that it will be transferred to him? or the chances are really slim since under the family code the child should be under the sole parental authority of the mother?

the child by the way is using my brother's surname and my brother was present when the child was born and in fact signed his birth certificate recognizing that he is the father. will that matter?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

If there are compelling reasons (neglect, abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable illness), the courts wiil terminate the parental authority of the mother.

The concern of the law and our courts is the PARAMOUNT interest and welfare of the child.

Anonymous said...

i was married last 1997..gave birth to a son 1999..separated 2001...eversince i raised my son with the help of my family since my x.husband never shared even a single cent..im jobless at that time...no communication, no financial support til my x shoed up 2004 & started sharing 500,1000/mo. but no reconciliation happened...he visited every 3 mos. & when my son started in grade 1 he promised to finance the expenses in school & me for other needs of our son...but only the enrollment that he complied..after that, nothing follows...& he is nowhere to be seen again til at present...i dont have feelings with him & over our separation, i dont have any bf but only last yr...we planned to live together this yr. & by the way, he is 10yrs. separated too...we cant afford annulment so we leave the judgement to GOD...what can u advise to our relationship & the legalities...my bf & his x have an agreement already...but as for me...since i dont know the whereabouts of x, either he is kiving with another or not but i dont care...i just want to know your stan with my situations...hoping to hear from you soon...thank you very much & godbless... kiss

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Please read my article Support for abandoned woman and family in this blog. You can avail of RA 9262 to require your husband to support you and your child. You can also avail of the benefits of the Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2000. Contact the DSWD in your town or city about these benefits.

2. You and your boyfriend must take steps to have your respective marriages annulled or declared null and void so that you can get legally married. Even if your bf and his wife have not seen each other for ten years, he must file the necessary petition in court to have his wife declared presumptively dead for purposes of remarriage. The document that he signed with his wife does not have any legal effect whatsoever.

3. The Bible states that “Marriage is honourable unto all and the marriage bed is undefiled.” This means that sexual relations must only be between a man and woman who are legally married. Sexual relations outside of marriage are sin against God.

daphne33 said...

Gud pm. My brother got a 21 years old woman pregnant. While he was working abroad, the woman gave birth to a baby boy.She then went to Saudi to work.When the infant was months old we visited the baby, then as the grandmother also went to Malaysia, she left the baby to our care (I am the aunt and my mother)for more than a year. I was the one supporting all the infant's needs then . We also did not ask the mother of anything because I have a job in the government.When the mother came home, she took the baby. But they visit us occasionally. There was even times when the mother and the baby would stay in my parent's home for months.My brother has not signed the baby's birth certificate as he was not in the country when the baby was born. He was not also able to give the baby a regular support because we only give the baby money canned goods and some of his needs in school as they come.
My questions are :
1. Has my brother established paternity over the child when he has not signed any document of acknowledgment?
2. Can we possibly get custody of the child especially now that the mother who has been jobless for nearly three years now has shown signs of severe depression which we suspect as the consequence of drug addiction?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. The ways of establishing paternity and filiation (biological relationship between parents and child, whether the child is legitimate or illegitimate), are provided by Articles 172 and 175 of the Family Code. Please take note for example of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 172 which state:

(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or
(2) An admission of legitimate filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent concerned.


These are the ways by which your brother can establish that he is the biological father of the child.

Please take note however that it is your brother who should take the steps in getting custody and/or parental authority over the child. Please remember that an illegitimate child is under the parental authority of the mother, and that such authority can only be removed from the mother if there are compelling reasons. The alleged drug addiction, for example, must be proved to the satisfaction of the court.

Article 214 of the FC states, “In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent. In case several survive, the one designated by the court, taking into account the same consideration mentioned in the preceding article, shall exercise the authority.”

Please take note that under the context, this provision refers to legally married spouses. Your brother has to establish that he is the father of the child. Secondly, he must file the petition to have the mother’s parental authority terminated and that the authority be transferred to him. You and your family can try to be the ones to file the petition (assuming your brother does not want to do so) for parental authority to be transferred to the grandparents. You might find it difficult to get the court to agree, but you can try anyway to convince the court that it is for the paramount interest of the child.

Please take note also that the woman under RA 9262 can file civil or criminal case, and petition for Protection Order against your brother.

Anonymous said...

Hello Atty.,

Please advise me on my problem. I found out last April 12, 2006 that my ex-husband have an affair with our neighborhood. I tried to fixed our relationship for the sake of our children. Unfortunately, he confronted me na dld na daw po cyang pagmamahal sa akin. To cut the story story shot we separated and dahil kakapanganak ko lang that time.. Iniwan ko muna un bunso ko to work here sa Manila after one year. Kinuha ko un anak ko na panganay na 9years old kc nahihirapan na din po cya sa pakikisama sa knila. Minsan na lang po ako dumalaw kc naman po kapag pumunta me doon i found myself emotionally battered. With that reason, nun pinaalam ko un bunso ko bring here sa Manila sobrang nagalit po un Lola na tumulong sa amin. Inaalisan po nila ako ng karapatan na makasama un bata pwede lang dalawin sa knila. Dahil sa sakit na dinanas ko sa knila i choose to show myself and my eldest to them which kinagagalit nila at lalong nagpalakas ng loob nila na angkinin un anak ko. btw, 4 years pong alang trabaho un papa nila. Sa case ko po ba maari po b a nilang hindi ibigay un bunso ko sa akin? I stopped on giving my support last year pa po? Please help me sa dinanas ko sa knila natatakot na din akong harapin cla kasi masakit po clang magsalita. :-(

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your youngest child is below seven years of age. Under the FC, therefore, you are entitled to the custody of the child. Your husband’s family does not have any right to deprive you of such custody.

The legal remedy to gain custody of your child is to file for a Protection Order under RA 9262. You can ask help from the DSWD of your local government, the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) or from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in the place where your child is being held. The IBP chapters are usually found in the Hall of Justice of cities. You can also try to ask for help in securing a Protection Order through the Women and Children’s Desk Officer of the PNP Station nearest the place where your child is being held.

Anonymous said...

Follow up question pa po. Kc po before kami maghiwalay ng x ko sabi nya dapat may maiwan daw po sa knya na isa. Nasa batas po ba un ganun? D po ba nila pd gawin ground un d ko pag-uwi dun ng madalas para madalaw ko un bunso ko? At d ko pagbigay ng support for my bunso? Maraming salamat po. I really appreciates you response and talga pong nakakapag palakas ng loob. If i will hire an atty mga magkano po magagastos para makuha ko lang un bata? Thanks po :-)

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Like I said, since your youngest child is below seven, you have the right to custody unless the court finds that there are COMPELLING REASONS (like immorality, drug use, serous vices, etc) for you to be deprived of custody. With your other child who is above seven, the court will allow him or her to choose which parent to go with unless the parent chosen is unfit (whereby the court will intervene). You can of course justify to the court that you wanted to give support but you were not able to do so for reasons beyond your control.

Lawyers charge different professional fees but in Metro Manila, lawyers would generally charge professional fees as thirty thousand pesos minimum. If your child is in the province (and thus the case must be filed there), you can probably get lawyers who will charge lower fees. You need to ask your family to help you find lawyers who will be able to handle your case.

Anonymous said...

Nagkaroon ng affair ang asawa ko sa aming katulong na 17 years old noong 2001,ng malaman ko,nagkagulo,idemanda siya ng rape at dahil isa akong guro,natakot ako sa eskandalo at proteksyon din para sa mga anak ko,ng file ako ng kontra demanda, adultery at concubinage,at yong kasong rape ay idinismis,Sa madaling salita, nghiwalay lami pansamantala at ngpatawaran,pgkaraan ng 2 taon,inulit nya naman ang kasalanang pmbabae at nagkaroon ng gulo sa baranggay,na eskandalo na naman ako..At dumating din sa puntong ginulpi ako at halos patayin.Napagpasyahan kong humingi ng tulong sa pamilya ko at kinuha nila ang dalawang anak ko para may mag aalaga habang nagtatatrabaho,paglipas ng 2 taon,umuwi ang mga anak ko mula sa probinsya,at pinapunta sa kanilang lolo,lola at tatay,ang problema ngayon, ayaw nilang ibigay ang 1 anak kong babae at 7 years old n raw, ano ang basehan nila para kuning ang anak ko na sa loob ng 2 taon, ako ang bumuhay doon, na wala man lang tulong mula sa asawa ko na walang trabaho.Ano po ba ang mabuti kong gawing legal.
Salamat po.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Even if your daughter is already seven years old, your in-laws do not have the right to deprive you of custody, or to meddle with the exercise of your parental authority over her.

A Protection Order under RA 9262 may not be appropriate in this situation since the party depriving you of custody of your child is not your husband but his parents. You can file against the grandparents a petition for HABEAS CORPUS so that they can be compelled to return your daughter to you. (If you can prove that your in-laws are acting in behalf of your husband in depriving you of your daughter, then you can file for Protection Order to regain custody.)

You can ask for free legal help from the DSWD of your local government, from the PAO (Public Attorneys Office), or from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your town or city. The IBP chapter offices are usually located in the Hall of Justice.

Anonymous said...

My son is married and has 2 minor children. We help in providing for the children's support since 2002 as my son has no permanent job. Last two years ago, his wife decided to go back to school and opted to stay with her parents bringing along her children against my son's will. He don't want to stay with her wife's family because of some issues between them. So, my son provides for the children even with his meager income every 15th of the month or as needed..but lately the demands for support grows higher to which he cannot cope with anymore...as he is willing to give, his income short for the demands. The issue is he is deprived/punished to see his children because he can't sometimes comply with their demands..the wife is unemployed...what legal actions can we take? Thanks in advance.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

As a rule, children below seven years of age cannot be separated from their mother. Your son can file a petition with the Family Court asking it [1] to grant him visitation rights (with specified days and times since there is conflict with the mother), AND [2] to set the amount of financial support he has to give monthly, balancing between the needs of the children and his financial capability.

Your son can also ask for help from the DSWD social workers of your town or city.

Anonymous said...

Hello Atty. Galacio,

I’m happy that I found your web site and hope you can help me with a problem.

In 2004, my sister gave birth to a baby girl but was not married at that time. Because the father was unemployed it fell to me to pay the hospital bills for my sister and for the baby whenever she was sick.

Hoping to establish a new life for herself and her daughter, my sister signed a two year contract in November 2006 for employment in Hong Kong as a caregiver to an elderly lady.

The family of the father, and my family, informally agreed that we would share custody and care for the child until my sister’s return in two years.

My sister is remitting most of what she earns for the benefit of her child and to pay the frequent medical and hospital expenses due to ill health from birth. I am also assisting with these expenses to the best of my ability.

Because of my sister’s absence, and because I am not resident in the Philippines, it is the father who has custody of the child for most of the time. It was intended that my brother and younger sister would share care for the child in the absence of my older sister, but my brother became acutely ill with kidney failure and had to undergo a transplant operation. He is now well again and wanting to play his part, together with my sister, in caring for the child.

The problem now is that the father is becoming reluctant to hand over the child and to share custody with my family. He is not employed and even before the child was born and has no means of supporting the child except for the remittances sent by my sister from Hong Kong.

My sister is desperately anxious for the child’s future but is unable to return to the Philippines until January 2009. She would like the child to commence pre-school and is willing to pay for that, but the father is not in agreement as it would mean that the child would spend most of the time with my brother and younger sister. If she leaves Hong Kong prematurely it will jeoperdize her chances of future employment in Canada where she would be able to have the child with her.

I should mention that there is no affection between the father and my sister and there are quite definitely no plans for marriage.

What can we do to ensure that the child remains in the care and custody of our family, in accordance with my sister’s wishes but with visiting rights accorded to the father as necessary?

My sister and my family are the only ones supporting the welfare of the child The father is inherently lazy and makes no attempt to find gainful employment. We supported him to undergo a training course as a driver but the money was wasted and he still prefers to do nothing. He has no other source of income other than the money which is remitted by my sister for the benefit of the child.

We would like documentary confirmation, or a court order if necessary, to reaffirm our rights to raise and educate the child within my family in accordance with my sister’s wishes. Faced with non-cooperation by the father I hope you will be able to help us.

Regards
Anne

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Since your sister and her daughter’s biological father are not married, the child is illegitimate. Under Article 176 of the Family Code, parental authority belongs to your sister. The father absolutely does not have any say on the child’s upbringing; all decisions belong to your sister.

2. Please read my articles on RA 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 in my blogs (Legal Updates and Salt and Light). Look for the links in the sidebar, or in the FAQ section of my Family Matters website (www.familymatters.org.ph). There is also a complete copy of RA 9262 in my FM websie.

Through a Protection Order under RA 9262, your sister can gain custody of her daughter. Section 9 of RA 9262 enumerates the persons who can apply for a Protection Order. These are the following:

(a) the offended party
(b) parents or guardians of the offended party;
(c) ascendants, descendants or collateral relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity;
(d) officers or social workers of the DSWD or social workers of local government units (LGUs);
(e) police officers, preferably those in charge of women and children's desks;
(f) Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad;
(g) lawyer, counselor, therapist or healthcare provider of the petitioner;
(h) At least two (2) concerned responsible citizens of the city or municipality where the violence against women and their children occurred and who have personal knowledge of the offense committed.


This means that even if your sister cannot file the petition for Protection Order herself, these other persons can file the petition to regain custody of the child. Take note especially of letters (b) and (c) which refer to parents and collateral relatives

Anonymous said...

Hello Atty. Galacio,

Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful reply. The position seems very clear now and my sister has been saved much anxiety and stress. We can now concentrate on doing whatever is best for the child in accordance with my sister's wishes.

I will discuss the matter further with my sister in Hong Kong before taking the next step.

Thank you again for the good news and for bringing great relief to all of us.

Best regards
Anne

Anonymous said...

hi atty...i am a mother of a turning 6year old son this year.. i was married with his father..were separated for 2years now...within the last years my son was with me..without any any financial support form the father..the father and his family are always bugging me for the rights of the father to my son but i kept on tellin them -whats that right?- he never supported my son for almost two years without hearing anything from me...now.. my problem is.. we had setllement that he will be with my son on every sunday..it was settled that way... until i need to go abroad just these february..my big problem is.... they get my son without my concent and they told my parents that it was said that if one party will work abroad..the custody of the child will be on the other side...that was not fair.. it was said that my son will be at my custody..how can that be..?whats the rightb of the father to get my son from my parents if hes not around all day to be wuth my son...lola lang at yaya ngababantay sa son ko.. is that right>do thet have the right to have the custody of my son whiule i am in abroad ?please help me..i really need ur help..so much bothered here..-ms.k

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Ms. K,

Articles 213 and 214 of the Family Code are the applicable laws in your case. These articles state:

Art. 213. In case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.
No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.

Art. 214. In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent. In case several survive, the one designated by the court, taking into account the same consideration mentioned in the preceding article, shall exercise the authority.


You must file a petition with the Family Court asking that substitute parental authority be exercised by your own parents while you are abroad. You can try to get free legal help from the PAO (Public Attorneys Office), from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) of the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City, or from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter office in your town or city, The IBP chapter offices are usually located in the Hall of Justice of towns and cities.

Facultee said...

Hi Atty. Galacio,

This is my 3rd time to consult with you. I was supposed to email you in private, but thought that other readers my learn also from my case the way I get information in return.

To refresh my case, my husband is working in Singapore for 12 years now, he has a concubine and a kid. They got married here in 1999, the woman is declared as his wife in all the legal documents in Singapore and also his dependent and so as their kid. Lived together there for 9 yrs.

Last 2006, i have issued a 1 page affidavit of consent granting my husband to be the guardian of my kids coz we plan then ( i have no knowldege yet of his situation abroad having an illicit affair) that they will continue their education in Singapore, then I will follow to look for a job. But the said affidavit was rejected by the Ministry of Education according to him.

Since i have learned his adulterous acts just this year and confronted him, my husband told me that he already left his concubine and they have an agreement already. He really planned it to leave them before i knew it, and be with us finally, but... in Singapore too.

Now, the plan of bringing my kids to study there continues. My husband was asking from me to again issue an affidavit but this time it must be an ABSOLUTE CUSTODY (AC) since the prior was rejected. I was not conforming with the idea because of our present situation that it might be a bait, but according to him if I dont like to issue, it's ok with him, but he will blame me if in case our kids won't be able to study this year. I am not sure what kind of agreement they had (him and the concubine). I was afraid that my husband might take away my kids and get all the custody from me. By default, I dont need to issue such custody as he is the father of my kids. But as per our discussion, it will just be used to be submitted to the Ministry of Education so as not again be rejected to his application of Student Pass. because if I will be the one to take my kids as my dependents, I'm not sure yet if I can find a job there by May or June this year. So it might take long, but if he applies for it, our kids will be automatically granted a PASS thru him.

My worry, in all his legal and public documents the concubine is declared as his legal wife, my 2kids and their kid were declared too. Where am I in the picture? They might take my kids.

Here are my questions Atty.

1. Given the benefit of the doubt that my husband is sencere to what he said for the purpose only of education that we need to issue an AC. Will I give in to what my husband suggested, issuing an Absolute Custody (AC??

2. In case I agree, must this be issued under Philippines or Singapore Law, since the usage will be there for studies purposes?

3. In case it was a bait, is there an effect to me when I conform? Isn't it that it is already waiving my rights to my kids? (by the way, they 14 & 13 yrs old)

4. In case yes, what agreement in details can i possibly stipulate in the AC that I will not be aggrieved? Like, equal rights and authority of parents to our kids?

5. What would be the implication to me when we are finally there? Would it come out that I am the illegal wife? Since the Singapore government might be in favor of their affair as the other was declared as the legal wife.

Atty, is there any other option, that you may suggest? Thank you so much, I appreciate your deepest and sincere assistance.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Article 210 of the Family Code states. “Parental authority and responsibility may not be renounced or transferred except in the cases authorized by law.”

The exceptions authorized by law are in cases of adoption, court judgments carrying with it the penalty of civil interdiction, etc. The other provisions of the FC with regards parental authority that are applicable to you are the following:

Art. 209. Pursuant to the natural right and duty of parents over the person and property of their unemancipated children, parental authority and responsibility shall include the caring for and rearing them for civic consciousness and efficiency and the development of their moral, mental and physical character and well-being.

Art. 210. Parental authority and responsibility may not be renounced or transferred except in the cases authorized by law.
Art. 211. The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.

Children shall always observe respect and reverence towards their parents and are obliged to obey them as long as the children are under parental authority.


2. Article 210 is the view from the standpoint of Philippine law. You have to inquire with the Singaporean embassy or consulate here as to the legal implications of such a document (Absolute Custody). But it can be foreseen that there will be a lot of legal and practical complications with such a document.

3. If ever you decide to trust your husband’s sincerity, then at the very least, the document must state the facts that you are legally married to your husband (stating the details as to place, date, etc) possibly with a copy of your marriage certificate as an annex of the document, that these children are your legitimate offspring, the relevant provisions of the Family Code, that you are not in any way giving up your parental authority over our children (as this is prohibited by the Family Code as I pointed out), and that such document is for the purpose of your children’s education only.

Personally however, I will advise you NOT to issue such a document.

4. The Bible says that there is safety in the multitude of counselors. You should obtain other legal opinions from the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) of your town or city; from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) of the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City; or from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter offices. The IBP Main Office is in Dona Julia Vargas Avenue at the back of SM Megamall near the Philippine Stock Exchange building while the chapter offices are usually located in the Hall of Justice of towns or cities.

Facultee said...

Dear Atty.,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.

I had spoken with my husband today, and found out the reason why the ICA (Immigration) asking for an Absolute Custody. When he presented the birth certificate of my kids, the officer saw that the name of the mother of the kids is not the declared wife in Singapore but me so there was already conflict and inconsistency to the documents presented. And that the previous Affidavit of Consent which I issued was rejected because when he presented the said document, the clauses which I stipulated is confined to Singapore only, i.e. food, shelter, education, allowance. So the immigration officer look for a wider scope of clauses which do not contain agreement only for Singapore purposes. Probably my husband did not explain the sitaution.

Today, he just mentioned that the kids are being affected because of the situation specially their studies. SO he wanted to prioritize the settlement of the kids education which as per the immigration, is to issue an AC. Next is, he will fix the "wife" side issue (legal & public docs) in Singapore and change it to be me.

Atty.,Is what Im thinking a possible solution or correct? I was thinking,( when he mentioned that he will fix the "wife" side issue, an idea popped into my mind) for me not to issue an AC coz I am really hesitant, much better if my husband fix the divorce/annulment 1st in Singapore to his concubine. Singapore is open to divorce. And the divorce paper be presented to their immigration, so to have a consistent set of documents for application of the student pass of our kids.(i.e. our marriage contract, birth cert, employment pass, etc.)

Later on, we will problem the nullity of their marriage here in the Philippines on how. Would it probably take longer time?

I always hope that our marriage will survive.

Thank you so much Atty. God bless.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Question: when your husband said that he will fix the situation in Singapore, did he explicitly mention the word divorce?

I agree with your idea that your husband should first deal with the problem of his 2nd wife before you issue that document. From the standpoint of Singaporean law, it might be easy since divorce is allowed there. But since your husband got married to the woman here in the Philippines (if I remember correctly), then the situation is much more messed up legally here in the Philippines.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

P.S. I appreciate your desire to forgive your husband and for striving to have a good marriage despite everything that has happened.Please browse my blog Salt and Light for the article entitled “And the two shall become one” located at
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2007/12/and-two-shall-become-one.html
The article is based on the true story of Anne Kristin Carroll who was divorced at 18 from her childhood sweetheart, met and married another man at age twenty-one. She eventually got divorced again but by God’s grace, she reconciled with and remarried that same man. Carroll says “The best marriages are still made up of two human beings, and as much as they may love each other, at some time, or some place, they will disappoint one another.”

Facultee said...

Dear Atty. Galacio,

Thank you so much, and I dearly appreciate your advices and views about my situation :-)

Again, I had spoken with my husband thru YM, had exchanges of thoughts and some arguments. To again verify if he was married in Singapore in civil or in church, he said no, it was only here in the Philippines. He doesnt tell me yet of the whole story why all things happened, why until now they live in the same flat, he wants us to talk when we get there next month, which i respected. Given the benefit of the doubt.

About fixing the situation first, he won't be able to do it as per his explanation because of time constraints. WIll it take to long to nullify their marriage? HOw long, Sir? We will fly next month, he has to apply for the pass in ICA, it has to be approved within 1 wk, otherwise, the kids might stop schooling which we don't like both to happen, or our kids must be back here and continue to study by June since they might be late also in attending class here. The class there starts in January. He doesn't want the kids to return here anymore.

Atty., I have no choice but to issue an AC with the clauses you have mentioned that my rights will not be waived.

Am I right, Atty.? I requested him to issue an affidavit to supercede the AC that it will just be a "show-document" for the immigration? That after the kids be approved, it will be void? Is this possible? With that idea I made him agree. But I dont know the possibility, if doable or will that have weight to override the AC in case issued?

Since the nullification is not yet fixed, I just took his word, "im doing something to put your name back as the legal wife, that's why i'm fixing things,but ryt now the priority are the kids, and there's no more time..."

I told him what I worried about, that I will not be in the picture, he has my kids, the concubine is still the legal wife there. I want to have a peace of mind that my kids will not be taken away from me or worst be abducted.

Thank you so much, Atty. The first time I saw your website, I started reading your Salt and Light, I recalled what you've commented, that most of your viewers were interested in your blog about separation and annulment and never in restoring the marriage, :-), guilty as it may, we're trying to fix ours.

God bless po Atty. Galacio!!! More power to you, a "faceless" counsel and adviser in the net. :-)

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. As I told you, the Bible says there is safety in the multitude of counselors. Please consult other lawyers who may be able to provide with other perspectives on your situation. Whenever a lawyer is asked for information or counsel, he or she forms what we lawyers call as the THEORY OF THE CASE. It happens oftentimes that each lawyer has his or her own theory about a case or situation.

2. As I said, the situation your husband is in right now is messed up legally here in the Philippines. One, he can be charged with bigamy for having entered into another marriage while his first marriage was subsisting. Bigamy is a public crime which means that any person with knowledge of the crime can report it and initiate the filing of the criminal complaint. He can also be charged by the second wife with violations of RA 9262 Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004. Even if he is able to get a divorce in Singapore as to the second marriage, he can still be charged with bigamy or with RA 9262.

Two, as to having the second marriage declared null and void, that is also a problem for your husband. The Supreme Court Rule on annulment of voidable marriages and declaration of nullity of void marriages provides that it is only the parties concerned (meaning the man and the woman) who can file the petition. Meaning, you yourself cannot file the petition for declaration of nullity.

Three, our courts observe the principle of equity, meaning any person who comes to court must come with clean hands. What ground can your husband use to justify having the second marriage declared null and void, when all along he knew that his first marriage (to you) was subsisting? If he files a petition for declaration of nullity, he is practically admitting that he has committed bigamy. This is called in law as admission against interest.

3. After consulting other lawyers, your parents and relatives, and close friends about your situation, you will have a better perspective on your situation. Ultimately however, you have to make the decisions.

Facultee said...

Dear Atty. Galacio,

Many thanks to your explanation. I am enlightened with it, it just sad that my husband is a narrow-minded that he won't believe any of these, though. Even if I informed him that I already consulted to lawyers.

I once again want to address to you if my idea of the issuance of affidavit is doable? I requested him to issue an affidavit to supercede the Absolute Custody (AC)that it will just be a "show-document" for the immigration? That after the kids be approved of the student pass, it will be void? Is this possible? But I dont know the possibility of this, will that have weight to override the AC in case issued? My husband conforme already about this idea.

Another thing Atty., i've read your suggestion to the other viewer that she may speak to the couple Ptr. who are marriage counselors with a radio program in DZAS. Can I also ask for a counsel thru email? Is it possible to get their e-mail address.

Thank you so much. More power.

Facultee said...

Atty. Galacio,

Sir, just a follow-up, i probably misinterpreted you, when you say look for other legal counsels, are you referring to my question about the issuance of the affidavit of my husband to override the absolute custody which we will submit to the ICA? If doable or not?

If so, sir, my apology of posting the same question. I thought it is for the entire situation.

Thanks a lot..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

facultee,

1. Both actually. In order for any lawyer to advise you properly on whether to issue that AC document or not, you would have to provide all the background information about your husband’s situation.

2. Ptr. Clem Guillermo and his wife are the counselors in DZAS 702 Khz Heartline program 10:30 PM up to 12. Another Heartline counselor whom I know personally is Ptr. Mark Sosmena (he is also the host for the Chip Ingram program “Living On The Edge” at an earlier time slot 8:30 PM). You can contact Ptr. Clem and his wife, and Ptr. Mark at DZAS. I do not know if they counsel by e-mail. I will recommend however that you see them personally.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Your child is illegitimate and so under Article 176 of the Family Code, you have SOLE parental authority over her. Your so-called “fiancé” does not have any right to ask for custody or to even insist on visitation rights.

I doubt very much if the court will grant his petition in view of Article 176. I am assuming that when you said petition, you are referring to a court petition.

Since your fiancé has already filed a case in court, you should file a COUNTERCLAIM under RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 (there's a copy of this law in my Family Matters website under the Relevant Laws section). Please take note that RA 9262 applies to you even if you are not married.

You can try to get FREE legal help from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) from the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City, or the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your town or city. The IBP chapter offices are usually found in the Hall of Justice of cities.

Among your options are filing against your fiance a civil case for damages (with Protection Order), OR a criminal case for psychological violence (his verbal abuse, public humiliation, harassment, etc) where the penalty is six to twelve years imprisonment. You should keep his text messages as part of your evidence.

As part of your counterclaim, you can ask for financial support for you and your child, you can do so under a Protection Order as provided for by RA 9262. I have several articles on RA 9262 in my blogs (Legal Updates, and Salt and Light). Specifically, you should read the following articles:

Support for abandoned woman and family
http://famli.blogspot.com/2006/10/support-for-abandoned-woman-and-family.html

Hope and help for the battered woman (4): Emotional abuse/psychological violence
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2006/06/hope-and-help-for-battered-woman-4.html

Hope and help for the battered woman (3): RA 9262 Protection Orders
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2006/06/hope-and-help-for-battered-woman-3-ra.html

Hope and help for the battered woman (2): RA 9262 essential provisions
http://-salt-and-light-.blogspot.com/2006/05/hope-and-help-for-battered-woman-2-ra.html


Along with the petition for Protection Order, you can ask the court to issue a Hold Departure Order so that he will not be able to leave the country while your counterclaim is going on.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty,

Question on child custody, if the mother is maltreating the husband like verbal abuse, emotional blackmailing, threats...can the husband use this against his wife to gain custody of the children?

Thanks

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

In custody disputes, the paramount criterion is the welfare and well-being of the child. In arriving at its decision as to whom custody of the minor should be given, the court takes into account the respective resources and social and moral situations of the contending parents.

Among the compelling reasons for which a mother can be deprived of custody of her child are neglect, abandonment, unemployment and immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable illness. These compelling reasons have to do with the mother’s treatment of the child.

The reasons you cited (verbal abuse, emotional blackmail, etc) concern the mother and the father, and do not seem to be reflective of the relationship between the mother and the child.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty. Gerry,

My brother has a child but the child's mother left her when she was 2 months old. They were not married and the girl got separated from her legal husband. We also heard that she has another partner and have had another child. The child now is 5 years old and im the one supporting my niece' expenses (tuition, necessity). What can I do for me to be the legal guardian of my niece? My brother is currently unemployed and I want to help him with his child since I was the one who took care of her when her mother left. please advise. thanks

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You should file a petition for guardianship under A.M. No. 03-02-05-SC Rule on Guardianship of Minors (there is a complete copy under the Legal Procedures section of www.familymatters.org.ph). This Rule amended Rules 92 to 97 of the Rules of Court pertaining to guardianship. The essential provisions of the Rule are:

Sec. 4. Grounds of petition. - The grounds for the appointment of a guardian over the person or property, or both, of a minor are the following:

(a) death, continued absence, or incapacity of his parents;

(b) suspension, deprivation or termination of parental authority;

(c) remarriage of his surviving parent, if the latter Is found unsuitable to exercise parental authority; or

(d) when the best interests of the minor so require.

Sec. 5. Qualifications of guardians. – In appointing a guardian, the court shall consider the guardian’s:

(a) moral character;

(b) physical, mental and psychological condition;

(c) financial status;

(d) relationship of trust with the minor;

(e) availability to exercise the powers and duties of a guardian for the full period of the guardianship;

(f) lack of conflict of interest with the minor; and

(g) ability to manage the property of the minor.

Sec. 6. Who may be appointed guardian of the person or property, or both, of a minor. –

In default of parents or a court-appointed guardian, the court may appoint a guardian of the person or property, or both, of a minor, observing as far as practicable, the following order of preference:

(a) the surviving grandparent and In case several grandparents survive, the court shall select any of them taking Into account all relevant considerations;

(b) the oldest brother or sister of the minor over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified;

(c) the actual custodian of the minor over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified; and

(d) any other person, who in the sound discretion of the court, would serve the best interests of the minor.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

4 yrs ago I was incarcerated on a drug traffiking charge. my sons were with me. during that time my children were takin from me and there father legitamized them. now I'm home can I get custody back, we are goin to court and he has temp custody right now they are 4 yrs. now. I took acountability for my actions but I still suffor the absence of my children. I visit and give him money. I'm guilt ridden, wut is ur opinion do u think I have a chance he lives in ahouse of 12 people and it is his mother how many cares for my children.i know I was wrong for havin them,but at the time there father was not supportin us financially, and I had to do what I did

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

What do you mean by “father legitamized them”? Are your sons legitimate or illegitimate? If they are illegitimate, then sole parental authority and custody belongs to you under Article 176 of the Family Code.
If they are legitimate, custody belongs to you since they are below seven years of age. However, your conviction in a drugs case is a ground for depriving you of custody.

You can try to get free legal help from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your town or city, OR from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) from the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City. The IBP chapter offices are usually found in the Hall of Justice of cities.

Anonymous said...

I hope you can help me, I have a 4 years old son and he is using his fathers name, but im not married with his father..Now im here in U.S and now married with american guy...My son is now staying in my mom in the philippines and me and my husband is supporting him, especially his school..His father sometimes went to my mom's place to visit the kid but just that, no finacial support at all...My husband wants to adopt my son so we can bring him here and live with us... Is that possible to adopt the kid without the consent of his father even the kid is using his fathers name? What are the legal things to do? Thanks

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Even if your son is using his biological father’s surname, he is still illegitimate since you are not married to his father. Under Article 176 of the Family Code, you have sole parental authority over him.

2. Are you still a Filipino citizen or have you already become an American citizen?

RA 8552 is the Philippine law on domestic adoption. There is a copy of RA 8552 in the Relevant Laws section of my website www.familymatters.org.ph

Please also read my article in this blog entitled “Procedures in adoption under RA 8552” at http://famli.blogspot.com/2007/11/procedures-in-adoption-under-ra-8552.html

Without having to go through adoption by RA 8552, you can try to get your son to be with you in the US. If the DSWD grants a travel clearance for your son, he can go to the US. You can then try to go through the adoption process using American law. You have to inquire with the DSWD though its website as to the requirements for travel clearance. You also have to inquire with an American lawyer as to the possibility of adoption being done over there.

Anonymous said...

ive been reading some of your blogs and they made me realize that i am already an emotionally and psychologically battered wife. though i want to be separated with my husband, i am afraid that i will not gain custody over my 3 year old child, like what he would always tell me. i am currently employed and i see that i have a lot of things ahead of me. i see no reason why i cant have my child other than my husband's belief that i committed adultery. but in my heart, i know i did not commit it. can you please define adultery? because my perception of it has already been distorted.

thanks.

Anonymous said...

please define immorality also which can cause a mother to be deprived of her child. thanks

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. The Family Code provides that a child below seven years cannot be separated from the mother, unless there are compelling reasons.

Please take note that in custody disputes, “it is axiomatic that the paramount criterion is the welfare and well-being of the child. In arriving at its decision as to whom custody of the minor should be given, the court must take into account the respective resources and social and moral situations of the contending parents."

2. As to the definition of adultery, please read my article on “Adultery, concubinage and psychological violence” in this blog. Please look for the link in the sidebar. You can also download a PDF newsletter on this topic by using the link below

http://www.familymatters.org.ph/PDF%20newsletters/Legal%20issues%20and%20family%20matters%20number%20002%20June%2030%202008.pdf

As to the term “immorality” or “immoral conduct” the Philippine Law Dictionary defines it as “that conduct which is willful, flagrant or shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members of the community.” Black’s Law Dictionary defines “immorality” as “not confined to sexual matters but includes conduct inconsistent with rectitude, or indicative of corruption, indecency, depravity or dissoluteness.”

In the case of Unson III vs. Navarro 101 SCRA 183, the mother was deprived of custody on the ground that she was living in with brother-in-law.

As to whether something constitutes “immorality” or not, that will have to be settled by the court.

4. When a man (husband, live-in partner or boyfriend) threatens w woman by saying that he will take away a common child, that act constitutes the crime of psychological violence under RA 9262. The penalty is six years imprisonment as minimum up to twelve years maximum. Please read my articles here on RA 9262.

If a man does indeed take away the common child, the woman can regain custody of the child under a Protection Order issued by the Family Court.

5. If you want people to pray for you for whatever your needs are, please follow this link to a prayer room for men and women:

http://womentodaymagazine.com/chat/share.html

Anonymous said...

Dear Atty. Galacio,

I am currently working here in UAE and have decided to file an annulment once I get home for a vacation by this year. It was a tiring 8 years of marriage and it took me sometime to gain the courage to end it up. I know the cost of filing an annulment, that's why I have delayed it much long. The reality is I am not after to have the annulment done at the soonest but to gain the primary custody of my 6 year old son. I have no choice but to come back here to work after a month vacation and I have consulted already a lawyer. Our lawyer said that I can take my son from my husband's place anytime when I get home. On the contrary, as soon as I come back here in UAE, the lawyer said that my husband have the right to take it back eventhough my parents are well-trusted enough to take care of my son while I am away. I want my son to stay with my parents, but it does not mean that the father cannot visit or borrow him. The father of my son has accused me of some immoralities and have hurt even my family who knows everything. I tried to keep quiet not to defend myself because I also don't know how to convince him that I am only for after for a good opportunity here. By the way, if the father will agree and sign the petition allowing my son to live here with me as for me to be with my son also, I am willing to process the necessary documents. I need an advise as the lawyer that I have consulted leave me nothing but on the loosing end.
Please help.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

As I discussed in this post, Article 213 of the Family Code is the governing law in custody battles between husband and wife. The article states:

In case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.

No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.


In your petition for declaration of nullity of your marriage, the court will rule on whom between you and your husband has the right of custody of your child. The court can terminate the parental authority of either you or your husband, depending on the evidence presented. If parental authority is not terminated, then the court will rule on the issue of visitation rights (if you cannot agree by yourselves on this issue).

Since your husband is questioning your moral fitness as a mother, then the court will have to hear the evidence both of you will present. Even if you apply for a Protection Order under RA 9262 to gain custody of your child, your husband has the right to present his own evidence against you.

Anonymous said...

Atty, Gerry,

I have a 3 year old child who is now staying with his father since I am abroad . Her father and I are not married and I am supporting my daughter since her father is jobless. I talked to my ex if I can take my daughter and stay with me, but He strongly to said No. I have my U.s fiancee visa petition and my daughter is entittled to that too but my problem is her father. I am thinking of filing a case for this but I dont know how to start.

I know your advice could help me.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your child is illegitimate and so under Article 176, parental authority belongs to you. This is true even if your child is using her biological father’s surname under Ra 9255.

Through a Protection Order under RA 9262, you can regain custody of your child. (Please read my RA 9262 posts in this blog; look for the links in the sidebar).You can then apply for a travel clearance from the DSWD so that you can bring your child to where you are now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your advice. Just a question. Does the travel clearance need a signature of her father? My ex warned me that if I take my daughter away from him, it will be a big mess. I was thinking of taking my daughter without his permission. But I am afraid, he might file a case of kidnapping.
Just confused what to do. there's a law but the person is the most difficult to handle.

Anonymous said...

Atty Gerry,

I'm in a relationship with a woman whose marriage is not yet annulled to her legal husband. The woman and I got a child, but eventually, we got personal problems and she took away the child from our house against my will. obviously, the Art. 213 of the FC states that:

No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.

My question is, can I state in the court that the child should be taken away from her, To have custody of my son by using 'immorality' as a compelling reason, because she engaged in a relationship w/me, w/o the annullment of her marriage first.Moreover, if she engaged in another relationship after our relationship and still not yet annulled to her legal-husband..I know that I can't file adultery on her, but can I state her of being an 'immoral' as a compelling reason to have my custody of my son?

please help me...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your child is illegitimate and so under Article 176, parental authority (which includes custody) belongs to the biological mother. Even if your child is using your surname under RA 9255, the child is still illegitimate. You cannot even insist on visitation rights because of Article 176.

You cannot use Article 213 since such article speaks of a legally married husband and wife.

You can try to file a petition to have the parental authority of the mother terminated and for such authority to be transferred to you. But because of Article 176, this will be an uphill struggle for you.

Moreover, our courts follow the princple of equity which states, “He who comes to court must come with clean hands.” You knew that the woman was legally married when you had your relationship with her. That will be taken by the court against you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty Gerry,

As I browsed all the comments on this blog,i've realized that I have the same situation like most of the father's comments here that they want to take their illegitimate son from their mother for compelling reasons.In my case, can I state that the child should be taken away from her because she's exposing our baby to communicable diseases like TB that can endanger the health & life of our child.here's our situation, our 1 1/2 yr.old son is suffering from TB because she exposed it to her grandmother who is the originator of TB,moreover, her grandma's place/area has an unlikely condition where anyone can say that the environment/living-condition is not good for our baby because everytime our baby stays there, he loses weight.since the time our baby is diagnosed of TB,me & my common-law wife decided to live together for the first time in my parents' house for the sake of the 6-month recovery period of our child.after 3months,unfortunately me & common-law wife got problems and she did a very selfish thing,she came back to her grandmom.she's insane for doing that because our son's pedia advised that the medication will be worthless if our baby is still exposed to the TB originator.She only thinks about herself and our personal problems,but the thing here is our son shouldn't be the one's suffering from his mom's liberate ideas.My family is disappointed about her since my mother(a medtech)is the one who sensed and advised my son's pedia to have an X-ray,and then we discovered that he really has a TB.So now, I always go to her grandma'splace to visit my son and the worst thing here, is she doesn't want my son to be checked-up by her pedia when I invite her that I will drive her & my son to the pedia's house.My son also needs to have some booster doses of vaccines, but still, she's selfish that she deprives me of doing my responsibility to our son.

Pls. help me Atty,
1.what can I do to someone like her whose obviously doing insane acts that can endanger the health of our son.Isnt' it that"In custody disputes,it is axiomatic that the paramount criterion is the welfare and well-being of the child..

2. I've read that" In view of the foregoing obsevation of the SC, it is clear that Art.211 on joint parental authority applies to both legitimate & illegitimate children.

The other statement is that'If the alleged father admits that the child is his and it is shown that it is really his child & even acknowledges that the child is his and the father lives together w/the child & the mother of the said child under a void marriage or w/o benefit of marriage,Art.211 of the FC will apply,which provides that'The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary"

-It even says there that"the father's subsequent separation from the mother and the illegitimate child shall not divest him of parental authority"-

so that's it Atty Gerry,the Art.211 is really applicable because I have all the requisites for Art.211 to be applied to illegitimate children.Pls. help me.what can you advice for me..mostly for the welfare and well-being of our baby,who is suffering from TB.my common-law wife is really self-centered, which makes her do insane things like these..Pls. help us..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. You cited certain things regarding Article 211 without giving the exact Supreme Court decision from which the statements were taken. I searched the SC website and Google for the source of your citations but I have not been able to track down the specific SC decision. Where did you get these citations?

In Briones vs. Miguel, the Court ruled that “an illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of the mother. In the exercise of that authority, she is entitled to keep the child in her company. The Court will not deprive her of custody, absent any imperative cause showing her unfitness to exercise such authority and care.”

In Silva vs. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court sustained the visitorial right of an illegitimate father over his children in view of the constitutionally protected inherent and natural right of parents over their children. The issue in Silva however was visitation rights and not custody.

2. Anyway, what you should do is to file a petition for GUARDIANSHIP (there is a copy of the SC Rule on Guardianship in the Legal Procedures section of my Family Matters website). In your petition, you should include a prayer (in layman's terms, a request) for immediate temporary custody to be given to you or at the discretion of the judge to the DSWD for immediate medical treatment of your child.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty. Gerry

Hi It's me again,the one you just recently answered.related to my son's condition who is suffering from TB,isn't it that one of the compelling reasons in taking the child is if the mother is insane?

1) (insanity) - she already did an act of insanity upon exposing our child again into the TB originator.

2) the second ground is (affliction of communicable disease) - although my common-law wife doesn't have TB, she indeed knows that whenever the child is exposed again to the TB originator, the treatment will take longer and can make the child worsely-ill.any pediatrician knows that it is for the good of the child to be prevented from the TB originator.

That's it Atty Gerry,not just any pediatrician knows that it is for the good of the child, but of course, also the court right. The chances of terminating her parental authority is very high right? I really wish that there will be a bill that should be passed for those liberate woman who doesn't care about the welfare of the child because of her pride. She really has an attitude Atty., I even invite her to go w/me to a parenting seminar but she refused.I tried my best to save our relationship, but if that might not happen, at least I ccan save my son from her.

Moreover, my situation is somehow alike to the sample SC decision above about the girl named'Gardin Faith.i even remembered these statements above that:

Bearing in mind that the welfare of the said minor as the controlling factor, we find that the appellate court did not err in allowing her father (private respondent herein) to retain in the meantime parental custody over her. Meanwhile, the child should not be wrenched from her familiar surroundings, and thrust into a strange environment away from the people and places to which she had apparently formed an attachment.

-My baby used to live in my parent's house where the attachment of my baby to my parents and my siblings are intact, rather than the strange environment for our baby in my common-law wifes' place which is in her grandma's house.And like I said earlier, I have a strong proof that whenever our child stays away from our house(my parent's house),he loses weight and can't cope-up to the equivalent weight by age.

Regarding to your question if where did I found the articles regarding Article 211 where I will state again that:

'If the alleged father admits that the child is his and it is shown that it is really his child & even acknowledges that the child is his and the father lives together w/the child & the mother of the said child under a void marriage or w/o benefit of marriage,Art.211 of the FC will apply,which provides that'The father and the mother shall jointly exercise parental authority over the persons of their common children. In case of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary"
------------AND ALSO--------------
-It even says there that"the father's subsequent separation from the mother and the illegitimate child shall not divest him of parental authority'

* I found it in the 'Persons and Family Realations Law, Fourth Edition 2004 STA. MARIA,to be exact, I found the statements which I quoted above on pages 754-755

I hope that I can save my child from her..Thanks for your advice Atty. If you will give me another advice aside from the previous one, that I should file a petition for GUARDIANSHIP.please let me know, so that her parental authority can be fully-terminated for the better welfare and future of my son.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. I checked the book “Persons and Family Relations” by Sta. Maria today. I found out that with regards Article 211 of the Family Code, he cited the case of Dempsey vs. RTC. I did find the part of the book (which you quoted) wherein Atty. Sta. Maria argues that Article 211 applies even to illegitimate children. But that is merely his own view and is not backed up by any Supreme Court decision. In fact, I checked other leading authors on “Persons” like Paras, Jurado, Albano, etc and they do NOT even mention what Sta. Maria discussed. I also asked another lawyer specializing in Family Law and she said that Article 176 is quite clear that parental authority of an illegitimate child belongs solely to the mother. I am sorry but the prevailing view runs counter to what Atty. Sta. Maria discussed in his book. (His argument would have been stronger if he had cited the deliberations of the commission which drafted the Family Code but he did not.)

2. Nevertheless, as I said, you can file a petition for guardianship under the Supreme Court Rule on Guardianship of Minors. Rules 92 to 97 of the Rules of Court have been replaced by this Rule which you can find in the Legal Procedures section of my Family Matters website.

You can also ask the lawyer you will retain as to the filing a petition for the termination of the mother’s parental authority and for such authority to be transferred to you.

3. Please read my August 20 article in this blog titled “Visitation rights over illegitimate children.”

Anonymous said...

what is the remedy of a mother who was deprived of custody of her 8 year old son? facts of the case: the boy was taken by his uncle and auntie on his father side, from the "yaya" while the mother was in the province checking her business. in the following day, the boy was brought to the hospital allegedly has dengue. uncle/auntie who took the boy faulted the mother because if not for her negligence, the boy would be brought to the hospital for dengue. when the boy was discharged, the uncle/auntie forcibly brought the boy to thier house, they did give the boy to her mother despite repreated pleas. until now, the boy was in thier custody. they furhter went to the dswd to make a blotter that the boy was maltreated by her were in fact and in truth, was not maltreated. the schooling of the boy was stopped due to the act of the said uncle/auntie. what is your advise? what would be the possible remedy?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The mother should file a petition for HABEAS CORPUS in order to regain custody of the child.

If the uncle and aunt are acting in behalf of the biological father, then a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262 is also a possible remedy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty,

A am a permanent resident here in the US now for 2 years. Due to the type of VISA that was filed by my father to me, I was not able to take my son, who's now 3 years old, with me when I left the Philippines. I needed to file a separate petition for him that will take at least 3-5 years to process. When I first left for the US, my boyfriend and I were still in somewhat good terms and so I left my son to him but I consistently send financial support to my son and my mother who's in the Philippines as well will come and pick him up to stay with her during the weekends. After a year of staying here in the US, my relationship with my boyfriend ended and I came home to the Philippines to take my son and entrust her to my mom. I still made an arrangement with the father in writing signed by both of us that he can still have my son 2 weeks every month but made it clear that I can cancel this right anytime. I also stated in the paper we both signed that I am entrusting my son under the guardianship of my mother. However, just 3 weeks ago my ex-bf decided not to return my son anymore to my mom after the two weeks stay of my son on their side and says that since I am currently outside the country it will be better for my son be under his father's guardianship. Is there anything that I can do so my mom can get my son back while I am in the US. What is the best thing to do? Should I just go back home and stay in the Philippines and throw away all the hardwork I did here in the US just to have my son back?

Thank you very much

anne said...

Hello Atty, Good morning!

Regarding the mail I sent you last April 11, 2008 7:38 AM on the site Can a mother be deprived of child custody?... I sent a copy to my sister in Hong Kong your helpful reply.

First week till 2nd week of this month, the grandmother of my sister´s daughter went to visit in Hong Kong, my sister (not married to her son) politely talked to her of her plans that she wanted her daughter be raised by our family and be transfered to a private school in our town. The child is studying at her father´s town at my sister´s expense. The father has no job and surprisingly been in hiding since few months ago because he again fathered another child to a another younger woman (under age if to be correct). So the child is under the care of her father´s old parents. On November 15, our younger sister under guidance of our sister in HKong, borrowed the child to spend her 4th birthday with my family. My sister in Hongkong then advised our sister not to return the child to them since she knew that there will be no future for her and her child´s father to end up together and added with the fact of the man´s irresponsibility of fathering another child to another woman whom he wasn´t prepared to take responsible action.

The day before yesterday, the father´s mother abd her sons along with their CIDG agent friend went to our home town to get the child and told my sister that they are going to sue her for kidnapping. The mother that my sister thought understood her is now violent and thrown disgusting words to my sister and they are threatening my family.

Atty, is this correct that my sister be liable for kidnapping since she is only abiding our sister´s wishes? That the child will be cared under our family´s custody? I hope you can reply immediately for we are expecting that the man and his family might see my family again today, My family alerted the police in case they are there so to seek protection whatever may happen..

Thank you Attorney for your kind help.. God bless you!,Anne

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your son is illegitimate and so therefore under Article 176 of the Family Code, you have SOLE parental authority over him.

The only right that your boyfriend has is that of visitation. Please read my post in this blog about visitation rights over illegitimate children (look for the link in the sidebar). Or you can download my free PDF newsletter on this topic from www.familymatters.org.ph

You can ask you mother to file a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262 in order to regain custody of your child. Please read my RA 9262 posts in this blog. RA 9262 allows the filing of a Protection Order by people who have personal knowledge of the facts.

Anne said...

Dear Atty,

I notice you have not replied to my mail last November 20, 2008 9:09 AM if our younger sister is liable for kidnapping case. Our sister is in Hong Kong and her child was left to be shared custody between our family and the child´s father and his family. Over a year now they are reluctant in sharing us our neice. Few months ago, the father of the child left our neice to his parents and he is in hiding because he got another woman pregnant and he does´nt want committment with her. Since my sister knew her rights, she ordered our younger sister to borrow our neice from her grandparents (father side)and instructed her not to return the child. Now, that family has filed a summon for my younger sister and threatened her for kidnapping. Will our younger sister be jailed of kidnapping since she is only following an order from our sister abroad?
Another request Attorney, our brother who undergone a successful kidney transplant last August last year is now back to Manila from province for his check up. I thought while in Manila, he might as well visit a ministry or any group in the church that could pray for him. Is there any group that you can recommend that could visit my brother or invite him for worship or seminar? He is free tomorrow. Yesterday was his birthday thanks to God! I sent you emails too the other day.

Hoping for your positive response.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Anne,

I have already replied to your e-mail.

Anonymous said...

Good day Atty,

I am a working mom, with a 2 year old son. Me and my husband have been separated recently and he would want a somewhat "shared custody". He wants to take my son for a couple of days and give it back afterwards , which I strongly resist. I only let him stay as long as he wants in our house and do visits as often as he wants.

he threatened me if I wouldnt agree to his terms , things would be brought to legal proceedings .

would like to ask if our courts have granted this kind of set-up (shared custody)? because , I fear that if I let him take my son, he wouldnt give my son back to me .

thank you so much Atty . hoping for your soonest reply..

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

If a child is below seven, custody belongs to the mother. However, as you have read in this post, if there are compelling reasons like immorality, drunkenness, etc, the mother can be deprived of custody. Despite this balance of the law being in favor of the mother, the husband has also rights to his child. Our courts have recognized children's need for their father.

In your situation, custody PRIMARILY belongs to you because of your child’s age. The court can however allow your husband to have custody on certain days. If your husband disobeys the court’s order and deprives you totally of custody, then you can charge him with contempt of court. You can also charge him in a civil or criminal case for violation of RA 9262 (please read my RA 9262 posts; look for the links in the sidebar).

london girl said...

hi atty ,

thank you so much for your prompt reply.
more power to your site... it is a help indeed for person like me who deeply seeks assistance emotionally, legally, spiritually.

upon reading all the different situations of people who sought advice from your site , especially the site salt and light ... i made a reflection that there would be tough things in life , but at the very end and along its way is salvation to our dear God.

more power for great lawyers like you...

Anonymous said...

Good day!Im seperated with my husband [we're both 30yrs old] for almost 4yrs now we have 2 kids a 12yrs old daugther who is with him right now and a 9yrs old son who's with me. I decided to leave him bcoz his a drug user & always unemployed. We're living with my parents who is very supportive that time. Now im planning to get my daugther from him but he refused to. He living with his GF [we're legally married] he still unemployed... that is why i cant depend him to any child support. Im living with my mom and unemployed bcoz i was diagnosed with Lupus [doin ok with maitenance medication] but my mom is willing to help support her grandchildren. I want both of my children to be with me sir. What are my rights to my other child? What should i do?

Anonymous said...

question lang po, i am a father and my son is already 4 years old... pagdating nya po ng 7 yrs old gusto ko po sana na malipat sakin ung custody ng anak ko pero pano kung nasa ibang bansa ako nun at nagtatrabaho? at pano rin po kung sa gantong edad pa lang ng anak ko ay sinasabihan na sya ng nanay nya at mga grandparents ng nanay nya n huwag sumama sakin? saka nalaman ko rin po na nagpagawa sila ng panibagong birth certificate ng bata na wala ang apilyido ko? hope to get ur response... salamat po...

Naomi said...

hi atty

my daughter is 1 yr old and she has the last name of his father eventhough we are not married. His father has no work and unable to give support for the child. Since the day my daughter is born, I was the one supporting for my daughter. We also have our own partners now. If ever i will be married to another man, what will I do to change the last name of my daughter to the man whom I will be married and if this happens will the biological father of my daughter still has his right for my daughter?

hope for ur response...t hank u very much

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You can file a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262 in order to gain custody of your child. Please read my RA 9262 discussions (look for the links in the sidebar). You can ask for free legal help from the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) or from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter offices in your town or city. The IBP chapter offices are usually located in the Hall of Justice of cities.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Is your son legitimate or illegitimate? If illegitimate, then you only have visitation rights; the mother has sole parental authority.

If the child is legitimate, at the age of seven, he can choose which parent to live with. However, the court can intervene if the parent chosen is unfit. The court can also grant the other parent certain periods of time where the child can be with him or her.

As to the changes in the birth certificate, you can possibly file a criminal case for falsification of entries in a public document.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Naomi,

As of now, the biological father has visitation rights over the child. If and when you get married, the legal way for your child to use your husband’s surname is through adoption. Please read my post “Procedures in adoption” (look for the link in the sidebar).

In adoption, the legal ties between the child and the biological father will be cut. However, the biological father must give his consent to the adoption.

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Atty. Galacio.

My sister and her estranged husband is in a stage of fighting over the custody of their sons, age 7 & 6.

Both are working in the middle east. My sister in Dubai (since 1990's)and the father is in Al khobar for almost 3 years.

The children are now renting one of the apartment unit of her sister-in-law (sister of the boy's father) with a helper/yaya. Her mother-in-law, aged 83, would only check on them every now and then since she lives in her own apartment (about 3-doors away) My sister is sending all the financial support for the children through her sister-in-law who owns the apartment. My sister was able to buy a property for her sons where they can live with their grandparents (our parents, aged 69 and 74) but the father does not want his sons to be taken away from his relative.

What can my sister do about this since the father has no financial obligations to the children even when he has work now?

Hope you can give us some advise.

Thank you very much and God bless you always.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The Family Code provides:

Art. 214. In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent. In case several survive, the one designated by the court, taking into account the same consideration mentioned in the preceding article, shall exercise the authority.

Art. 216. In default of parents or a judicially appointed guardian, the following person shall exercise substitute parental authority over the child in the order indicated:

(1) The surviving grandparent, as provided in Art. 214;

(2) The oldest brother or sister, over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified; and

(3) The child's actual custodian, over twenty-one years of age, unless unfit or disqualified.

Whenever the appointment of a judicial guardian over the property of the child becomes necessary, the same order of preference shall be observed.


From the above, the two parties which can claim substitute parental authority are the grandparents on the paternal side and those of the maternal side (your parents). Since both of these parties are quite advanced in age, you yourself can try to file for guardianship over these children. Please surf to the Legal Procedures section of www.familymatters.org.ph as to the procedure in filing a petition for guardianship.

Kirsten said...

ask ko lang po kung ano ang aking dapat gawin. Hindi po ako kasal pero ang surname po ng anak ko ay pinaailyido ko sa father nya. hindi naman po kasi sya nagsusustento, gusto ko po sana na tanggalin na lang apilyido nya. ano po ba dapat kong gawin?

hope for your response

thank you

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Kirsten,

What you described is a very difficult problem that a lot of mothers of illegitimate children are facing. Please read my post titled “What surname should illegitimate children use? Problems and issues with RA 9255 and its implementing guidelines” (look for the link in the sidebar). The part of that post which applies to you is this:

Sen. Loren Legarda is the principal sponsor of RA 9255. The spirit and intent of RA 9255 are certainly commendable. But the IRR as it stands now makes RA 9255 a tool for oppressing women. Perhaps, Sen. Legarda (or even the NSO itself) should review the IRR and make the necessary and urgent clarification or revisions.

Without waiting for Sen. Legarda's clarification or for the NSO to act on this matter, women affected by this situation should go to court to seek relief. One option is to file a petition for declaratory relief under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court (please surf to the Chan Robles website for the Rules of Court). In layman’s terms, a petition for declaratory relief is asking the court to issue its legal opinion on whether the IRR exceeded the letter and intent of RA 9255. This petition can only be filed by a party who has not yet been adversely affected by the IRR.

In the case of mothers or children who have already been adversely affected by the IRR (that is, the child now carries the surname of the biological father despite the lack of knowledge or consent of the mother), a petition for declaratory relief is not the proper remedy. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court may be the more appropriate remedy.


Try to get help from the DOJ Action Center. The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your locality.

John said...

PLEASE HELP US !!!!!
My fiancee in the Philippines is having trouble with the Australian embassy regarding her 2 children who disappeared with her former husband when he abandoned her in 1999.She already have a court order 6 months ago for presumptive death of her husband but no one knows the whereabout of the 2 children he took away when he abandoned her.The Australian embassy is asking the medical examinations for the 2 children before her fiancee visa can be granted even the children are not travelling with her.
Regards:John

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

John,

In a petition for declaration of presumptive death, the court requires the submission of proof that the petitioner exerted earnest and diligent efforts to locate the whereabouts of the missing spouse. These efforts can be in the form of advertisements in media (radio, television), reporting the disappearance to the police, etc.

Your fiancée can possibly provide the embassy with a true copy of the court decision to prove that she has no knowledge as to the whereabouts of her children.

Anonymous said...

My cousin, who is 22, has a 4 yr. old illegitimate child with her ex-boyfriend. He signed the birth certificate so the child bears his surname. She's a highschool drop-out and her financial situation is barely sufficient to support her child as a single parent, but now her current boyfriend's parents support them and the baby. Right now, they are living in her boyfriend's parent's house. The father of the child is a college instructor, and refuses to give financial support for the child, even just for medicine when the child was ill. Instead, he threatened to get custody. Can she be deprived custody on the grounds of unemployment and immorality, because she is living in with her boyfriend and his family? Will the court rule in favor of him, because he is more financially stable? What if he demands visitation rights? The father works and lives Leyte, and my friend and the baby now live in Manila with her boyfriend and his parents.
Thank you attorney, this blog has been a great help in informing us about their rights and R.A 9262. Godbless.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. The terms and conditions of the visitation rights will be decided upon by the court if your cousin and the ex-boyfriend cannot agree on them.

2. If your cousin is unemployed, the remedy is for the ex-boyfriend to provide the financial support for the child. Your cousin can avail of a Protection Order for financial support. Please read my post titled “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar).

3. The law presumes that the mother is the best custodian. Although she is living in with her current boyfriend right now, that is not necessarily a ground for depriving her of custody, especially because the child is only four years old.

In one case, the Supreme Court ruled that even if the mother was living in with a lesbian, this was not a ground for depriving her of parental authority and custody. Based on Biblical standards, I do not necessarily agree with this ruling. But this Supreme Court ruling clearly shows that the bias of the law is in favor of the mother.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty.

Atty Gelacio, may question lang po ako sa response nyo last January 03, 2008 10:37 PM that "If there are compelling reasons (neglect, abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable illness), the courts wiil terminate the parental authority of the mother. The concern of the law and our courts is the PARAMOUNT interest and welfare of the child".

My case is somehow different dahil I am the father and now a US Citizen. Less than 2 months bago manganak ex-gf ko, she said that she needs to go home sa probinsya nila dahil may sakit nanay nya, I said no dahil baka hindi ko makita anak ko. I was worried na rin sa pagbubuntis nya (although few months after her pregnancy, she threatened me na ipapa-abort nya baby unless pananagutan ko -- those were the days na rin na ipinagtapat ko na sa magulang ko). Few weeks after syang manganak, pumayag ako na umuwi sya pero iiwan anak namin sa bahay. From then on I didn't hear anything from her (Christmas, New year and even nung umuwi ako para sa binyag ng anak namin). I was the one who paid her hospital bills, took care of our son's birth certificate and up to now, continuously providing financial support for my son (Sa bahay ko sa Pampanga sya nakatira with his yayas). I even hoped na nung umuwi ako for our son's dedication eh darating sya but instead, 5 months na anak namin, I didn't hear a word from her. Atty, I want to get a court order for the sole custody of my son dahil I don't want him to grow up sa mga yaya lang nya and that I want to take him with me sa U.S. Can I do this kahit na 5 months pa lang sya under the circumstances of neglect and abandonment? and if the answer is yes, how long will this case last?

I hope that you can provide guidance and advice with my case atty.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your narration is not quite clear as to the exact relationship with the woman; was she only a girlfriend or were you married?

I will presume that you are not married to this woman. Before filing any petition, you should exert earnest and diligent efforts to locate the mother of your child (asking the police or NBI for help in locating her, radio and newspaper announcements, etc). The court will not simply terminate the woman’s parental authority (which belongs to her under Article 176) without giving her the chance to answer your petition). The court might require you to publish the summons (court order for the woman to answer the petition) in a newspaper of general circulation. Since the child is a minor, the court will require the fiscal to appear on the child’s behalf even if the woman does not answer.

The fiscal and the court can therefore question your contention that the child has been abandoned since only five months has lapsed from the last time you had contact with the mother. The fiscal can argue or the judge can conclude that it is too soon to rule that the child has been abandoned.

What you should do is to talk with the social worker assigned to the Family Court in your town or city, and inquire about what options you have and what grounds that the court may consider as constituting “abandonment.”

Anonymous said...

my daughter's father is american but we are not married. He recognized my daughter and he even signed in the birth certificate and my daughter is using his last name but my daughter is living here with me in the philippines since birth and that is for 2 yrs. now. My Ex Bf wants my daughter to be a USA citizen so my daughter can visit him anytime in the US. We applied already for Registration of Birth Abroad at US embassy my question is if once my daughter become a USA citizen am i gonna loose my right over my child? like the custody. I know that a child will be with her mother until she reach 7 yrs. old however that is Philippine law is that law will still apply for my daughter even she will become now a USA citizen living here in the philippines? Does my american ex bf can easily bring my daughter to US even without me travelling with my daughter or even without my permission for my daughter to travel with him? what are still my rights? as a filipino citizen mother over my daughter who will be a USA citizen but living with me here in the philippines.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You are right about what Philippine law provides with regards parental authority and custody of illegitimate children. Once your child becomes a US citizen, your ex-boyfriend will have certain rights over here on the basis of American law. As to what these laws are, you have to inquire with the US Embassy during your May 13 interview.

You can also ask for the appropriate legal information about your daughter’s situation from the DOJ Action Center. The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your town or city.

Try to browse also the “Philippine Legal Counseling” blog/website of Atty. Christine Florido. She is a Filipino lawyer who has experience with American laws. She might be able to help you.

Anonymous said...

hello Atty. Galacio.. I need your help.. I got married last year and gave birth to our first baby last february. My husband and I is now living separately because of some problems. He and his mother is trying to get the baby from me (i am breast feeding the baby). I am working during day time and leave the baby with the nanny. I am afraid that they will take my baby when i'm not home. What are my rights and my husband's right over our baby? Can i file charges against my husband and his family if they will take my baby away from me?

Many thanks.

she

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

She,

Your baby is below seven years of age and therefore she cannot be taken away from you. One, you can file against your husband a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262 for financial support. Please read my posts on “Support for abandoned woman and family” and RA 9262(look for the links in the sidebar).

Two, if ever your husband and his mother take your child away, you can file a petition for Protection Order to regain custody. You can also file criminal cases under RA 9262 against your husband.

Three, you can also file a petition for Protection Order so that your husband cannot come near you, your child or any designated family or household member (this includes your nanny).

Anonymous said...

hi atty,

i actually post my query 3days ago, but for some reason i didnt see it here on ur website.
anyways, i have a son that just turned 7yrs old of this yr which was born out of wedlock.. and his biological father acknolwedged him on his birth cert but my son however using my maiden name as his surname.
For 5yrs of my son's life, i raised him and lived with me, his father would just visit and borrow him for some occasions like christmas, summer etc.
2 yrs ago, I was granted an immigrant visa for United States thru my dad. So just before my visa will expire, I had to leave Phils and move to US and leave my son for the meantime while his petition is pending. Since I have a good relationship with the family of his biological father and his great granma beg me to have my son stay with them while Im not in the country, and so my son stayed with them.
While Im in US, I met this wonderful guy and eventually became my husband. In short, I got married here and have one kid but I never forget my other son and still manage to keep in touch with him, unfortunately for some reason, they made it hard for me to get in contact with him.
Just this march of this year, me and my family decided to go go back home and visit family and to see my son as well and be with him. To my surprise, they didnt want to give my son back to me and his father was claiming that he has full custody of our child now since im not in the country plus I got married in the US. And also they're saying that I cant be near to my child as the judge has a court order that I cannot take him with me. But they didnt show any order and never get any subpoena for a trial. So they're just trying to scare me. My child is illegitimate, and i never abandon him. And I dont see the connection of me getting married here in US thats why I dont have custody of my child anymore. I know under family code, under 7yrs old, child would be under mothers custody, but my son turned 7 already this yr? Do i still have that right? Before I went back to america, I left an affidavit giving authorization to my mom as the legal guardian for my child so he'll just stay with her while im working on his petition. Can you give me some advice on to what is the best thing to do and what are my rights and fight for this scenario. Im afraid that they might get my child by force even though my mom has affidavit. What can I do to prevent that or if that happens already what will I do to get him back? Who's custody is he under now? Pls help. Thanks much. I'll be waiting for your reply.

mikeyla

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Mikeyla,

You posted your comment in the post titled “What surname should illegitimate children use?” under the name lovingmom:-)You will see my answer there. Anyway, I will repeat my answer:The child is illegitimate even if his biological father was able to change his surname on the basis of the IRR of RA 9255. As I discussed, the IRR of RA 9255 has become a tool for oppressing women like you, having taken away your choice as to whether your child will carry the father’s surname or not.

Please read carefully my post “Visitation rights over illegitimate children” (look for the link in the sidebar), especially the clarifications and related issues at the bottom portion of the post.

The only rights the biological father has are visitation rights. Sole parental authority belongs to you as provided under Article 176 and as ruled by the Supreme Court in the case of Briones vs. Miguel. In the case of Silva vs. Court of Appeals (which I discussed in detail in this particular post, the Quezon City granted visitation rights to the biological father. But this did not prevent the mother, in the exercise of her parental authority, to immigrate to Holland with her two children.

What you should do is to immediately retain the services of a lawyer. Your lawyer can file a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262 so that you can regain custody of your child. If it is true that your husband was able to get a court order of some sort, your lawyer can file the necessary petition to have that order voided.

Please read my posts on RA 9262 especially on Protection Orders (look for the links in the sidebar).

Anonymous said...

atty, im just abotu to go to dswd as per your advise in this forum, ill get a solo parent petition ba yun? but what if the father of my son has already applied for a petition for guardianship? naunahan na nya ko?

Anonymous said...

atty,

what if were not married? pero i found another man while living together? compelling reasons ba yun? wer not married naman.
I want to get my child after I get married in the US and until I get a job.so, sa kanya muna anak namin. petition ko sya after a year, it might take 3 to 5 years so baka lagpas na sya ng 7 bago ma approve. does that mean that i can not get my child from him na? one more thing that bothers me is baka itago nya anak ko. im thinking of getting my child na lang under a year para under the clause pa rin ng visa ko. but still, itatago nya pa rin anak ko im sure.

thanks po,

gem

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Gem,

Under Article 176 of the Family Code, an illegitimate child is under the sole parental authority of the mother.

If the man hides your child or refuses to give your child to you, you can apply for a Protection Order under RA 9262 (read my posts RA 9262; look for the links in the sidebar).

On a practical level, it is better if you leave your child in the custody of your parents while you are working abroad.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Solo parent ID, in order to your establish your status as such.

Even if the father has already filed for guardianship, the court will not immediately or automatically give your child to him. There will still be hearings where you can present your defense.

Anonymous said...

atty,

what is the best way to get the sole legal and physical customy of a child? i'm separated and i've been supporting us eversince we got married. my ex-husband now doesn't have a job. i'm afraid that later on he will use our son to get financial advances. i don't know if i should file for legal separation or annulment to get this.

thank you.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Whether the petition is for legal separation or for declaration of nullity, the issue of custody will be taken up by the court. Depending on the allegations of your petition or on the evidence presented, the court will decide whether to give sole custody or not to you.

Since the costs and expenses for a petition for declaration of nullity are very steep, another option is for you to file a petition to have your husband’s parental authority terminated under Articles 228 to 233 of the Family Code.

Still another option is to file a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262 known as “stay away” order. If there are grounds for it, the court can order your husband to stay away from you, your son or any other designated family member.

Taurusmay said...

Hi Attorney,
I need some help regarding my daughter and his father. My husband and I were separated for more than 7 years (de facto). My husband works overseas and gives insufficient monthy financial support. Lately, my 17 year old daughter had failed badly in college and decided to live with my in-laws. I recently found out that my own daughter fabricated stories and told lies about me, and wouldn't like to speak with me. At first I was hurt, and I feared that my daughter had been in a depressing mood and needs help. I seek the help of the DSWD and told them the whole story of my daughter's growing up with me. She said (DSWD) that my daughter might have Bipolar Disorder as what I have feared, she added that my daughter is considered a minor with special needs, and told me that I have every right to see her and talk with her and try to talk to my in-laws about their responsibilities since they are left to look after my daughter. I went to my husband's house and did what the DSWD had told me, but to my dismay, they told me to go away, that my daughter wouldn't like to see me and they don't like to listen and believe me anymore. I wasn't trying to take my daughter and I was trying to tell them what they need and ought to know about my daughter's condition and that she needs therapy and medications. I have a 15 year old son and believes that her sister is not in good condition, very thin,no appetite and had cuts on her arm from suicidal tendencies, which had alarmed me the most. My in-laws never told me about it and they have not told about it with my husband, which is wrong. The in-laws had called me being the one who is sick and has bipolar. My husband had told me the same thing and refuses to take my daughter to a doctor and be treated. I went back to the DSWD and had told them what had happened, she had talked with my son and asked him questions, until she told me that she will call my in-laws to order them to take my daughter home to me, that she would call me in case my daughter is coming home to me. The other day I called DSWD to follow up on my case and she told me that she hasn't called my in-laws yet because she was busy and told me probably next week..I was even more frustrated because my daughter needs medical help. Now, my husband had told my son that he is refusing to give support to him.I had been wrongfully terminated from my work last year and now I'm jobless.
I had been suffering from this kind of threats for years now from my husband, he had been in and out of relationship or have sexual infidelities, and I have experience life threats from him.
How can i file for RA 9262? What can I do about my daughter, can I still have a custody on her? Can I demand support for my children?Please I need your advice..Thank you

Taurusmay

Anonymous said...

a mother had a baby to a married guy then the mother decided to go abroad with her baby and her fiance,, does a mother can take her child to go abroad without the consent of a real father?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Under Article 176 of the Family Code, sole parental authority over an illegitimate child belongs to the mother. Under her exercise of parental authority, the mother can therefore take the child abroad.

Please surf to the DSWD website for the relaxed amended rules on travel clearance for minors. The Parental Travel Permit for example is no longer required.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. On the issue of financial support, please read my post “support for abandoned woman and children” (look for the links in the sidebar).

Essentially, through a Protection Order, the court will order your husband and his employer to set aside a certain percentage of his salary to be remitted directly to you and your children on a monthly basis. If your husband and/or his employer fail to do so, they can be charged with contempt of court.

The amount of support is balanced between the necessities of the person asking for support and the financial capability of the person from whom support is being asked.

2. To regain custody of your daughter, you can file a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262. After you have regained custody, you can then seek medical treatment for your daughter.

3. For free legal assistance, please contact the DOJ Action Center. The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your town or city.

You can also try asking for help from the non-governmental organization SALIGAN (Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal) Manila, G/F Hoffner Building, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines; Tel. (632) 426-6001 loc. 4858-4860, Telefax: (632) 426-6124; E-mail: saligan@saligan.org; Website: www.saligan.org

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of an 8 yr. old girl and separated but not legally to my husband for 3 years now because of him having affairs with different women. I am now in a foreign country applying for residency and hoping that I would be able to bring her here one day. My only problem is, would I be able to even if my husband do not give his consent? She is 8 now so she can choose but does she need to choose between the two of us in front of a court hearing where the two of us, my husband & I are present? or I could just bring her here with just my sponsorship documents? please help.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your daughter is legitimate. As you also said, you are separated but not legally. You will thus have problems in bringing her to whatever country you are in now. Even with illegitimate children, some embassies are requiring the consent of the biological parent.

John said...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your daughter is legitimate. As you also said, you are separated but not legally. You will thus have problems in bringing her to whatever country you are in now. Even with illegitimate children, some embassies are requiring the consent of the biological parent.
I talk to several lawyers in Australia and they all agreed that the embassies should abide and respect the Article 176 and the illegitimate child should be allowed to migrate with her mother.
regards:john

John said...

I talk to several lawyers in Australia and they all agreed that the embassies should abide and respect the Article 176 and the illegitimate child should be allowed to migrate with her mother.
regards:john

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!

Taurusmay said...

Hi Atty,
I'm sorry for the trouble but this is just a follow-up question...I did went to DOJ action center for free legal assistance, the secretary was more accommodating than the lawyer that was in-charge that time..I was asking for assistance and I have relayed my problems to her and she told me that I should go to the PAO or the family court in the city where I live. And when she clarified that I wanted to ask for legal support for my children, she asked me if I have a job, and I told her that I just got laid off and have pending case at NLRC...she then told me that I cannot solely depend everything from my husband...so I have asked her, what is Protection Order RA 9262 for?
The secretary had given me a referral for PAO to the city where I live and she told me to go to our barangay so I can ask for Affidavit of Indigency...
do I really have the chance on pursuing this eventhough I dont have a job at this time? Thank you Sir.

Taurusmay

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Taurusmay,

Article 201 of the Family Code provides that the amount of support is balanced between the necessities of the person asking for support and the financial capability of the person from whom support is being asked.

The Supreme Court has provided a sample Affidavit of Indigency to the Office of the Clerk of Court (OCC) all over the country. The DSWD in your town or city might have a copy of this Affidavit. Once you have filed an RA 9262 case, the court is obligated to provide you with free legal assistance.

Taurusmay said...

Thank you sir...

peacemaker2906 said...

Hi attorney galacio!
My problem comes like this, me and my wife were both in taiwan but my wife croossed-country to canada to work there. The first time and the last time call my wife for me is when she got thier in canada now it's 1 year and 3 mos. no communication to my wife. Now i found out that my wife committing adultery. I found thru friendster that my wife have another guy. The picture on friendster was they are hugging each other laying on the
bed. What is the way that my wife will go home to the philippines to talk about the problem? What is the agency responsible to search the location of my wife in canada? Its me peacemaker2906

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Peacemaker 2906,

Please read my post “Adultery, concubinage and psychological violence” (look for the link in the sidebar). You can ask the help of the Philippine embassy or consulate in Canada in locating your wife.

Anonymous said...

gud day po, pls help with my sister's problem,, ngakaanak ung kapatid ko sa may asawang lalaki,, ngsasama p sila ng asawa nya ng manganak ang kapatid ko,, sa ngayon isang taon n ang bata at ang kapatid ko ay may foreigner n boyfriend, balak n nilang magpakasal at ipetition ang kapatid ko papuntang amerika kasama ang bata,, ang problema po ay tinatakot at pinapapili ng ama ng bata ang kapatid ko na hindi nya daw masasama ang bata sa amerika dahil hindi daw sya pipirma sa petition paper ng bata at once n naiwan daw ang bata dito sa pilipinas, kukunin nya daw ito at hindi n muling ipapakita sa kapatid ko,, ano po bang proseso ang dapat gawin sa gagawing petition ng kapatid ko at ng bata at may karapatan po bang pigilan ng tatay ang pagkuha sa bata papuntang amerika?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The child is illegitimate and therefore under Article 176 of the Family Code, sole parental authority belongs to the mother. Even if the child is using the father’s surname, the child is still illegitimate. The biological father only has visitation right. This visitation right cannot prevent your sister from immigrating with the child.

HOWEVER, the US embassy might require an affidavit of consent from the biological father. Some embassies or consulates are not aware of Article 176. Your sister can ask the Department of Justice to issue a ruling on what Article 176 provides, and then present this ruling to the embassy.

You can contact the DOJ Action Center. The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your town or city.

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty,

I'm the mother of two kids aged 7 and 13. Our marriage was annuled and I have been granted sole custody. The father has visitation rights.
Do I have the right to determine the country of residence of our kids? Meaning, could I take them with me if I immigrate abroad?
Would the annulment documents be enough to prove this? And which article of the family code could I refer to?
Would I still need to get Parental Travel Permit from DSWD?
Thanks so much for your reply.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You did not indicate the ground for which your marriage was annulled or declared null and void. Please take note that Article 54 of the Family Code states that "children conceived or born before the judgment of annulment or absolute nullity of the marriage under Article 36 has become final and executory shall be considered legitimate. Children conceived or born of the subsequent marriage under Article 53 shall likewise be legitimate."

Your children are legitimate and so parental authority belongs to BOTH you and your ex-husband. What was granted to you was custody. You did not indicate if your ex-husband’s parental authority was terminated by the court.

This means that your children cannot immigrate to another country with you if your ex-husband does not agree.

Anonymous said...

isa po akong project hired employee, at ang husband ko po e regular employee, 5months old pa lng po kambal ko, kpg dw po ngkahiwalay n kmi 2luyan s husband ko mappunta ang custody ng mga baby namin dhil ndi pa po ako regular..meaning ndi po ako financially stable, accrdingpo s inlaws ko, totoo po b yun? kung mawwalan n po ako ng work ndi po sakin mappunta custody ng mga anak ko? di po ba since baby p sila na sakin cla dpat khit wla n ko kinikita? my batas po b n ngssabing dpat suportahan ng ama ang mga anak khit hiwalay n ang mg-asawa lalo pa't wla kinikita ang ina? mas capable po financially ang husband ko at mga inlaws ko..pano po ako mgkkaron ng karapatang makuha ang mga anak ko. salamat po.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

As I discussed in this post and my replies to the comments, a mother can only be deprived of custody of the child or children for compelling reasons like immorality, drug addiction or drunkenness, etc. There must be a petition in court to deprive the mother of custody.

If you are not capable financially, the solution is not to deprive you of custody but for you and the children to be supported financially. Please read my post “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar).

Essentially, through a Protection Order, the court will order your husband and his employer to set aside a certain percentage of his salary to be remitted directly to you and your children on a monthly basis. If your husband and/or his employer fail to do so, they can be charged with contempt of court.

The amount of support is balanced between the necessities of the person asking for support and the financial capability of the person from whom support is being asked.

If you have already been deprived of custody of your children, you can file a petition for Protection Order so that you can regain custody of your children.

For free legal assistance, please contact the DOJ Action Center. The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your town or city.

Anonymous said...

i have a 2 month old son. the father and i are not married. i have plans on going to the U.S. and i would like to bring my son with me. the length of my stay is indefinite at the moment. will i be able to bring my child even without the father's consent? if my stay in the U.S. is for good, will my child be able to stay with me there? what do i need to do to get permanent custody of the child? thanks so much.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your son is illegitimate and so under Article 176 of the family Code, sole parental authority belongs to you. Even if your son is using the surname of the biological father, he is still illegitimate. As far as I know, under the relaxed amended DSWD rules for Travel Permits for minors, no such clearance is required for illegitimate children.

However, the problem is that embassies and consulates here in the Philippines are not aware of Article 176. I have received numerous e-mails from persons whose applications for immigration or travel for their illegitimate children have been denied simply because these embassies or consulates are not aware that under Philippine law, sole parental authority over illegitimate children belongs to the mother.

Anonymous said...

I have an illegitimate daughter(11 yrs old) and would like to still seek support to her biological father. but i am already married,and would need the additional money to file legitimacy.is it possible? before i was not yet married i tried contacting the biological but i cant find him, now i can look him up at facebook. what legal actions i could do to have the support.

Anonymous said...

by the way I have documents proving that he signed an acknowledgment that he is the father.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

What do you mean “you would need the additional money to file legitimacy?”

The child is illegitimate and can only become legitimate either through adoption under RA 8552 or by legitimation under Articles 177 to 182 of the Family Code.

In terms of support, please read my post “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar).

Please take note however that the biological father can ask for visitation rights over your daughter. How would you feel if your daughter begins spending time with her biological father and his family? How would you feel if your daughter begins thinking that she will be better off with her father than with you?

Anonymous said...

Hi Atty,

I would like to seek advice for my case. I am a mother of 3 kids. 8, 6 and 2 years old. My husband and I separated early this year and he took the 2 kids with him at first and I have my daughter with me who's 6 y/o. At first we see each other every weekend so all 3 kids got the chance to be together during the weekends. However,during the summer he requested me to have our daughter for a vacation at the province and in return I asked him if I could get my youngest. But when he got my daughter, he never get back to me and did not return any of my kids as promised. He is not answering my phone calls and transferred my eldest son to another school and never heard from him since then. I cannot express the pain this situation is causing me.my situation is way complicated.My parents informally consulted a lawyer friend and was advised that I can file a kidnapping case against my husband as well as custody for my kids. What's the best thing to do? Personally I do not want to file a criminal case against my husband because he is a good father to my kids and do not want to cause such trouble. I already asked for reconciliation several times but he never responded but instead argued with me. He threatened that I will see my self in jail if I will file a case against him as he was thinking of filing a case of adultery against me since he believes that our 3rd child is not his but he always treated my youngest as his own.We never talked about it when we were still together. During our last text conversation he kept on asking me who's the father of youngest child and i think he wants to use it as a proof against me if I answered that He is not the father. How can he prove that in court? how can he prove adultery? Please help. I am very depressed and always thinking of giving up.

Thank you.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

I already replied to your e-mail.

SS said...

Hi Atty,

Im an American living in the Philippines for 10 years. Married to a Filipina and we have two sons..11 and 10 years old. We are "separated" but not legally and my wife has been living in the US for over 7 years now. My sons have been living with me here in the Philippines since she left and see only sees them when she comes back to visit..which is about once every two years. So in reality I have had "custody" of our sons since she left..just not legally. Also she has never sent any money to me to help with financial support..even if she has been working in US for years. Questions are: Can I file for full custody of our children with her getting visitation rights? Can I also file to get child support from her?

Thank You for your time.

Anonymous said...

hi.. I have a 1 year and 2months old child.. Me and his dad got separated when he was like 6mos. old. We're not married. My baby's last name is under his dad's. Anyways, Ever since I gave birth, he was not giving financial support to my baby. He made an agreement at that time before I gve birth that he will be the one in charge for the electric bills since we were staying at my parents house and I will be the one in charge of my baby's needs including the check ups and all that. He doesn't have a stable job ever since, like, every 2 or 3 months, he keeps on moving to another company because he doesn't like the policy or what not.. and me, (since 3 weeks after giving birth, to think that I'm CS and he asked me to go to work right away) til now, still with the same company. When we separated (not because of third party issues or financial, we just fight all the time), I didnt oblige him to give support for the baby and he never attempted to do so as well. He didn't show up, then suddenly, he'll send text messages threatening me that he will get the baby or he's saying that He will file a case against me and also that he asked somebody about the situation and He can win the child. He also accused me of having a relationship with another guy and he can use it against me. Until now, he is still not giving financial support for my baby. and still threatening me. First question, does he still has the right to take my child? Even though my baby's using his last name? What things can he do against me that would give him the chance to win? Next.. What are the chances that I can take my baby out of the country? (My dad is planning to get all of us) Next.. If I have a relationship with another guy, can he also use it against me for the sake of my child?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Your baby is illegitimate and so under Article 176 of the Family Code, sole parental authority (which includes custody) belongs to you. Even if your baby is using the father’s surname, the child is still illegitimate. All that the father has is visitation right. Please read my post on visitation rights (look for the link in the sidebar). Read the comments and my replies to the comments. As I discussed in that post, even if the court granted the father visitation right, this did not prevent the woman from immigrating to Holland with her children in the exercise of her parental authority.

If the man continues to harass you, you have the options of filing RA 9262 cases (civil and criminal) against him. Please read my RA 9262 posts. You can ask the court to issue a Protection Order called a “stay away” order. With this order, the man will be compelled by the court to stay away from you and your child, designated family members, and from places you frequent like your office, etc.

For any emergency regarding your child and the man, please contact the Melissawatch hotline of the DSWD through www.dswd.gov.ph. I am not sure if the mobile phone for this hotline for abused women is still current or not but try 0917-503-4264.You can also ask for help from the Women and Children’s Concerns Desk of the nearest PNP station.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

SS,

I already answered your e-mail.

Anonymous said...

hi sir,
ask ko lang po about "temporary custody" ng mga bata. ang case po namin ngayon is nasa point na po na magdedecide yun judge kung kanino po ibibigay yun temporary custody ng mga bata. kids are 5 and 4 years of age. posible po bang mapunta sa sa mother yun temporary custody ng mga bata kung nakikitira lang po sya sa kamag-anak nya? and yung mother po ay nakita na nakikipagsex sa iba. which is adultery po. we don't have evidence na nakikipagsex nga po sya, pero yun po sinasabi ng witness ko which is handa talaga syang humarap sa court. and inabandoned nya po yun mga bata for 2 years. posible po bang mapunta sa kanya yun custody? ang iniisip ko lang po kasi, kawawa yun mga bata. may mga pictures po kasi kami na marami syang naging lalaki nun naghiwalay kami and lagi syang gumigimik, umiinom, naniniigarilyo. sa bhay naman po namin ay nasusubaybayan ang mga bata. at naaalgaan ng mabute. at ska po iniisip namin, bka pag napunta po s kanya yun temporary custody ay mahirapan naman po kami na makita yun mga bata lalo na po kung magpafile kami ng ibang kaso, idedelay nya po ng idedelay yun kaso, ano po bang maaring gawin?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

“witness ko which is handa talaga syang humarap sa court”

You have a lawyer handling your case. You should address these questions to your lawyer because he/she knows the facts better than I do.

You said that the judge is about to render the resolution on the issue of temporary custody. Your lawyer can ask for the reopening of the case so that your witness can be presented and give testimony about your wife’s alleged misconduct.

I will assume that the issue of temporary custody is not the main issue in your case (you are probably asking for permanent custody or for parental authority to be transferred to you). This means that even if temporary custody is given to the mother, the issue of permanent custody will still be decided upon. Also, your lawyer can ask that the court set the terms and condition of your visitation right while the child is in the temporary custody of the mother. if and when the court grants this visitation right, then the mother cannot refuse to let you see and visit your child.

In child custody cases, while the balance of the law is in favor of the woman, the court’s paramount consideration is the best interest of the child.

Anonymous said...

HI Atty:

Just i want some legal advice. Me and my husband were married 10 yrs. ago. During the duration of our marriage i never stop working to help the family and to raise our kids. We have 3 kids my eldest is 10yrs next is 6 yrs old and the youngest 4 years. 3 years ago i desided to go abroad para mas lalo makatulong sa malaki naming pamilya dahil nag aaral na ang mga bata. (For 3 years working abroad yearly ako nagbabakasyun para makapiling ang mga anak ko) Sa 3 taon na wala ako sa Pinas ang dami kung nababalitaan na ginagawa ng asawa ko una nakikipag relasyun sya sa babae pag katapos naman ngayun lalaki na naman at pinatutulog pa nya sa bahay namin. There are so many instances na pinalabas nya ang mga anak namin sa room para patulugin sa kwarto ng katulong.AT sila ng lalaki ang matutulog sa kwarto namin at maghapon lang silang nag la lock ng room. Hindi man lang nya naiisip na nandoon ang tatay ko. In short hindi sinabi ng tatay ko sa akin dahil ayaw nya na mag worry ako dito sa abroad after 1 time nabuksan ko isang account nya sa webesites at doon bumulaga sa akin ang katutuhanan na may relasyun nga sya sa kapwa nya lalaki. Ang mga mensahi nila sa isat isa na puno ng pangako at pagmamahalan. Iniisip na sa kabila ng lahat hindi man lang binigyan ng asawa ko ang mga sakripisyo ko para sa pamilya namin nagawa pa nya ang ganito. Kinumpronta ko sya pero di sya umaamin. Tinanong ko ang mga katulong ko sa bahay at inaamin nila sa akin na totoo ang lahat at kinausap ko rin ang aking ama at kapatid pinatutuhanan nila lahat. Kasama pa sa pinapadala kung pera ang ginagastos nya sa lalaki nya. Kinausap ko sya na wag naman sana i display sa harapan ng mga anak namin ang kanyang mga ginagawa ang sabi nya gagawan daw nya ng paraan. Nagyon wala na ang aking ama sa bahay namin dahil para maiwas ko sa gulo na ginagawa ng asawa ko. Pinalayas nya ang dating katulong namin ngayon my bago na naman kaming katulong at the same time nagsumbong rin sa akin ito pa nga ay kamag anak nya. Hanggang sa ang anak ko na mismo ang nagsasabi tungkul sa ginagawa at sa napapansin nya sa tatay nya. Atty. ang anak kung panganay ay sampun taon lang pero nadedevelop na ang galit sa dibdib nya para sa kanyang ama. Sa 3 taon na nandito ako sa abroad never kung kinalimutan ang obligasyun ko sa pamilya ko lalot higit ako ang nagpapaaral sa mga anak ko at nagpapasweldo sa mga nagbabantay sa 3 kung anak. Atty ang akin lang naman gusto kung lumaki ang aking mga anak ng normal at my dignidad pero kung lagi naman binabandera ng asawa ko ang immoralidad sa mata ng mga musmus naming mga anak. Tingin ko ito naman ay hindi tama. Gusto ko mag file ng annulment at mag move on para mati8gil na ang Psycological violence na binibigay sa amin ng ama ng aming tahana. May trabaho din ang asawa ko kahit papaano maganda naman ang work nya kaya lang part of his kita sa lalaki lang napupunta at mas inuuna pa nya ang sarili nya kaysa mga anak nya. Most of the time weekend instead of spending his toime with kids. Mas nag out of town pa sya at kasama ang lalaki nya. Kaya lagi lang naiiwan sa katulong ang mga anak namin. Atty i plan to file an annulment para sa marriage namin. Para ma save ko ang mga anak ko sa posibling kapahamakan sa mga sitwasyun na nakikta nila. Ano ang dapat kung gawin.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. As to having your marriage declared null and void, please read the Frequently Asked Questions section of my Family Matters website. Please also read my Legal Updates blog posts:

Amy Perez case: Psychological incapacity in annulment of marriages

Sexual infidelity or promiscuity does not constitute psychological incapacity

Irreconcilable differences not a ground for declaring a marriage null and void

What happens in an annulment case if the respondent fails to file an Answer?


You can search Google or Yahoo for the names of lawyers who handle declaration of nullity cases.

2. Through your father or any trusted friend or relative who knows personally the facts, you can file a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262 (“exclusion order”) so that the court will compel your husband to leave the house, even if he owns it. Please read my RA 9262 posts (look for the links in the sidebar).

The following are offices or agencies you can ask help from. The addresses are for Metro Manila but you can try to contact their regional offices (specially the NBI).

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) Rehabilitation Unit Tel. No.: (02) 734-8635 NCR Ugnayang Pag-asa, Legarda, Manila Tel. Nos.: (02) 734-8617 to 18

Philippine National Police (PNP) Women and Children’s Concern Division (WCCD) Tel. No.: (02) 723-0401 loc. 3480 Call or text 117 (PATROL 117)

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Violence Against Women and Children’s Desk (VAWCD) Tel. Nos.: (02) 523-8231 loc. 3403

DOJ Public Attorney’s Office Women's Desk, Tel. Nos.: (02) 929-9010; 929-9436 to 37


3. You should seek marriage counseling. Please try to contact Ptr. Clem Guillermo and his wife, well-known marriage and family counselors, through their nightly radio program “Heartline” aired over DZAS 702 Khz, 10:30 to 12. I think the DZAS tel. no. is 92-11-52. Ptr. Clem’s office is in the Back to the Bible Building, corner of West Avenue and EDSA (opposite SM City North EDSA).The program is available through the Internet at http://www.febc.ph/stations/dzas/index.html.

Anonymous said...

helo.my wife comited adultery in 2006 since i am working abroad..i found about it n so we separated though not legally..i am supporting our 7 year old son but she always threatened my son not to come with me when i am here..many can also attest esp my sister n brothers n parents that my son looks so dirty esp n school n also very thin..can i file for a sole custody for my son..he is 7 years old already n f the court would let him choose between us iknow that he will chose his mother because he grew up with him..also my wife just gave birth from a guy that shes been living with and this adds more to my dismay n fear that she will neglect my son because of the new baby,,pls enlighten me legally on wat to do..thank u...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You can file a petition for the termination of your wife’s parental authority and for custody of your child to be given to you. Although Article 213 of the Family Code says that a child over seven years of age can choose which parent to live with, the court will intervene if the parent chosen is unfit.

Anonymous said...

i am a mother of 3kids(10,9 and 5yrs old).. the first 2kids are born out of wedlock and they carry my surname.the 3rd kid is a son of a married man (with marriage valid and existing at the time of conception/birth of the 3rd kid) but carries his father's surname... if i marry a foreigner (not a filipino citizen) who is 17yrs older than my 1st kid and capable of providing all the needs of the kids as the law dictates, can he adopt the kids without asking for the written consent of the kids' biological father??? and if he was allowed, can the kids be considered his legitimate children by adoption? will i also be deprived of the paternal custody on my 3kids if i marry a foreigner?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. All your children are illegitimate and so under Article 176 of the family Code, sole parental authority belongs to you. This is true even if your 3rd child is carrying the father's surname.

2. Please read my post “Procedures in RA 8552 domestic adoption and RA 8043 inter-country adoption; misinterpretation of RA 9523” (look for the links in the sidebar). I discussed in this post the issue of the consent of the illegitimate father.

Try also to contact ICAB (the contact information is in the post). You and your foreigner-husband might qualify to adopt under the intercountry adoption law.

Anonymous said...

Greatings of peace!
i just want to inquire pertaining to my case.i am a father of 3kids who are dwelling with me.My wife left our house after she had caught embracing with another man while walking in the beach...Can i use the affidavits of the witness as substantial evidence for immorality? in filing the custody of my kids is it enough using the affidavits of my witness?

Anonymous said...

hi im involved with a man whose been separated from his wife bout 9 yrs now but not yet anulled.we've been blessed with a child now,5 mos old, he is carrying his fathers surname, id lkie to know if i can have the sole custody of the child?ty

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

“Embracing another man while walking on the beach” cannot qualify as a compelling ground to deprive a mother of custody of her children. You need much more evidence than this.

Please consult other lawyers who may have opinions different from mine or who may be able to suggest alternative courses of actions.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

The child is illegitimate and so under Article 176 of the Family Code, sole parental authority belongs to you. This is true even if the child is using the father’s surname. The use of the father’s surname does NOT make the child legitimate and does not confer parental authority on the biological father.

Anonymous said...

hi,i do have a nephew and he's only 3 years old. His mother (presently working in Kuwait) left him to me because his father which is my own brother doesn't have any occupation and living with his gf right now. He took the child two weeks ago and said that he won't give him back to me. Can i have an advice on what can I do to get my nephew?Thanks...it will be a great help...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Are your brother and the mother legally married? If yes, then your brother has parental authority over the child. However, the mother can try to file a petition asking for the termination of your brother’s parental authority and for temporary custody (or guardianship) to be granted to you.

If they are not married, then the child is illegitimate. Sole parental authority belongs to the mother. The mother can authorize you to file the proper petition to regain custody of the child and for temporary custody (or guardianship) to be granted to you.

max007 said...

i have a 6-year old daughter which is currently staying with her mother. Her mother and I are not married but we were together for quite a while. We got separated due to the fact that she got pregnant by another man while we were still together. During her pregnancy with the 2nd child( child of the other man), i was the one supporting her and my daughter until she gave birth then decided to live with the other man.

I'm giving financial support to my daughter until now however, things are now starting to get worst.

I just want to ask if there are any possibility that I can refuse support under the law and obtain custody of my daughter because I found out that the guy she is with doesn't have a job that can support their daily needs and alcoholic. By the way, the mother of my daughter is also unemployed for few years now.

I'm not sure if i am just being a stupid guy, providing financial support to a family that is not mine.

Meron po ba siyang right na humingi ng legal financial support mula sa akin provided na wala siyang trabaho at may kinakasama na siyang iba na wala din stable na income?

There is nothing wrong with me giving financial support for my daughter kaya lang kapag nag tuloy tuloy pa, baka ako na ang bumuhay ng pamilya nya.

Please advise.

Thank you very much.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Max007,

[1] The lack of work or income is NOT a compelling ground for depriving the mother of her custody or for terminating her parental authority.

[2] Please read my post “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar). The Family Code provides that the amount of support is balanced between the necessities of the person asking for support and the financial capability of the person from whom support is being asked. Support 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.

In simpler terms, the woman has to prove what the necessities are. You can thus question the amount of support she is asking for. You can also show to the court what your financial capability is.

Instead of waiting for the woman to file a case against you, you can proactively file a case asking the court to set the terms and conditions of your visitation right over your child. At the same time, you can ask the court to set the amount of support you have to give to your child.

max007 said...

just a follow up question..

so it means that she can ask for support from me such as paying their rent and providing money for expenses considering that she is with another man who doesn't have a job that is sufficient to cover their expenses.

in other words, they can asked for support that will be sufficient to support the needs of their new family.

Because, if they will ask me to pay for the rent which may be considered as necessities, they can then have the guy to live with them... and if they will ask me to provide for their daily expenses which they can squeeze the other party in , so it simply means that im the one feeding their family...

on my understanding, i can just live with a single mom then ask her to obtain support from the father of her child then in that way i do not have to worry about our expenses...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

max007,

Like I said, the woman has to prove what the necessities are. You can dispute in court the inventory or computation of the expenses given by the woman (if such expenses are over and beyond what are necessary for her and the child). If such expenses cover also the needs of the jobless man you are speaking of, you can raise that issue in court.

Anonymous said...

I just want an advice on what to do, my husband and I got married last 2006 when we found out that im pregnant. He works abroad (seaman), our relationship was good alhough hes and I live with his parents but sometimes of course I feel the discomfort, living with in-laws is not easy. Since hes always not here he won't let us (me and our daughter) live separately. I'm a fulltime mother then,I always think that what if hes having an affair there,eversince our marriage he kept on telling me "kung sakali mang may magloko satin wala ng demandaan, basta yung custody ng bata dun sa agrabyado" for 3 years he kept on saying that. While he was away our means of communications are cellphones and internet (emails and chat). We engaged in phonesex which I hated most, most of the time im just faking him, according to him it will make our sexual relationship healthy, when we chat he will just show his private part on the webcam and will ask me to undress do this and that or else he will ge mad and accuse me of maybe Im having someone because i dont let him see me masturbate. I did hat only once since i felt like losing self respect and also respect to him.He would even ask me how would I feel if he comes home with bolitas and humps or the likes since its in sa barko I felt so disrespected. 2008 came when I felt too exhausted of being a fulltime mother and living with his family so I decided to look for a job. I entered the police service out of my will thinking that it was the only way to temporarily escape from my situation. While on training I fell for someone I lost every feeling I have for my husband, I admitted to him my mistake of course he got mad asked me to resign to save his ego, but I refute because he said he wont spend a single cent on me again maloko man sya di nya pera, he will only attend on our daughters expenses. until now im having an affair with my boyfriend, i want to file legal separation but i dont know how. I know im committing adultery, will it be possible for me to have the custody of my daughter? thank you

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

As to having your marriage declared null and void, please read the Frequently Asked Questions section of my Family Matters website. Please also read my posts (look for the links in the sidebar):

Amy Perez case: Psychological incapacity in annulment of marriages

Sexual infidelity or promiscuity does not constitute psychological incapacity

Irreconcilable differences not a ground for declaring a marriage null and void

What happens in an annulment case if the respondent fails to file an Answer?

Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage


As to the question of custody of your child, please read my post "Custody battles over children: what determines fitness of a parent over another?" (look for the links in the sidebar; red also the comments and my replies to the comments).

You should terminate this adulterous relationship: (1) as a police officer, you can be charged administratively and be dismissed from the service; and (2) you are committing sin against God.

Anonymous said...

Good Day po!
Atty. 4yrs na po kming hiwalay ng asawa ko at 6yrs din po kming nag sama dati ok po kmi nabuntis po ako sa ibang guy(3yrs na po kming hiwalay) ngaun po ang anak ko sa knya is 9yrs old na po at babae. dati po nahihiram ko every weekends at pag my okasyon pero cmula ng nanganak ako until now ndi na po pinapahiram sakin. nkatira po ang asawa ko sa knyang mga magulang. kya po kmi nag hiwalay dhil pinaghihinalaan nya akong my ibang lalake pag inaaya nya akong mkipag talik na ayaw ko ang sa2bihin nya dun na lang ako sa lalake ko pra po sakin masakit na pag bintangan ka ng ganun. kya umalis po ako sa bahay ng mga byenan ko. atty ask ko lang po if my karapatan pa ako sa anak ko? kahit mahiram ko lang cya gaya ng dati. gusto ko po sana mag reklamo kayang iniisip ko baka mapatanggal ako d2 sa pinagtatrabahuhan ko kz ksama ko ang byenan kong babae sa isang agency. mraming salamat po.. asahan ko po ang sagot nyo..

Anonymous said...

maaari po ba akong mapatanggal if mag reklamo cla sa agency na pinagtatrabahuhan nmin ngaun? dhil nabuntis ako sa iba. apilido ko po ang gnagamit ng anak ko sa iba. salamat po ulit....
MS ARIES

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

MS ARIES,

[1] Please clarify: are you legally married? If yes, then you have the right to visitation and even custody of your child. Please contact the government offices and agencies (NBI, DSWD, etc) which I listed in the sidebar.

[2] “maaari po ba akong mapatanggal if mag reklamo cla sa agency na pinagtatrabahuhan nmin ngaun? dhil nabuntis ako sa iba”

Under RA 9710 “Magna Carta for Women”, pregnancy outside of marriage is not a ground for termination of employment.

Anonymous said...

yup married po ako. atty ask ko din po if ano po pede nming gwin pra maayos na paghihiwalay nmin. mlaki po ksing halaga pag annulment ndi pa po kya.
ano din po pede kong gwin kz po ayaw tlaga nlang pahiram at ipakita anak ko.
Maraming Salamat po nabuhayan ako ng loob sa RA 9710..

MS ARIES

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

MS ARIES,

[1] “if ano po pede nming gwin pra maayos na paghihiwalay nmin. mlaki po ksing halaga pag annulment ndi pa po kya”

The only legal ways are annulment of a voidable marriage, declaration of nullity of a void marriage, and declaration of presumptive death for purposes of remarriage (please read my post "If husband and wife have not seen each other for more than seven years, does it mean that their marriage is already void?").

[2] “ano din po pede kong gwin kz po ayaw tlaga nlang pahiram at ipakita anak ko.”

You should file a petition for Protection Order under RA 9262 to regain custody of your child. Please read my RA 9262 posts (look for the links in the sidebar) and contact the government offices (DSWD, NBI, etc) I listed in the sidebar.