Support

1.      Define Support

Support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family. (Article 194 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

 

2.      What are the factors that are considered in determining support to be awarded?

The law is silent as to the exact amount of support that should be given. The amount of support is never fixed. Once given, the amount of support shall be reduced or increased proportionally according to the two factors.

The factors that should be considered when determining the amount of support are

(a)   The resources or financial capacity of the family or the giver;

(b)   The indispensable needs of the recipient.

 

3.      When is support demandable?

Support shall be demandable from the time the recipient needs it for maintenance. (Article 203 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

 

4.      Can the amount of support be changed or modified?

Yes. Support can be reduced or increased proportionally, according to:

(a)   The reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient; and

(b)   The resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.

 

5.      How can the increase or reduction in support be implemented?

An increase or reduction of the support may be prayed for by mere motion in the same proceeding which granted the support.

 

6.      Who are the persons obliged to support each other?

The following persons are obliged to support each other:

 

(a)   The spouses;

(b)   Legitimate ascendants and descendants;

(c)    Parents and their legitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;

(d)   Parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter;

(e)   Legitimate brothers and sisters, whether of full or half-blood.

 

7.      Is there an expiry to the support that I am supposed to give to my children?

Under the Philippine laws, the obligation to give support shall continue until the child in question reaches the age of majority, which is eighteen (18) years old. (Section 3 of Republic Act 6809)

Support for education of the one being supported may continue even beyond the age of majority. (Article 194 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

 

8.      Is there a limit for support for education?

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

 

9.      In what form should the support be given?

The person obliged to give support has two options:

(a)   Paying the allowance fixed or;

(b)   Maintaining the one entitled to receive support in his dwelling.

(Article 204 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

The latter alternative cannot be availed of in case there is a moral or legal obstacle thereto.

 

10.  What are the examples of these moral or legal obstacles?

Some examples of moral or legal obstacles are:

(a)   When the recipient is an illegitimate child and the person obliged to give support is legal married to a woman who is not the mother of the child. (Pascual v, Martinez, C.A. 37 O.G. 2418)

(b)   When the father has been shown to have previously maltreated the child severely. (Pascual v. Martinez, C.A. 37 O.G. 2418)

(c)    When the wife is maltreated for refusing to perform unchaste acts with the husband (Goitia v. Campos Rueda, 35 Phil. 576)

(d)   When the father has been criminally guilty of seduction (U.S. v. Alvir, 9 Phil. 576)

(e)   When the wife cannot live with the husband and her mother-in-law because of constant quarrels arising from in-law relationship (Del Rosario v. Del Rosario, C.A. 46 O.G. No. 12, p. 6122)

 

11.  Are illegitimate children entitled to support?

Under the Philippine law, parents and their illegitimate children and the legitimate and illegitimate children of the latter are obliged to support each other. (Article 195 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

 

12.  What are the requirements for an illegitimate child to receive support from their biological parent?

There are two kinds of illegitimate children: 

(a)   A recognized illegitimate child – where the child can use the surname of his father. The filiation can be recognized by the father through:

  1. The recognition of the father of the child’s paternity through the record of birth appearing in the civil registrar;
  2. When admission is made in a public document;
  3. When admission is made in a private hand written document. 

(b)   An unrecognized illegitimate child – where a child is not acknowledged by his biological father and thus has to use the surname of his mother. 

If the child had been recognized by his father, he is entitled to support. But if he is an unrecognized child, relationship between the child and the father must first be proved. Once paternity has been proved, only then the child is entitled to child support from the father.

 

13.  Are my parents entitled to support?

Yes, the parents and their children and legitimate/illegitimate children of the latter are required by law to support each other. (Article 195 of the Family Code of the Philippines)

 

14.  My petition for annulment of my marriage was successful. Am I still required to support my ex-wife?

No. you are no longer obliged to support your ex-wife. Once the marital bond has been severed, the obligation to support one’s spouse ceases. This is due to the fact that only those who are husband and wife are required to render mutual help and support to each other.

 

15.  What if the hearing for the petition of annulment was still ongoing, am I obliged to support my wife even though we are already separated?

Yes. The right to support is not lost even if the spouse is gainfully employed as long as he or she still needs support. (Canonizado v. Almeda-Lopez, 109 Phil. 1169)

 

16.  What if, my wife and I are legally separated, how is support determined, considering we have a child?

When the obligation to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment of the support shall be divided between them in proportion with the resources of each.

However, the judge may order only one of them to furnish the support provisionally, without prejudice to his right to claim from the other obligors the share due from them, in the following instances:

(a)   Urgent need;

(b)   By special circumstances.

 

17.  My wife filed a case for annulment and support against me. Am I obliged to pay her support even if the case has not yet been decided by the Court?

Yes, you are obliged to give support to your wife for the benefit of your children with her.

In all cases involving a child, his interest and welfare are always the paramount concerns. There may be instances where, in view of the poverty of the child, it would be a travesty of justice to refuse him support until the decision of the trial court attains finality while time continues to slip away. (Gan v. Reyes, G.R. No. 145527, May 28 2002)

The money and property adjudged for support and education should and must be given presently and without delay because if it had to wait the final judgment, the children may in the meantime have suffered because of lack of food or have missed and lost years in school because of lack of funds. One cannot delay the payment of such funds for support and education for the reason that if paid long afterwards, however much the accumulated amount, its payment cannot cure the evil and repair the damage caused. The children with such belated payment for support and education cannot act as gluttons and eat voraciously and unwisely, afterwards, to make up for the years of hunger and starvation. Neither may they enrol in several classes and schools and take up numerous subjects all at once to make up for the years they missed in school, due to non-payment of the funds when needed. (De Leon v. Soriano, G.R. No. L-7648, September 17, 1954)

 

18.  My wife was convicted of adultery. Am I still obliged to give support to her?

No. you are no longer obliged to give support to your wife. The wife who committed adultery loses the right to support. (Quintana v. Lerma, 24 Phil. 285)

However, mere allegation that the wife has committed adultery will not bar her from the right to support pendente lite. The alleged adultery of the wife must be established by competent evidence. (Reyes v. Ines-Luciano, 88 SCRA 803)

 

19.  What if both of us were both unfaithful?

The right to support remains. (Almacen v. Baltazar 103 Phil. 1147)

 

20.  Can support be transmitted to third persons?

No. The right to support cannot be

(a)   Renounced;

(b)   Transmitted to third persons

(c)    Or compensated with what the recipient owes the obligor.

(Versoza v. Versoza, G.R. No. L-25609. November 27, 1968)

 

21.  My son recently died and there is an on-going demand for support while he was still alive. What will happen now?

The death of the child extinguishes the right to support. The mother of the child cannot receive the support of the said child. The death removed the only valid cause for the judgment of support, and the lower court has rightly held that respondent’s obligation ceased with that eventuality. (Malabana v. Abeto, 74 Phil. 13)