Complete Guide Child Support Philippines
This complete guide to Child Support in the Philippines discusses both legal cases and other options for Child Support.
There are 3 major sections for Child Support Philippines:
- Non-Court Options such as Child Support Demand Letters, Child Support Agreements Philippines, Barangay & Other Government Offices that you can work with
These are for those who cannot afford the court process.
- Court Options such as filing under RA 9262 and a Civil Child Support Court Proceeding
These are for those who can afford court cases. Child Support court proceedings are expensive but they are enforceable, meaning that the court can send someone to enforce the order if someone did not fulfill one part of the agreement.
- Child Support 11 FAQs: Everything about Child Support Amounts, Child Support if the father is not working, Child Support if not Married/Child Support if Married and other top FAQs
Child Support Philippines: Non-court Options
What if I cannot afford to file for Child Support Case in the Philippines?
If you cannot afford to file Child Support in the Philippines, there are some options that you can do to bring pressure on the father.
You will be doing a lot of work because you will be doing a lot of coordination.
You will need to coordinate because the Philippine bureaucracy is mostly manual and very difficult to get information from.
There are some things that you can do, if you cannot afford court.
Some can help later on, if you then have the ability to go court.
(When something is not enforceable, that means that you cannot rely on the Court to go after that person if that person does not hold up his side of the agreement.)
Some of those things are:
- A Child Support Demand Letter Philippines
- A Child Support Agreement Philippines
- Coordinating with POEA or the BI or other agencies to put pressure on the father
A Child Support Demand Letter Philippines: What you should put in it?
A Child Support Demand Letter should have the following information:
- Name and Address of the person you are demanding Child Support from
- The Child Support Amount required
- Other statements that show you have a legitimate claim for Child Support from this person. i.e. Statements of Paternity and Filiation, etc.
- You must serve it to that person and must prove that it was served to that person.
Don’t forget the date.
Child Support is due from the date it is demanded, so it is important to have a date.
For the most part, that the more pertinent and more proof you put in the better, even though it takes a lot of effort.
(And by the way, the proof that you put in should be evidence, not just statements.
Statements are not very helpful.
High quality evidence unfortunately, is generally a key reason why people hire lawyers, but do the best you can.)
A good Child Support Demand Letter can be used in Court or in the Barangay.
The Court or Barangay can use the Child Support Demand Letter to show that the person was informed and did not refute the facts (if he doesn’t refute it).
The Child Support Demand Letter can thus help you later on, if you need to it.
Yes, you can send several Child Support Demand Letters.
In fact, it is generally good idea to send more than one.
When there are several Child Support Demand Letters, then the Court or Barangay can show that you tried your best to get this settled and lend strength to the claim that you tried to adequately inform the other person.
Let me just stress –
May sure that the Child Support Demand Letter is served and that there is proof that the other person received it.
This is so that he or she cannot claim that the Child Support Demand Letter was never received. (Which would invalidate all your hard work.)
There are actually strict requirements for service – go overboard in trying to prove that it was served, including getting the signature of the other party.
Also note – Child Support if the Father is not working is difficult since there would be no money to pay for Child Support Philippines even if you do everything correctly.
Make sure the father has money and also make sure you can prove the child’s paternity if you demand Child Support.
Child Support Agreement Philippines: What you should write?
A Child Support Agreement Philippines is a contract signed by both parties identifying their obligations with regard to Child Support.
You should include the following things:
- The Child Support Amount Philippines
- How the Child Support Amount will be paid
- Both parties’ full legal names, addresses and valid government IDs with signature
- Date and Page numbers
A Child Support Agreement Philippines can be used as proof (if it was properly made) that one of the parties did not live up to the agreement if the case is eventually brought to court.
No, we don’t have a template for a Child Support Agreement Philippines – it is more effective the more specific it is to your case.
Child Support Philippines: Barangay
You can ask from help from the Barangay for Child Support.
Going to the Barangay is not a mandatory step in filing a Child Support case at Court but it may help you if you are not able to afford a Child Support Philippines case.
Be prepared at the Barangay –
- Bring proof of paternity/filiation
- Previous Child Support Demand Letters
- If you have one – a Child Support Agreement Philippines
- If applicable – Proof that the Child Support Agreement was not followed
- Proof that the father/other party has the capacity to pay
- Basis for the Child Support Amount that you are requesting
- Other proof
It is best to be prepared.
If you wish the Barangay to help you, you have to be prepared to prove everything.
That is why I suggested putting in all the detail that you could and ensuring service (so the other party cannot say they weren’t informed).
That is also why the Child Support Agreement should be clear and also detailed – you want it be clear that it was a failure to comply and not because it was unclear what the obligation was.
Child Support Other Government Offices: POEA, BI, Other Options
Several potential clients have discussed other things that they have done to put pressure on the father, if he is unwilling to pay Child Support.
There are possibilities – but note a few things if you do this
- Threatening the father’s livelihood will destroy his ability to pay Child Support Philippines.
- It is a lot of work – generally, those who can afford lawyers do so because doing this will take a lot of time and determination – think of it as a second job.
- If you block a father from entering the Philippines, he cannot be brought to court for Child Support Philippines
- You will need to find ways to do this yourself
A potential client worked with the POEA and her husband’s agency to threaten his livelihood, as he had not paid.
Another potential client stated that she worked with the Bureau of Immigration to block the foreign father from coming into the Philippines.
There are consequences to each action, so be careful in what you decide to do.
How to File for Child Support: Court Options
How to file for Child Support in the Philippines?
Filing Child Support in the Philippines is a court case and so the first step is to find a good lawyer. Your lawyer will guide you as to proof of paternity, financial capacity, and other proof needed for the Child Support Philippines case.
There are different Child Support Philippine cases you can file:
- RA 9262 Criminal Case alleging Economic Abuse or RA 9262 for a Protection Order
- Child Support Civil Case
Child Support has a trial and several hearings.
Because of this, filing a Child Support case is expensive.
Most people who file for Child Support in the Philippines do this as part of a legal strategy and not just for Child Support.
They might want to formalize the Child Support Agreement and separate it out from the Annulment case.
They might want to exert pressure on the father as part of a set of cases.
Because of the expense, Civil Child Support cases are not a practical option for the majority of single parents who are already struggling to get by.
I suggest reading the previous section: Child Support Philippines: Non-Court Options if you cannot afford a Child Support Lawyer
Below, I’ll explain what you can expect in a Child Support Philippines case.
Child Support VAWC: RA 9262
You can file a Criminal Case alleging Economic Abuse under RA 9262 to put pressure on the father.
(Remember that if you do this and the father’s livelihood is impacted, then you will not be able to get Child Support).
You will need to go to the prosecutor’s office to file for RA 9262.
You will need to file this at the court where you live and put together your proof that there was Economic Abuse under RA 9262.
The things that I have mentioned above can help:
- The Child Support Demand Letter Philippines
- The Child Support Agreement Philippines
- And all the proof that you put together for the Barangay (proof of paternity, financial capability, basis for the Child Support Amount)
- Any other proof that you have of Economic Abuse
- You will need the current address of the father/giver
Remember that this is now a court case.
You will need a lawyer.
You may qualify for the PAO, but the majority may not.
If you do not qualify for the PAO, you will need a private lawyer and this will then become expensive.
Expect a trial and several pleadings back and forth, especially if both of you are determined to fight it out.
Expect it to take at least 3 years or so and very possibly more.
(Some government statistics show that a case takes on average 5 years to end).
Child Support Civil Case
A Child Support Civil Case can be filed at the designated Family Court of the RTC.
You will definitely need a lawyer.
Your lawyer will help you assemble the proof and evidence needed such as:
- Child Support Paternity Proof
- Basis for Child Support Calculations
- Proof of Giver’s Financial Capacity
- Any proof that you have already tried to settle it such as Child Support Demand Letters, Child Support Agreements, etc, etc
Expect this to take years.
Because it can take years, you may ask the court for Provisional Child Support, which is Child Support that must be paid while the case is on-going
Child Support Philippines FAQ’s: Amount, Who Decides, How Much, Modify Amount
What is the correct Child Support Calculation Philippines?
There is no Child Support Calculation in the Philippines.
The Child Support Amount instead depends on:
- the resources or means of the giver and
- the necessities of the recipient
So, the Child Support Amount is somewhere between how much the giver has and what the child’s needs are.
Child Support Amount Philippines differs from case to case.
Who decides how much the Child Support Amount Philippines should be in my case?
Only a Judge can provide an official amount of how much the Child Support Amount should be.
The judge will take a look at the capacity of the giver:
- the giver’s current job
- properties and assets
If you are in the middle of a Child Support Philippines case, it is important to show proof that the giver is capable.
You should try to determine the giver’s current employer.
You can also present proof of the giver’s ownership of property or investments.
Your goal is to show to the court that the giver can afford to pay Child Support Philippines, so that the giver cannot say that he cannot afford it.
If you are not currently in a Child Support case and are figuring out what the Child Support Amount should be, then the answer is there is no “correct” amount.
Instead, consider what the giver can afford and what the child needs and then negotiate from there.
What if the giver lies about his capability so that he doesn’t have to pay Child Support Philippines?
If the giver lies about his capability to provide Child Support Philippines, then you must prove that he can provide Child Support.
In this situation, you might need to bring this to the barangay as a first step.
You might also really have to consider Court.
(Note it is only when you have a court decision that you can ask the court for a Sherriff to enforce it, or the court can assign someone else to enforce it. That is why a Court Decision is so valuable.)
You would need to show actual proof of a job.
Pay slips or other evidence of employment are valuable.
You can show proof of ownership of property or a vehicle.
So, things like the Certified True Copy of Title, Stock Certificates and OR/CR of a car with the giver’s name are also accepted.
Now, this information is difficult to get.
In fact, getting the information of proof of ownership can be a serious problem.
Nonetheless, it is really needed and you should exert all effort to find proof of ownership or other information your case may need.
Child Support Amount Philippines: Can I reduce it or ask for an Increase?
You can reduce or increase the Child Support Amount if circumstances change.
When there is a Court Decision –
You can go back to Court to ask the Judge to reduce the Child Support Amount. This might happen if you have lost your employment or lost your property and investments.
On the other hand, you can go back to court to ask for an increase if your Child needs it.
You can do this when the Child’s educational needs change.
You might also do this if there are unexpected medical needs.
Child Support Philippines: What can I do if the giver doesn’t pay the Child Support Amount even if there is a Court decision?
If the giver doesn’t pay Child Support even if there is a Court Decision, then you can go back to Court to complain.
(However, Child Support if the father is not working is very difficult. There would be no money to pay for Child Support even if you go back to the court and complain.)
Inform your lawyer of the situation.
Show proof of non-compliance such as screenshots of conversations or bank statements.
Non compliance with a Court Decision shows Contempt of Court.
The Judge can enforce compliance of Decision through the Court Sherriff or another officer that it identifies to help.
How do I get regular Child Support?
If you go to Court, you can request that Child Support be paid a certain way so that you can try to get regular Child Support.
You can ask the Court to consider getting some of the assets and liquidating them – so a car can be sold to pay for child support.
You can ask the Court to work with the giver’s company so that it can be deducted.
If Child Support is still not regular, then you can ask the Court to send a Sherriff and try to enforce it.
(Note that you need to coordinate with the Sherriff.)
However, if you do not yet have a Court Decision, then it is truly difficult to enforce a Child Support Agreement if one side doesn’t pay.
You might consider putting pressure on the father through the other options I mention above.
What if the Father does not acknowledge the Child?
If the father does not acknowledge the Child or if the father denies paternity, you will need to prove it.
The most common proof of Paternity is the birth certificate.
If the birth certificate does not show proof of paternity, then it becomes harder.
A DNA test would be helpful if you can get it.
An acknowledgement that the child is his written down or through other means is also helpful.
If paternity is an issue, it will take more time to settle the issue at court.
The Court says,
Filiation must be established for a child to claim support from a putative father. When filiation is beyond question, support follows as [a] matter of obligation. [G.R. No. 206647, August 09, 2017]
It is necessary for a support case that filiation – family relationship such as paternity in other words – is proved, so this is an important part of the case.
So, if the father does not acknowledge the Child or if the father denies paternity be prepared to gather proof and present that.
Child Support Father is not working: Is it possible?
Child Support if the Father is not working is hard.
The father is supposed to pay for support so when he doesn’t have a job, there is no money to pay for the support.
You can try to pressure him into working – but it is hard to make that work.
You can try to ask money from his relatives – but that is hard to make enforceable as well.
Because the primary responsibility is the father’s, it is hard to get Child Support if the Father is not working or if he doesn’t have money.
Child Support if not married/Child Support Married
Child Support if not married/Child Support if married is essentially the same – both parents are obligated to provide support for their child.
Art 195, Family Law of the Philippines itemizes those who are obligated to provide support. It states that parents are responsible for the support of their children.
So, Child Support if not married/Child Support if married is essentially the same, and legitimacy is not a consideration when asking for support.
And yes, both parents means that both the mother and the father must provide Child Support.
Child Support Philippines from a Foreign Father
There are now more options for you to claim Child Support Philippines from a foreign father.
It is now much easier since the Philippines is now part of the Hague Convention on Child Support.
It still requires a lot of coordination between you and a foreign lawyer where the foreign father is from.
If you do this, be aware that you will need to:
- Pay the foreign lawyer and this can be expensive, but you would need him to file the paperwork and do the case.
- Ask a local lawyer for advice – there are very few lawyers who are experts in Child Support so check with several before you choose one.
- Know that there is a lot of work for the foreign lawyer so prepare and save up.
Child Support Philippines from a foreign father is now much easier than before.
The good news is that countries like the United States have enforcement mechanisms in place if the father doesn’t pay Child Support.
His license can be taken away.
His passport can be revoked.
His Child Support Philippines can be deducted automatically from his pay.
So, there are a lot of options but you must get the right advice.