DSLaw Family Law Series

WHAT HAPPENS TO CHILDREN WHEN PARENTS BREAK OFF THEIR MARRIAGE? [Understanding the Issues of Legitimacy, Child Custody and Support under the Family Code of the Philippines]

The severance of marital ties in the Philippines does not only involve the husband and wife. A child-centered approach should also be given importance. Unfortunately, when couples break off their marriage, there may be unintended legal consequences pertaining to legitimacy, custody and support which must be considered. We are here to answer the question, “What happens to the children after legal separation, declaration of nullity or annulment?”

In legal separation, which involves only the bed and board separation of the spouses, the children remain legitimate.

In voidable marriages, children who are conceived or born before the judgment of annulment has become final and executory shall still be considered legitimate.[1]

Meanwhile, children conceived and born of void marriages are illegitimate;[2] only with a few concessions: those who were born of void marriages such as psychological incapacity and subsequent marriages, who are exceptionally considered legitimate.[3]

With respect to custody, the custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse.[4] This is subject to the provision that parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court.[5]

The Family Court, in its discretion, likewise has the right to award support in favor of the children.         

[1] Family Code, art. 54, (1987).

[2] Family Code, art. 165, (1987).

[3] E. Rabuya, The Law on Persons and Family Relations, (2006).

[4] Family Code, art. 63, (1987).

[5] Family Code, art. 214, (1987).

How Can We Help?

At Delloro & Saulog Law Offices, our can lawyers can help you and your children. We can assist you in filing a petition for support, custody, visitation, and guardianship. This may be lodged with the petition for annulment, declaration of nullity or legal separation, or may be filed separately.

For more information on how we can help you, book a consultation with us below.

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