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21 July 2018

MS. PIA WURTZBACH-STOCKINGER


Purok 1, Block 2 Lot 3, Southville 4
Muntinlupa City

Dear Ms. Pia:

This legal opinion seeks to answer as to what remedies you have regarding the support and
visitation right to your children.

CUSTODY OF CHILDREN

Family Code of the Philippines states that parental authority over minor children is jointly
exercised by both parents. Should there be any disagreement, the decision of the father shall
prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.

You and your husband has an equal right over the custody and guardianship of your
children. Even if your husband signs an agreement allowing you to retain the sole custody and
guardianship over your daughter, such agreement will not prevent him from invoking his right or
deny him to exercise the very right guaranteed by our laws. Parental authority and responsibility
over a minor child may not be renounced or transferred except in the cases authorized by law.
Additionally, under article 210, No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the
mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

The exercise of the right to demand support is dependent not only on the needs of the party
seeking support but also on the financial means of the party responsible to give the same. This is
explicitly mentioned under our Family Code, to wit:

“Art. 201. The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196,
shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities
of the recipient.”

In the situation that you have shared with us, it appears that your husband, the father of
your 5 children, is not reneging on his financial responsibilities with the children. It just so happens
that he was scammed by an illegal recruiter, and he could not provide support at the moment
considering that he is yet to find a new job.Corollary, he may be exempted from giving financial
support until such time he is again gainfully employed.

Another legal consideration that you need to make is that you have as much responsibility
to provide support for your child as does his father. It would not be fair and equitable to demand
from him to pay for all the needs of your son if you have a source of income. It bears stressing that
under the law: “When the obligation to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment
of the same shall be divided between them in proportion to the resources of each” (Article 200,
FCP). We also do not think that it would be just for you to demand support from him because you
are taking care of your common child. Remember that, as a parent, it is your legal obligation to
take care of your child. You will not be allowed to seek compensation or gain from it at the expense
of the father of your child.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION OF THE CHILDREN

Your five daughters has the right to quality education, it should not be invoked to the point
that it would be impossible for his father to provide. If the father of your child cannot afford to
send him to an exclusive school because the tuition in the school you have chosen is too expensive
and his means simply does not permit it, then it would not be proper to even demand it from him
to begin with. It would be prudent for you to discuss with him his financial capacity and plans and
endeavor in finding another school that is within his finances. There are still schools, both public
and private, that are affordable and provide quality education.

Yours faithfully,

ATTY. RENMARC E. JUANGCO


21 July 2018

MR MARLON STOCKINGER
Phase 5, Block 6, Lot 7, Tensuan Site,
Poblacion, Muntinlupa City

Dear Mr. Stockinger:

This legal opinion seeks to answer as to what remedies you have regarding the support and
visitation right to your children.

CUSTODY OF CHILDREN

Family Code of the Philippines states that parental authority over minor children is jointly
exercised by both parents. Should there be any disagreement, the decision of the father shall
prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.

You and your wife has an equal right over the custody and guardianship of your children.
Even if your husband signs an agreement allowing you to retain the sole custody and guardianship
over your daughter, such agreement will not prevent him from invoking his right or deny him to
exercise the very right guaranteed by our laws. Parental authority and responsibility over a minor
child may not be renounced or transferred except in the cases authorized by law. Additionally,
under article 210, No child under seven years of age shall be separated from the mother unless the
court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

The exercise of the right to demand support is dependent not only on the needs of the party
seeking support but also on the financial means of the party responsible to give the same. This is
explicitly mentioned under our Family Code, to wit:

“Art. 201. The amount of support, in the cases referred to in Articles 195 and 196,
shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities
of the recipient.”

In the situation that you have shared with us, it appears that you, the father of your 5
children, is not reneging on his financial responsibilities with the children. It just so happens that
you were scammed by an illegal recruiter, and you could not provide support at the moment
considering that you had not yet find a new job. Corollary, you may be exempted from giving
financial support until such time you are again gainfully employed.

Another legal consideration that you need to make is that you have as much responsibility
to provide support for your child as does her mother. It would not be fair and equitable to demand
from him to pay for all the needs of your son if you have a source of income. It bears stressing that
under the law: “When the obligation to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment
of the same shall be divided between them in proportion to the resources of each” (Article 200,
FCP). We also do not think that it would be just for you to demand support from him because you
are taking care of your common child. Remember that, as a parent, it is your legal obligation to
take care of your child. You will not be allowed to seek compensation or gain from it at the expense
of the father of your child.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION OF THE CHILDREN

Your five daughters has the right to quality education, it should not be invoked to the point
that it would be impossible for his father to provide. If you cannot afford to send him to an
exclusive school because the tuition in the school you have chosen is too expensive and his means
simply does not permit it, then it would not be proper to even demand it from you to begin with.
It would be prudent for you to discuss with him his financial capacity and plans and endeavor in
finding another school that is within his finances. There are still schools, both public and private,
that are affordable and provide quality education.

Yours faithfully,

ATTY. RENMARC E. JUANGCO