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ACTION TAKEN – Civil Action

Support is a provisional remedy which grants a person entitled to support an amount enough for
his “sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation” (Art. 194,
Family Code) while the action is pending in court. It may be availed of by any of the parties in the
action for support or in a proceeding where one of the reliefs sought is support for the applicant.
The capacity of the person who will provide the support and the needs of the one entitled to be
supported are taken into consideration in setting the amount of support to be granted.

Support pendente lite can be availed of at the commencement of the action or at any time before
the judgment or final order is rendered in the action or proceeding. The one claiming for support
must establish before the court the relationship between the parties as to entitle one to receive
support from the other.

In determining the amount to be awarded as support pendente lite it is not necessary to go fully
into the merits of the case, it being sufficient that the court ascertain the kind and amount of
evidence which it may deem sufficient to enable it to justly resolve the application, one way or
the other, in view of the merely provisional character of the resolution to be entered. Mere
affidavits may satisfy the court to pass upon the application for support pendente lite. It is
enough that the facts be established by affidavits or other documentary evidence appearing in
the record.

In this case, the plaintiff alleges that her husband eventually refused to give financial support,
which is legally due to the plaintiff and their children. She also alleges that her husband has
already abandoned her with their children and went away with her mistress.

Support pendente lite is one of the remedies, which is provisional in nature, that may be granted
by the law because such withdrawal of financial support by the husband of the plaintiff without
justifiable cause led to deprivation of the basic needs of their family, and which led to economic
abuse sanctioned by RA9262.

Since the granting of the support pendene lite does not necessarily need to go fully into the merits
of the case, it being sufficient that the court ascertain the kind and amount of evidence which it
may deem sufficient for the purpose, in view of the mere provisional character of the resolution
to be entered. Mere affidavits may satisfy the court to pass upon the application. It is enough
that the facts be established by affidavits or other documentary evidence appearing in the
record. Such is the remedy taken because it is expeditious and it may be granted pending the trial
of the main case. Besides, it is also expressly provided for under Section 8 (g) of the RA9262, that
support is one of the reliefs included in the Protection Order that may be granted.
JURISDICTION

Support pendent lite is commenced by filing a verified petition before the Regional Trial Court or
the Family Court, as the case may be, both courts having exclusive original jurisdiction.

Nonetheless, there is an instance where the Municipal Trial Courts could have jurisdiction over
the same petition. This is when the penalty provided by law is within the jurisdiction of the
Municipal Trial Courts and the civil liability arising from the offense charged is deemed instituted
with the criminal action.

Needless to say, the appellate court may also grant support pendent lite even if the trial court
refuses to grant the same.

In this case, since the penalty attached in ecomonic abuse under RA9262 is prision correccional,
then, it would have been the MTC which has jurisdiction over the application for support
pendente lite. But by express provision of the law, cases involving violence against women and
their children under R.A. 9262 may be filed in the Regional Trial Court designated as Family Court
or in the absence of a designated Family Court, in the Regional Trial Court in the place where the
crime or any of its elements was committed at the option of the complainant.