For Moms & Dads


Single Moms and their Child Support and Child Custody Rights

Are you single mom? Are you aware of your rights and the laws that pertain to child custody and child support? Read on and find out from our expert.

child custodyWe asked Atty. Jose Gabriel Benedicto, our family law expert from Romulo, Mabanta, Buenaventura, Sayoc & de los Angeles Law Firm, to explain what a single mom’s rights are when it comes to child custody and support.  Below are some answers to frequently asked questions that will shed light on what a single mom can expect from the law when it comes to child custody.  

Please note that should anyone pursue a case pertaining to child custody and/or support, they are advised to seek legal counsel. This article is meant to be generally informative and not a specific treatment of a case.


1. What are the specific laws that cover child custody for single moms in the Philippines?

If a child is born out of wedlock, the child is considered as illegitimate under the parental authority of the mother. You will find this in Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines. Child custody is one of the consequences of parental authority. Parental authority includes the right and duty of a parent to bring up a minor (below 18 years old). This authority cannot be renounced or transferred except in cases allowed by law (Article 210 of the Family Code).

Apart from the Family Code, a single mother may also read up on RA 8972, “The Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000”) to find out her benefits as a single mom under Philippine law.  


    2. Are minors (or children under 18 years old) automatically under the custody of a mother? At what age can a child choose to live with either parent?

It dependsIn the case of married couples, the father and the mother jointly exercise parental authority (and therefore, joint custody) of a child.  However, in case of disagreement between the spouses, the father’s decision shall prevail unless there is a judicial order to the contrary (Art. 211, Family Code).

If the marriage is terminated by an annulment or declaration of nullity decree, there is a presumption in the Family Code as stated in Article 102 (6) and Article 129 (9) that any child below 7 years old is deemed to choose the mother, unless the court decides otherwise.  In all cases, the court shall take into consideration the best interests of the child in making its decision.   

For single mothers, they have sole parental authority over their child.  The father of the child cannot be deprived of his parental rights to have access to the child in case he desires this.  This can include temporary custody over the child.


Click here to learn more about answers to Child Custody FAQs.

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  • Guest 6 months ago
    My husband have kids from an anulled marriage. My question is since the biological mother has not work her entire life, should my husband give more financial support?
  • Guest 11 months ago
    Hi, my husband has already a son from his ex. And we have Also a son now. I want to know if how much the percentage of the money my husband can give support to his son with his ex? Thank you
  • Guest Aug 29 2014 @ 02:38am
    I just wanted to ask how can I file a child support against the father of my child who is an American citizen.We are not married though.He has been an ex Marine based in California,he refused to give financial aids as his reason is that I worked as a nurse and I could support the baby on solo.I found out he was married and has children and had abandoned me when I was pregnant.
  • Guest Jul 15 2014 @ 12:16pm
    I want to know what is the best i can do. I have a partner he is a foreign and we have a daughter she is 2 and half year old. We still living together but my partner he has other woman again and they have a baby 2 month old.. My daughter she just start to her school but his father wants me and my daughter to get out of the house. For just a simple reason that his not happy anymore. It was him theproblem why this relation is not work. Now he wants me and her daughter to leave and he dont even care if his daughter stop to her school.. Please hope you can help me.
  • Guest Jun 18 2014 @ 05:35am
    I am a single mother with two kids. Both of them have different fathers. I have been wanting to ask child support from both father, however, I do not know how because I dont know the address of their fathers. All i know is that one of them is not working and lives in Cavite, and the other one is working but he already told me that he cannot provide support to our child because he has to many debts to pay. What do I do? I really need financial support from both of them because I cannot afford to pay the rent, the bills, pay for my kids education, food..etc all by myself. I am trying really hard to do everything on my own but no matter how I try to stretch my salary for everything that needs to be paid and bought it is still not enough. Please help me.
  • Guest May 07 2014 @ 04:46pm
    What if I am not married to the father of my child then I get married to other man and my child is under his name... Can I change this last name of my child using the last name of my husband?
  • Guest Mar 04 2014 @ 02:22pm
    what if the mother voluntary gave all her kids to the father and the mother did not support the children nor visit the kids can the father file abandonment
  • Guest Jan 25 2014 @ 01:36pm
    Hi gudpm I have a big problem with regards of child support for my two kids but not married to their mother. I admit I have fault when it comes to the relationship with their mother. Until one day I found a women who completely change my life she is well developed by her parents so she understand this kind of situation and she is the one who helped me asking about legalization for child support even though I only have comission basis work as an agent and my wife is a casual employee. Please helped me to know everything about child custody.
  • Guest Dec 20 2013 @ 06:10am
    Hi, I am a mother of a six year old boy. I'm not married to his dad and he is now living in the US. He only gives money for our child everytime I asked him what our sons needs are. Can you please help me on what to do to make his support regularly without me asking him?
  • Guest Dec 20 2013 @ 06:10am
    Hi, I am a mother of a six year old boy. I'm not married to his dad and he is now living in the US. He only gives money for our child everytime I asked him what our sons needs are. Can you please help me on what to do to make his support regularly without me asking him?
  • Guest Aug 31 2013 @ 02:26pm
    Hello i am a mother of a 4 year old baby girl. Her father and i, didnt have solid relationship though umuuwi din sya s amin minsan pag baba nya ng barko. Nakarating na din ako at ng anak ko s kanila many times. Before ako nabuntis nababggit ko s kanya ba pag nabuntis ako di naman ako maghahabol ng support. My daughter is carrying his name. Pumirma sya s birth certificate ng anak ko acknowledging my daughter. Pero now medyo gipit ako, ayaw nya magbigay ng support kc pinaninindigan nyang may usapan daw kami di ako maghahabol. What will i do, please advise me
  • Guest Jul 16 2013 @ 03:06pm
    I am a single mom of a 6 yr old son. His father is an australian.. Anyone knows the procedure on how to get legal child support from a foreigner?
  • Guest Dec 27 2012 @ 09:13pm
    Im a father and leaving with my daughter whos becoming 7 years old in july. Me and her mother are not married can i take custody of our daughter?
  • Guest Aug 14 2012 @ 07:27am
    Im a single mom and I have 3 years old son I'm not married to the father,I just want to ask if I have right to ask a support for the father but he got married before I give birth...even his married now?he told me he will help me but still nothing..what I need to do?
  • hazel quebrado Jun 25 2010 @ 06:43pm
    thanks for giving information about this. i just hope there are law offices that are listed to help people like us.
  • pooh_sicat Jun 22 2010 @ 02:43pm
    thank you so much for sharing about this matter. I am about to seek advise to PAO. atleast I have additional information.
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