Question: “My ex-boyfriend and I have a child out of wedlock. Can I require my baby’s father to give us financial assistance?”
According to the Law: Yes. By law, the child is entitled to support. That is your right! That is your child’s right!
Article 176 of our Civil Code provides thus: "Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child......"
“Legitime”, by definition, is that portion of the estate from which a person cannot disinherit his children, or his parents, without sufficient legal cause.
But seriously now, do you really want that support?
Our laws are there as guides and we can assert our rights under the law. However, we also have to weigh our options and choose which road to take.
What is the life goal that we want to achieve by asserting this right? It may just be a temporary relief. Raising a child entails teaching him to live the values in life. Would asserting this right for support reflect these values that you want your child to live by?
Wouldn’t you rather raise the child out of your own sacrifices and fill the child’s life with love? Wouldn’t you rather be among those successful single parents who nobly raised their children single-handedly?
I say, take what is given; don’t beg. If your ex-boyfriend willingly gives something to the child through you, then be grateful for it. If your ex-boyfriend freely gives financial support to the child, then teach the child to be grateful as well. This is virtuous. This is humility.
Otherwise, move on and raise the child with what you could provide. Give him all the love that you can give. Your child will grow up to be loving, humble, and persevering, and you can sleep well knowing that your child’s success later in life are all borne out of your sacrifices.
Atty Cecilia Real holds a degree in Bachelor of Laws from the Ateneo de Cagayan – Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro. She has been a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines since 2000. She is also a corporate lawyer, an educator, and a single parent to her 4 children, who are all in college.
Send in your questions on family law to firstname.lastname@example.org and Atty. Real will answer them through the smartparenting.com.ph website.