Practice Areas

Family Law

  • Adoption, e.g., domestic or international
  • Annulment
  • Change of Name
  • Custody of Minor Children
  • Financial Planning to serve Estate Planning Clients
  • Partition of Estate
  • Probate of Last Will & Testament
  • Support Proceedings
  • Temporary and Protection Order Proceedings

Family Law in The Philippines

Perhaps no other area of the law is more sensitive and personal than family law. This is particularly true in the Philippines where family is paramount.

We at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law understand the delicate nature of family law and observe utmost confidentiality and sensitivity in dealing with family law cases. We will be receptive to your needs and sensitivities while we passionately safeguard your rights and interests.

We offer assistance in the various areas of family law including those discussed below.


Adoption in the Philippines is regulated by two laws:

  • Republic Act 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 – this applies to adoption of a Filipino child by Filipino citizens
  • Republic Act 8043 or the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 – this applies to adoption of a Filipino child by foreign nationals

The process of adoption under either law starts with a petition filed by the adopting party. We at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law can facilitate and process the petition, as well as provide assistance throughout the rest of the adoption process.


In the Philippines, the term “annulment” is often applied to both Annulment of Marriage and the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage. These are two different processes, however. Annulment of Marriage may take place in cases where the marriage was deemed legal or valid, while the Declaration of Nullity may be sought for a marriage that was considered void from the start.

In either case, the petition must be supported by one of the causes or reasons laid out on relevant Philippine Family Code Articles.

Change of Name

Under RA 9048 of the Philippine Statistics Authority, a person may change his first name or correct a clerical or typographical error in his birth certificate without the need for a judicial order.

Changing surnames, however, can get a bit more complicated, particularly for children born outside of marriage who want to adopt their biological father’s family name, or perhaps, for children who want to adopt their mother’s family name instead of their father’s.

Changing your surname after marriage to that of your husband’s or a combination of your and your husband’s surnames might need to go through a judicial process as well, under certain circumstances.

In cases like these, we at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law can provide the legal guidance you need.

Custody and Support of Minor Children

In determining custody of minor children, Philippine courts put the child’s welfare above everything else. For example, while the law states that children under seven years of age should be in the custody of their mother, this rule is not absolute, and custody may not be granted to the mother if she is found unsuitable.

Child custody is one of the most contentious and emotional issues in family law. Related to this, the process for determining support for the child could just be as difficult. In cases where domestic abuse or similar issues are involved, protection orders may be necessary.

We at Duran & Duran-Schulze can provide the objectivity that you need in any child custody and support contest, and help you in coming up with a solution that would be best for your child.

Estate Planning and Estate Laws

Estate planning is highly advised especially if your properties have considerable value. Without a proper will or trust, conflict in the distribution of your property may arise among your heirs upon your death.

Additionally, keep in mind that any inheritance you leave behind could be subject to estate taxes and local transfer tax (for real estate properties).

If you want to spare your heirs of this financial burden, you might want to consider certain options such as:

  • setting up a life insurance policy that could be used for tax payments
  • selling your assets to your heirs instead of leaving them to your estate
  • donating your assets to your heirs

At Duran & Duran-Schulze Law, we offer financial planning assistance to our estate-planning clients.

We also offer our services to heirs and benefactors of an estate in the probate of a last will and testament.

In cases where no will is left behind, we can help in matters related to partitioning an estate, such as determining who are legally entitled to the deceased’s property and to what extent.