Dear Atty. Duran-Schulze,
I gave up my child when I was young, I am now stable, may I get my child back? My live-in partner and I were not married when I gave her up. Now that I am a bit stable, I want to be with her again but I do not want to get back to the mother as she always drinks, and she is the reason why I failed to do my obligations as a father.
As you are not married, your child is considered an illegitimate child. This is in accordance with Art. 165 of the Family Code, which states that “children conceived and born outside a valid marriage are illegitimate, unless otherwise provided in this Code.”
Since the child is illegitimate, the parental authority shall fall to the mother. This is stated in Art. 176 of the Family Code, where in the “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.”
While the child shall be under the custody and parental authority of the mother if the child is below seven years of age, the choice of the child shall be taken into consideration by the Court if the child in question is above seven years of age as to whom the child may wish to stay with.
Art. 213 of the Family Code provides, “in case of separation of the parents, parental authority shall be exercised by the parent designated by the Court. The Court shall take into account all relevant considerations, especially the choice of the child over seven years of age, unless the parent chosen is unfit.”
In the case of Briones vs. Miguel (G.R. No. 156343, October 18, 2004), “the following grounds have been considered ample justification to deprive a mother of custody and parental authority: neglect or abandonment, unemployment, immorality, habitual drunkenness, drug addiction, maltreatment of the child, insanity, and affliction with a communicable disease.”
If it is determined that the mother possesses the disqualifications mentioned in Briones vs. Miguel, you may file a case of custody to have your child’s parental authority transferred from the mother to you.
Need further information and assistance? Talk to our Legal team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law. Call us today at (+632) 8478 5826 or send an email to [email protected] for more information.