Question (from Diana on Child Custody)
“I am a mother of two(15 and 16 years old)and currently working abroad. My ex who is living in Phils. has filed for an annullment and we are still waiting for the court’s decision. My 2 kids are in the custody of my mother but I send them monthly financial support. My questions are: can my ex husband file for a case to get a legal custody of my kids because I am abroad? If yes what are the things I need to do? Thank you. ~ Diana
“Yes, Diana, the father of your children can ask for the custody of your children in the same pending case for nullity.
If that happens and you want to oppose his move, you can return to the Philippines and file your opposition stating your reasons which may include any or some of the following:
- any existing agreement on the custody of the children signed by the father outside court
- your continuous desire to allow your children to maintain an open and loving relationship with their father
- the health, safety and welfare of your children
- any history of child or spousal abuse by their father
- habitual use of alcohol, dangerous drugs or regulated substances of the other parent
- marital misconduct
- where the children are now is the most suitable physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological and educational environment for their development and growth
- the preference of your childrenI hope that this helps. ~ Atty CFlorido
Question (from H. on Child Support pending Annulment)
“Good day to you,I am so glad to bump into your site.
My husband has been wanting to have our marriage be annuled. I told him that I cannot file the annulment yet because I pay for my daugther’s tuition fee.
He have my son in which he uses to force me in filing the annulment by not allowing to see my boy evrytime her gf pressures him to separate me legally.
I left our home alone more than a year ago and when summer came last year my eldest stayed with me and did not return to his father because she felt that she is being used as a shock absorber of her father’s agony along with my inlaws meddling and badmouthing against me.
My husband said that he can no longer wait of when am I filing the annulment because he is too scared that her gf would leave him again. He told me last night that he made a sworn statement regarding his complaint against me and that will lead to annulment.
We both want to be annuled but there are two reason that I couldn’t do it. First,I am not financially and emotionally prepared. Second if ever I will have the child custody he might not support them adequately and might intentionally forget his duty if he is not in the mood.
He is a school bus operator and earns around P40thou but I know that he only declared a VERY SMALL amount of income comparing to how much he really earns.
He said that he is a changed man and should give him a chance in believing that he will not run away from his obligation but I told him it should be in writing or I should take it into court. My problem is, what if the mediator or the court calculate of what is declared in his ITR,where I know that is not the real and actual amount?
He actually agreed that I could file a civil case for support before the annulment and he will be giving more than what is being stated. I told him if he do not give sufficient amount I will put him in trouble(like reporting him for tax evasion). He promised that he will never neglect his children but he had a plan of having 2 more children to his “would be wife”, I believe one day he will complain and would not give what is right for MY children because of having too much obligation.
Yes,I know he is galant when he have money and when he is in the right mood. I’d like to add that he is very temperamental,a habitual liar and inconsistent person. Somehow,he brings the kids to the mall and buys them whatever they want in which I cannot afford to do so. I want us to be civil with each other but I don’t want to end up begging for his help. What shall i do?
Can I file annulment then ask for temporary support(but he have my son)OR take my son first and ask for child support then file an annulment?
I am tired of crying evrytime he uses my son to pressure me. My son is even jealous of his sister asking why did I leave him and why can’t I take him too. I couldn’t explain him that his father will not support them ifever I take him with me. There are time my husband would say I could both have the kids and support them and there are time that he will not support them and just hide from his obligation. I am so emotionally battered with this problem.I am so glad to leave that psycho but there are children involve.
Please Ma’am tell me what to do.
Thank you for your time and God bless you for sharing us your wisdom.”
Due to the lengthy nature of your inquiry, I would like to reply directly
to your mail instead of posting it on the website although I may decide to
publish relevant portions of this reply to the site later.
1. On who should file: your husband can file the petition for nullity
(annulment) if he is the one who wishes for it. He can cite his own
psychological incapacity (assuming that this is his ground for filing) or his own failure to comply with the essential marital
obligations and hire a specialist (psychologist or psychiatrist) to attest
to this in court. You may also file the petition yourself and cite his
psychological incapacity but you will bear most of the expenses of litigation.
2. On child custody: the general rule is that children below the age of
7 are best cared for by the mother unless your husband cites specific and
compelling reasons to take them away from you. And if your children have
been living with you since the separation, maintaining the status quo (or keeping the existing arrangement) may be best for their emotional health and often increases your chances of obtaining full or joint custody later.
3. On child support: Even without the annulment petition, you can ask the court to issue an order directing your husband to support your children because the obligation to provide support for minor children exists regardless of the status of your
4. The decision to have custody of your son is a personal one and should
not be used as a support strategy. If your son is better off staying with
his father, then maybe agreeing on a set visitation schedule for you to
have access to your son is the best arrangement. Otherwise, do insist on
having your son live with you if it is for his own benefit. The support
issue will follow whatever decision you make on this matter. I hope that this helps.
This site’s legal disclaimer applies and the author’s comments are not intended to substitute the advice of your own counsel. Nothing in this reply also constitutes an attorney-client relationship between you and the author.
If you have a legal question on any of the topics discussed in this blog, write to us using the contact form on this page. Please don’t forget to include your email address for faster reply.