Child Support Payable By Law; Anti Violence Against Women And Their Children Act

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Posted
Interesting case that has landed a foreigner in trouble. 
 
 
Under the principle of nationality, Philippine laws apply only to Filipino citizens especially with respect to family rights and duties. So it cannot be used against foreigners who are likewise governed by their national laws. This is what Wilhelm Andersen, a native of Holland, tried to invoke in his case.
 
While touring Cebu, Andersen met and fell in love with Delia, a Cebuana. After a whirlwind courtship, they contracted marriage in Holland, Netherlands where they lived as husband and wife and gave birth to a baby boy, Rodger.
 
Unfortunately, after only about five years, when Rodger was only 18 months old, their marriage bond ended by virtue of a Divorce Decree issued by the appropriate Court of Holland. Thereafter, Delia and her son came home to the Philippines and resided in Cebu. According to Delia, Andersen promised to give monthly support to their son in the amount of P17,500, but since their arrival in the Philippines, he never gave said support.
 
Not long after Delia and her son returned to the Philippines, Andersen followed them. But instead of living with Delia and their son Rodger, Andersen met and remarried another Cebuana and established a catering business also in Cebu. But he still did not provide support to Rodger.
 
Fourteen years later without any such support from Andersen yet, Delia already got a lawyer who sent a letter of demand to Andersen. But the latter still refused.
 
So Delia already filed a complaint affidavit before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor against Andersen for violation of Section 5 (e) (2) of R.A. 9262 otherwise known as “Anti Violence against Women and their Children Act” which considers “depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support due her or her family” as an act of violence against women and their children.
 
 
After preliminary investigation the Prosecutor charged Andersen before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of “willfully, unlawfully and deliberately depriving, refusing and still continue to deprive his son of financial support legally due him.” Upon motion of Delia, after due notice and hearing, the RTC issued a Hold Departure Order against Andersen. Consequently, he was arrested and subsequently posted bail.
 
But subsequently on motion of Andersen, the RTC dismissed the criminal case since he is a foreign national and therefore not subject to our national law particularly the Family Code (FC, Article 195) in regard to a parent’s duty to give support to his child. Consequently, the RTC said he cannot be charged of violating R.A. 9262 for his alleged failure to support Rodger. Was the RTC correct?
 
According to the Supreme Court where the case was appealed via a petition for certiorari of Delia on purely a question of law, the RTC is correct in ruling that Andersen is subject to the laws of his country, not to Philippine Law (Art.195 FC) as to whether he is obliged to support his child as well as the consequences of his failure to do so.
 
This does not mean however that Andersen is not obliged to support Rodger altogether. Since he wanted to apply the national law of Netherlands in advancing his position he should have properly pleaded and proven said law. But in this case he never proved the same. And since the foreign law involved is not properly pleaded and proved, our courts will presume that the foreign law is the same as our local or domestic internal law which enforces the obligation of parents to support their children and penalizes non-compliance therewith. Besides, in the second page of the Divorce Covenant presented by Andersen himself, his obligation to support his child is specifically stated.
 
Furthermore, even if the national law of Netherlands states that parents have no obligation to support their children or that such obligation is not punishable by law, said law shall not be applied here because it is contrary to the sound and well established public policy of the Philippines as it would work great injustice to the child to be denied of financial support. So Andersen may be held liable under Section 5 (e) and (i) R.A. 9262 for unjustly refusing to give support to Delia’s son (Del Socorro etc. vs. Van Wilsem, G.R. 193707, December 10, 2014)
 
 
 

 

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Posted

The child was born January 19, 1994 and the verdict was reached almost 21 full years later on December 10, 2014

 

http://www.chanrobles.com/cralaw/2014decemberdecisions.php?id=1048

 

What a waste of time and energy, the kid was already raised by then and many of the old codgers having kids over here would be dead and gone by that time anyway.  Sure he should have paid but this just gives and example of how long 'justice' takes here.  Next question is how to collect what is owed her.

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Posted

Another law just for foreigners. There's 1000s of kids abandoned by their Filipino father but none of them will ever pay child support...

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Posted

yes that is true ironmaiden, the fact we know that means we are aware of the need to be responsible parents. the children should never suffer because of conflict between parents.

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Posted
Another law just for foreigners.

 

You have to admit it makes sense Iron.

 

Willie Sutton, a famous American bank robber during the depression was asked.

 

"Why do you rob banks Willie?"

 

"Well" he replied. "That's where the money is!" :cheersty:

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Posted

If he was American, his passport would have been not allowed to be renewed until he was caught up with the payments... just saying

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Posted

Of course he should have paid child support. But the more interesting question for me is this. He was ordered to pay about $350/month in child support in Holland, not such a huge sum, but after all it was 1994. However $350/month in the Philippines is a pretty large amount.

 

I wonder whether there's a mechanism to adjust the payment based on a different country and whether he would have paid child support if the amount had been less?

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Posted
He was ordered to pay about $350/month in child support in Holland

Where does it say that?

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Posted

yes that is true ironmaiden, the fact we know that means we are aware of the need to be responsible parents. the children should never suffer because of conflict between parents.

 

Well said sir!  :tiphat:

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Posted
Where does it say that?

I also inferred from the reading that the court in Holland told him to pay an amount that translates to 350 to 400 US dollars depending on the exchange rate but it ay have just been a 'suggestion'

According to Delia, Andersen promised to give monthly support to their son in the amount of P17,500
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