An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) that abandons his wife and children in the Philippines is not a new story to all of us. But as the one who is being left behind with children to raise up, what should you do?
Husbands are bound by law to give financial support to his family especially his children. According to the Family Code of the Philippines, a wife and her children should receive financial support including sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education, transportation, etc.
On the other hand, Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 Section 5 (e) states that depriving the woman and her children of financial support legally due her or her family is a crime punishable by time in jail and a fine of no less than P100,000. Aside from this, it is also a punishable crime if one deliberately provides insufficient financial support to children.
Who Can File For A Financial Support?
The victim can apply directly. If the applicant is not the victim then an affidavit of the applicant should be presented. The affidavit should include the circumstances of abuse suffered by the victim and the circumstances of consent given by the victim for filling the application.
How to file?
A wife can ask for support in writing, and it should be signed and verified under oath.
In your application, you may be asked the following:
- You and your husband’s names and addresses
- Description of relationship
- Statement of the circumstance of the abuse (including abandonment and no provision of support) and a description of the reliefs requested:
- Request for counsel and reasons for such
- Request for waiver of application fees for hearing and
- An attestation that there is no pending application for a protection order in another court.
Where to apply?
An applicant can apply to any regional, metropolitan, municipal and municipal circuit trial courts with territorial jurisdiction over the place where the woman lives.
How much can financial support be received?
- The amount of support will be deduced from the needs of the woman and children and the means of the husband.
- This amount can be reduced or increased also depending on the same variables.
- While the case is being heard in court, the wife can already receive some financial support by asking for pendent lite.
- The husband should send an allowance within the first five days of every month.
Although the Philippine court does not have jurisdiction over your husband as long as he is out of the country, you can still file a petition as soon as he goes home. File a Protection Order under RA 9262 and a Hold Departure Order.
Once granted the Protection Order, the judge will direct the employer of your husband to remit support directly to you and your children. If the employer disregards this notice, they can be penalized for contempt of court and be imprisoned and fined.