One of the most common questions that people ask lawyers is related to child support. We’ve asked Atty. Jerome Frias, Junior Partner at Frias Frias and Associates Law Office, for some insight on one very specific matter. Here is the scenario:
“During my college days, I accidentally got my girlfriend pregnant. Being students back then, I did not have the financial capacity to bear the prenatal and neonatal expenses. As a result, we broke up and separated even before she gave birth. Five years after, I was able to communicate with my ex-girlfriend and expressed my desire to support our child. Also, I told her that I intend for our child to use my surname in order to avoid any complications that may arise in the future. What should I do?”
According to Atty. Frias, the procedure under the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9255 shall be followed (different rules apply depending on the child’s age):
a. The father shall execute an Affidavit of Admission of Paternity or a Private Handwritten Instrument (PHI) in the handwriting of the father and duly signed by him where he expressly recognizes the paternity of the child during his lifetime and an Affidavit to Use the Surname of the Father (AUSF);
b. Within 20 days from the date of execution of the said documents, the father, the mother, or guardian (in the absence of the mother), shall file the documents together with a certified true copy of the Certificate of Live Birth of the child at the Local Civil Registry Office of the place of birth of the child. However, if a PHI shall be utilized instead of an Affidavit of Admission of Paternity, the father shall be the one to file the same as a general rule;
c. After filing, the City/Municipal Registrar shall examine the completeness and correctness of entries in the Certificate of Live Birth and the other documents. If there are inconsistencies, the documents shall not be accepted for registration;
d. Should there be no inconsistencies, the City/Municipal Registrar shall accept the documents for registration. Thereafter, the entries of the Certificate of Live Birth, Affidavit of Admission of Paternity, PHI, and the AUSF shall be recorded in the Register of Legal instruments;
e. The City/Municipal Registrar shall make the necessary annotations on Certificate of Live Birth and enter the annotations on the remarks portion of the Register of Births. Copies of the annotated Certificate of Live Birth, registered Affidavit of Admission of Paternity, AUSF, or PHI shall be distributed to the Civil Registrar General, Local Civil Registrar Office, the registrant/owner of the document, and one copy shall be retained by the Local Civil Registrar Office for filing;
f. The City/Municipal Registrar shall then issue certified copies of the Certificate of Live Birth with annotations and certified copies of the Affidavit of Admission of Paternity, AUSF, or the PHI.
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