That’s the worst that could happen to anyone but, it’s better to prepare, right? Say for example you have a spouse who works abroad; a month passed and they haven’t sent you remittance. This goes on for six (6) months; no communication, whatsoever. A lot of things would run in your mind. Did he decide to remarry there? Did he find another family there? These are just few of the common questions one might ask.

While you’re wondering what happened, you’re stuck stressing about how you will continue paying for your children’s tuition fees, your mortgage/car loans, and other liabilities. Did you know that you can actually ask for financial support when this happens?

Are there laws that protect and secure abandonment of wives and children?

The Family Code of the Philippines is a law stating that a wife and her children are subject to receiving financial support. Moreover, this is a Philippine code that by all means should never be taken for granted as lives are dependent in this scenario.

Philippine Family Code Title IV, Article 194 – 208 discusses the support for wives and children in everything sustainable for survival; clothing, shelter, medical attention, food, transportation, and of course keeping with the financial means of the family. A lot of things are being covered although the education part covers schooling, trade and vocation, and training for some profession. The transportation covered in particular is transportation to and from school and work.

If this happens, who can file financial support?

The victim or the spouse can directly apply for financial support. Otherwise, the applicant needs to have an affidavit that includes the circumstances and abuse suffered by the victim. Along with the circumstances of consent given by the victim for filing the application.

Where can one apply for financial support?

A victim can apply to any regional, municipal, metropolitan, and municipal circuit trial courts in the area where the spouse/victim resides.

How much can the financial support be?

The financial support given to the victim and her children would be deducted from the means of the woman and her children and the means of the husband. This amount varies depending on terms and conditions and other factors as well.

What if the husband/OFW refuses to communicate?

Since the Philippine court does not have jurisdiction over your husband because he’s out of the country, you can wait and file a petition when he gets home. You can file a Protection Order under RA 9262 or a Hold Departure Order.

If you’re granted the P.O, the supreme court and judge will command your husband’s employer to remit directly to you for support of you and your children. Employers cannot and should not disregard this because they can be penalized if they don’t acknowledge it.

So having all of these said, how can one apply?

The wife should apply in writing and should be verified and signed under oath. It’s not rocketscience, you just need to proceed to the areas mentioned earlier and try for application there. When you’re there, you might be asked the following questions for proof, validity, and authorization:

  • You and your husband’s name
  • Both of your addresses (Yours here and his abroad)
  • Status (Brief description of relationship)
  • Explain the circumstance (abuse, no support, negligence of responsibility, etc.)
  • Request for counsel
  • Waiver of application fees for hearing;
  • Verification/attestation that there are no pending protection orders in another/different court/s.

If you want to have a look at what rights you have as a spouse, you can visit this page and see what other accounts you are eligible for in the event that your husbands neglects support over you and your family/children.

Another thing you might want to look at is the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 Section 5. This act states that deprivation of a woman and her children of financial support legally due to her or her family is a crime punishable by time in jail. Moreover, a fine of not less than Php100, 000.00.

Click here if you want to know more about the Anti-violence against women and their children

Alternatively, if you’re a single parent, you are subject to discounts/ benefits. These are benefits that appeal to you and your children without support. As per the Solo Parent Welfare Act of 2000, any parents whose income falls below the poverty threshold are eligible for assistance.

Are you being mistreated or neglected by your spouse abroad? Fear no more, the government has your back and you can always apply for these instances. Always remember that you are not alone and filing a case to your husband might be a difficult thing to do but hey, it’s for the betterment of you and your children’s future.

Read Also: How to File for Child Support in the Philippines

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