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is it possible to claim back child support from the mother

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Arresto Menor
Good Day, Atty..

I would appreciate if you could give me some advice.

I am living with my partner for 12 years already. He has 3 kids from a previous relationship and I have 2 kids from my previous marriage.

In the start of our being together, in 2000 he left his kids with their mother and she was asking for financial support. Although my partner was employed during that time, his salary was not much to sustain his own expenses and could not contribute to cover for our household expenses. Considering that I have a good job and my salary is fortunately more than enough for us, I suggested that we would just purchase the necessary food and daily needs like diapers and milk for his 3 kids and he would just give it to them instead of money. The mother of his 3 kids was not too happy about the idea and she declined his offer and gave back the food items and groceries to us. After that, the mother denied my partner visitation rights and did not accept anything from him.

I actually experienced several confrontation with this woman and her mother from whom I heard very foul language and they have even made offensive remarks about me and made false accusations about me to my employer. I did not make it known to them that I had reported those incidents to the nearest police station from where I worked so that a formal complaint may be filed against them if these incidents would go out of hand.

After a few weeks, the mother of his 3 children was asking money from him because his son was sick and was in the hospital. I told him that instead of giving money, we will just pay the hospital bills directly, which again, came from my own pocket. After that, the mother started to ask for financial support again. She even went to the Public Attorney's Office in August 2000 and requested for a meeting to come up with an agreement about such financial support. In this case, we were very much willing to come up with an agreement in order to resolve this issue and my partner, in fact, submitted his proposed support scheme which, as recommended by the PAO, of course,would be proportionate only to what he could afford if and when he has some means of income. The mother of his 3 kids looked disappointed that it was not a substantial amount and in fact, 99% would not even be in monetary terms but rather in goods. So she refused this arrangement and nothing was resolved.

After 2 years, before June 2002, the mother again, contacted my husband and was now willing to give the 3 kids to him. At this time, the mother was already pregnant with a child from a different man and she admitted that she could no longer support her 3 kids. We suggested to have an official agreement about this arrangement but she refused to sign and just said that she will not bother us anymore as long as we take care of the 3 children. We trusted her words and this was when we started to take custody of the children.

While with us, I treated these 3 kids like my own and because my partner does not have sufficient income to provide for them and even sometimes would be unemployed, I have willingly provided enough support to these 3 kids and he has been repeatedly saying that he will sincerely repay me when he has the capacity to pay me back. All these years, we did not get any help from the mother of these 3 kids and she has repeatedly told us that she does not have work or does not have any money which is why we did not obligate her to support the 3 kids.

Although, considering the needs of the children to also be with their mother once in a while, we have allowed her to see them when she requests to see them but there was no regular schedule because she would always say that she does not have the budget to meet with them and bring them around but we never deprived her of her right to be with the kids.

Now, during the course of their growth development, it has been apparent that the kids would somehow, sometimes misbehave and would tell us that they want to live with their mother. In 2004 or so, the mother again had another baby from another different man so she was tied up taking care of her other 2 children and would not have time to meet or call the 3 kids under our custody. This situation continued until this year.

The youngest son 13, who I have always been called for by the guidance counselor or principal from his school for misbehavior and in fact, several times, the school requested me to pull him out from enrolment because he was bullying his classmates, again did something in school that resulted in another request to transfer him out to another school and at this point, I consulted the mother and requested her help to talk to the child and discipline him accordingly. again, she said that she could only talk to him but could not take him under her care because of lack of budget. One incident required us to consult with the DSWD about this son and my husband decided to impose the mother to take custody of this child since we have exerted all efforts to correct his character and behavior but the child always fought back and insisted that he wanted to live with his mother. Fortunately, the mother accepted him and I requested the DSWD to somehow monitor the progress of his development.

During our consultation with the DSWD, they were surprised that the 3 kids were staying with us without a formal agreement or some affidavit the the mother willingly entrusted them to us but anyway, if there was not big deal about it, then it was deemed to have had some consent from the mother.

Although, since my husband has finally found a job overseas and would eventually leave the other 2 kids under my care, my husband consulted the DSWD on how to make some official agreement about such arrangement.

The DSWD then called both partied for a meeting, in the discussion it was agreed that the 2 would stay with us and the youngest would stay with the mother. For financial support, it was agreed that whoever had the custody of each child, would be the one to provide for the immediate needs of that child and if and only it would be available, that the other parent would provide additional support in whatever form it may be.

As advised by the DSWD, my husband executed an affidavit stating the conditions of the custody and support of the children which we have already submitted to the DSWD and a copy was also provided to the mother.

Here comes the problem, my husband has just left for abroad and has a 2-year contract. His daughter 14 yrs old, who was left under my care, left for school orientation last Monday but did not return to our home afterwards. The mother then texted me that the daughter went to their house instead. The reason of the child for leaving without permission was because we had her hair cut short which she did not like. I explained to the mother that the reason behind it was that her daughter is not fond of fixing her hair and she had a lot of headlice. I told the mother that anyway, since the official classes have not begun yet, then the daughter could stay with her until the opening of classes and I suggested that she talk to her about her personal hygiene. The mother agreed and even assured me that she would tell the child not to leave without permission anymore. The mother even informed me that the child would be coming back home on Saturday, today, but I said that we have to go to the province and requested to convince her daughter to come home on Friday instead, one day earlier, which was supposed to be yesterday.

The mother then texted me and informed me the the child did not want to go home to me anymore and would rather stay with her. Now, I have to request for a refund in the enrolment I paid.

The mother is now asking that we provide financial support for the school service and the school "baon" for her daughter. I told her that if she chooses and decides to take her into her custody, she would nee to provide for her daughters needs. Now, she is threatening to file a case for child support against my husband.

1: can my husband refuse to provide financial support? - because, we are not even sure if such financial support will be appropriately given to the daughter and not to her 2 other daughters from 2 other different husbands OR can we impose, that instead of taking custody of the daughter, we would rather take her back under our care so that I could ensure that all the support we provide will be specifically passed on to her

2: since she is threatening to file a case for child support from my husband, can we claim for the mother's share/contribution on the financial support that I provided to their 3 kids? - considering that I spent 99% of the amount of all expenses for the duration of 10 years for those 3 kids without receiving any single centavo from the mother and I even opted to put them in private schools and have well provided for more that what they just need

I hope you can give me you advice on these issues that I have raised.

Thank you for your attention.

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1) no, but he can invoke the the previous written agreement if it is also signed by the wife.

2) no, he agreed to do that. but if you want to file a case, it will be against both your partner and his legal wife.

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