OFW dad doubts paternity of his newborn child
"I am an overseas Filipino worker, a husband and father. My wife recently gave birth to our third child. However, I sometimes find myself doubting the paternity of this child. Though I do not want to entertain thoughts as to my wife’s possible infidelity while I was away, I cannot help it especially after my wife had given birth. The child was carried to full term and is a healthy baby girl. My doubts surfaced when I realized that only a period of seven months had elapsed from the time when she told me that she was pregnant to the time she actually gave birth. When she told me that she was pregnant, I was already abroad after a one month vacation in the Philippines. Before then, I worked abroad for a period of one year.
What legal action should I take if I would find out with certainty that the child is not really mine? I am scheduled to come back home soon.Confused dad
Dear Confused dad,The most prudent thing for you to do is to ascertain the veracity of your theory by talking to your wife and confronting her about your doubts. You may also consult your wife’s attending physician or ob-gynecologists as to the period of gestation and your wife’s last menstrual period. The proper medical computation would erase doubts on your mind.
However, if after ascertaining the truth about the matter, you still want to pursue legal action against her, then, you may file a criminal complaint for adultery against her and the alleged father of the child. The penalty for the said crime is imprisonment of not less than two years and four months and not more than six years (Article 333, Revised Penal Code). Should you wish to do so, you also have the power to pardon your wife’s indiscretion. When you pardon your wife, you then relinquish your right to file a criminal complaint against her. (Article 344, Revised Penal Code)You may also impugn the legitimacy of the child recently borne by your wife. Under the law, “(c)hildren conceived or born during the marriage of the parents are legitimate.” (Article 164, Family Code of the Philippines)
The law, however, also provides the grounds to impugn the legitimacy of a child (Article 166 of the Family Code) when it was physically impossible for the husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife within the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately preceded the birth of the child because of:x x x(b) the fact that the husband and wife were living separately in such a way that sexual intercourse was not possible xxx.”Should the court declare that the child is the illegitimate child of your wife, the child, hence, loses her right over you as her father and consequently you lose your right as the father of such child.Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or via text message (key in: Times dearpao and send to 2299)."
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"OFW dad doubts paternity of his newborn child"
was written by Mary
under the Legal Advice
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comments. The article was created on 15 September 2021
and updated on 15 September 2021