How to File Child Support in DSWD

Child support is a legal obligation typically imposed on parents to provide financial assistance for their child or children’s upbringing, regardless of whether the parents are married, separated, divorced, or were never married. Its purpose is to ensure that children have access to the resources they need to meet their basic needs and enjoy a reasonable standard of living.

Also Read: DSWD: How to Get Travel Clearance for Minors?

Child support typically involves the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have primary custody of the child) making regular payments to the custodial parent (the parent with whom the child primarily resides) or to a designated guardian. These payments are intended to cover expenses such as food, clothing, housing, education, healthcare, and other necessities.

Importance of Child Support for Children’s Welfare

Financial stability provided through child assistance payments enables children to access essentials like nutritious food, adequate shelter, quality education, and healthcare services. This support not only fosters physical well-being but also promotes emotional security, reducing stress and anxiety associated with financial insecurity. Furthermore, assistance to children facilitates equal opportunities for children from diverse backgrounds, allowing them to pursue their aspirations without being hindered by economic disadvantages.

This also fosters positive parent-child relationships and contributes to a sense of belonging and support for children. When parents fulfill their financial obligations, it promotes healthier co-parenting dynamics and minimizes conflict, creating an environment where children feel loved, valued, and emotionally supported. Hence, legal protection provided by youth aid orders ensures that children’s rights to financial assistance from both parents are upheld, safeguarding them from neglect or deprivation.

Role of DSWD in Facilitating Child Support

DSWD serves as a central agency responsible for implementing social welfare policies and programs, including those related to child upbringing, safekeeping, and guardianship. One of its key functions is to provide assistance and support to families, especially those in need, to promote the well-being of children.

DSWD assists in facilitating youth aid by providing various services and interventions. This includes offering guidance and counseling to parents regarding their responsibilities and obligations towards their children, as well as educating them about the importance of providing the necessary assistance for the overall welfare of their offspring. Aside from this, DSWD helps in establishing and enforcing child support agreements through mediation, negotiation, and legal avenues if necessary. The department also collaborates with other government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and community stakeholders to ensure that children receive the support they are entitled to.

Legal Bases

In the Philippines, the legal basis for child support and the role of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in facilitating it are primarily defined by the following laws and regulations:

  • Republic Act No. 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004): This law recognizes the rights of children to support from their parents and establishes mechanisms for protection and support, particularly for children affected by violence or abuse within the family. It outlines the responsibilities of parents to provide support for their children, including financial assistance.
  • Republic Act No. 8552 (Domestic Adoption Act of 1998): While primarily focused on adoption, this law also emphasizes the welfare of children and their right to parental care, support, and love.
  • Family Code of the Philippines: The Family Code contains provisions related to parental authority, obligations, and support. It establishes the legal framework for determining guardianship obligations, including factors such as the needs of the child, the financial capacity of the parents, and the standard of living of the family.
  • Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act No. 9262: These regulations guide the implementation of RA 9262, including provisions related to child support services and interventions by government agencies like the DSWD. They outline the responsibilities of DSWD in assisting families and children affected by domestic violence, including facilitating child aid arrangements.
  • Child and Youth Welfare Code (Presidential Decree No. 603): This decree contains provisions related to the protection and welfare of children, including their right to support from their parents.

Who Can File for a Child Support?

Financial aid for children can typically be applied for by:

  1. Custodial Parents or Guardians: The primary caregiver of the child, often the parent with whom the child primarily resides, can apply for child assistance on behalf of the child. This is commonly the parent who has physical custody of the child and is responsible for the day-to-day care and upbringing.
  2. Legal Guardians: In cases where the child is under the legal guardianship of someone other than their biological parents, such as a relative or family friend, the legal guardian may apply for aid to children on behalf of the child. Legal guardianship may be established through court orders or legal documentation.
  3. Children Themselves (Under Certain Circumstances): In some instances, particularly if the child is emancipated or deemed mature enough to make legal decisions, they may be able to apply for support directly, especially if they require financial assistance for their support and welfare.

Reminder: It’s important to note that eligibility to apply for this may be subject to certain conditions and requirements, and the specific process for applying may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the program or service being accessed. Likewise, legal assistance or guidance may be advisable when applying for financial aid to ensure that the rights and best interests of the child are protected.

Procedure: Guide on How to File a Case for Child Support

Below is an overview of the process when filing for youth assistance through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD):

Step 1: Gather Necessary Documents

Collect all required documentation to support your application, including identification documents, proof of relationship to the child, financial documents, and any legal documents relevant to the case. For example, required documents include:

  • A birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), along with evidence of paternity such as an Affidavit of Paternity, particularly for children born out of wedlock.
  • For married individuals, submission of a PSA Marriage Certificate is necessary. Also, a summary of financial transactions related to the child, as well as an overview of properties and corroborating evidence such as property titles or bank statements of the other parent, must be provided.
  • Details regarding the income of the ex-partner and corresponding proof are also required.

Step 2: Visit the Nearest DSWD Office

Locate the nearest DSWD office in your area and visit during their operating hours. You can inquire about youth aid services and obtain guidance on the application process.

Step 3: Follow the process as provided by the DSWD and coordinate properly.

Each case is unique, and DSWD personnel can offer valuable guidance and assistance tailored to the specific circumstances involved. By staying informed and maintaining open communication with DSWD, applicants can navigate the application process effectively and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Apart from the DSWD, you may also seek help in filing for aid for your children or consult with the DOJ (Department of Justice) or through the Public Attorney’s Office. To learn more about it, you may read more here – https://lawyerphilippines.org/2018-guide-to-child-support-in-philippine-law/.

Video: Child Support | by Atty. Mayelle

This video discusses the types of support and the scope you may get for your child when you file for a child support case. Some key takeaways from the video include a brief overview of filing for your kids’ financial support case and a few reminders about it. She also highlighted that filing for a case is not a money-making venture because it depends on the financial capability of the father, for example, when providing financial support to his child. Hence, it is recommended that you watch the video to learn more about it before you file for a case.