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Featured Article

February 25, 2015

Single Mom Asks How to Ask Ex for Support


.

Question:

Dear FQ Mom,

I’m separated and our marriage has been annulled. I’m raising my kids alone. Should I demand support from my ex-husband? What laws protect single moms on this? Even if the mother earns more, shouldn’t the father support the children in some way? Thanks. Ligaya via email

 

Answer: Hi Ligaya. Yes, even if you are earning more than your ex-husband, you still have the right to demand support from him for the needs of your children.

When your marriage was annulled, didn’t you have arrangements on child support? Under Title XIII Article 194 of the Family Code “support” is defined as comprising everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

The education of the person entitled to be supported includes his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Transportation includes expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.

However, note that Article 201 states that the amount of support shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.

Article 202 further states that the support shall be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.

 

What usually happens?

Unfortunately, despite the clarity of the law, we see so many fathers neglect this duty and the mother, who was just too happy to get her independence from a bad marriage, opts to just devote her energy juggling time and resources in order to support all their children. You are still lucky in the sense that you can provide for your kids, but this is not the case for a lot of mothers.

This is the reason why the Congress criminalized the withholding of support in certain instances in Republic Act No. 9262: Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children in 2004. Since the withholding of financial support can now be a criminal act, there are sanctions and penalties that will apply. Check out R.A. 9262 and see where your case falls under – i.e. the reason for you ex-husband’s failure to give support.

 

For “Peace’s Sake”

However, before you hire a lawyer and demand your husband to give his support, maybe it’s better to try and talk about it in a more peaceful manner. Do your homework and study the above laws and list down what you want to accomplish during the talk.

 

It would be helpful if you have a list of all the expenses you’ve incurred in relation to supporting your children.

 

An example:

I remember a story of a female friend who was also earning more than her husband and you may get a tip from what she did. She listed down all the expenses of her children – tuition, etc. and had the list ready when the husband (who was then already separated from the family but still legally married to her) came to claim his share of the sales proceeds of their house. The list was her proof that he didn’t have any share to claim anymore, and in fact, still owed her some money.

If you haven’t, you may want to start recording your child support expenses. But if you feel uncomfortable doing that, may I suggest that you just record your total monthly expenses? Then make notes as to which ones accrue to child support. This way you hit two birds with one stone. You’re able to keep tab of your total expenses and you have a ready proof for child support if the need arises.

 

Help from Behavioral Economics Principles:

Although we think we make our decisions rationally, we actually tend to do so based on emotions. And your issue on financial support from your ex-husband is definitely emotional. Here are some Behavioral Economics principles that can help you.

1. Endowment Effect - the tendency of people to ascribe more value merely because they belong to them. When you and your children separated from their father, there must have been a profound loss that altogether made him feel detached from your children; thus, giving him the psychological excuse not to support them anymore. Maybe if the relationship continues, he would get back that “endowment” effect and would be more willing to set aside financial support. One way is to ask your kids to communicate with their father either in person or via mail and update him on their whereabouts – school, love life, etc.

2. Save More Tomorrow – This was a program done by Behavioral Economists Richard Thaler and Schlomo Bernatzi. The basic idea is this: Instead of asking people to save more now, ask them to save more in the future. The program was successful in making people save more by asking them not to do it now, but in the future. This may be applied to your ex by asking him to give financial support in the near future instead of right now, but agree on the amount (preferably one that increases) and the manner now.  

3. Choice Architecture – give him choices presented in a way that you nudge him towards your preferred option. Let’s say choices a, b, c. Make choice A quite expensive for him to give, B is what you want him to opt for, and C is the minimum choice that would make him feel less of himself.

 

Non-financial matters:

More than the shared financial support, your children also need your shared parenting. I don’t know if they maintain a relationship with their father, but may I suggest that you don’t vilify him in your children’s eyes? This may be very hard to do if your ex is really a villain. The problem is that if your kids see their father as a villain, they will always feel that they too are villains. Why? Because they’re 50% their father. What if even without you doing or saying anything, their dad is just so good at showing his not-so-good side? Well, I guess you just have to convince your kids that they won’t necessarily grow up to be their father. It’s true, their father will still have an effect on their lives, whether you like it or not, so it’s best for you to have a good relationship with him, and if you can, help him become a better person.

Both parties should re-state the ultimate goal of all these – i.e. for the benefit of your children. No matter what happened to your marriage, your children are still your shared responsibility. And no matter what your irreconcilable differences are, I’m sure you’re united in one goal: To raise your children to their fullest potential, happy and significant contributors to this world. And you can only do that when you move in unison, even if apart.

  

Still, I wish you both happy parenting!

Rose

 

 ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. FAMILY FQ WORKSHOP by the Faustos (Finance Made Fun!) - SAVE THE DATE: MAY 9, 2015, 1-5pm at SM Aura SMX Convention, Taguig City. You may wish to drop in your suggestions on how to make this fun for you. Email FQMomm@gmail.com.
  2. CADS presents Stills – The Company of the Ateneo Dancers presents Stills on February 27, 2015 at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater at 7pm, Tickets at 250.
  3. Happy 120th Anniversary to Sun Life in the Philippines, and 150th global anniversary! To celebrate this milestone, Legacy: The Sun Life Story will be staged at the Palacio de Maynila, Malate, Manila on February 27, 2015.

************************

(Rose Fres Fausto is the author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys (download free book sample) and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (a story and activity book for kids from 1 to 92). Click this link to watch the Book Trailer.

To read her other articles go to Author Archive of PhilStar.com, FQMom.com and RaisingPinoyBoys.com. Send your questions and comments via email to FQMomm@gmail.com. To watch her interviews and other videos, go to FQ Mom you tube channel.)

Attribution: Photos from nomommysperfect.com and pinterest.com put together by the author to help deliver the message of the article.

This article is also published in FQMom.com and PhilStar.com

...

View Full Article
| Write or View Comments

.

Question:

Dear FQ Mom,

I’m separated and our marriage has been annulled. I’m raising my kids alone. Should I demand support from my ex-husband? What laws protect single moms on this? Even if the mother earns more, shouldn’t the father support the children in some way? Thanks. Ligaya via email

 

Answer: Hi Ligaya. Yes, even if you are earning more than your ex-husband, you still have the right to demand support from him for the needs of your children.

When your marriage was annulled, didn’t you have arrangements on child support? Under Title XIII Article 194 of the Family Code “support” is defined as comprising everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

The education of the person entitled to be supported includes his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. Transportation includes expenses in going to and from school, or to and from place of work.

However, note that Article 201 states that the amount of support shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient.

Article 202 further states that the support shall be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of the person obliged to furnish the same.

 

What usually happens?

Unfortunately, despite the clarity of the law, we see so many fathers neglect this duty and the mother, who was just too happy to get her independence from a bad marriage, opts to just devote her energy juggling time and resources in order to support all their children. You are still lucky in the sense that you can provide for your kids, but this is not the case for a lot of mothers.

This is the reason why the Congress criminalized the withholding of support in certain instances in Republic Act No. 9262: Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children in 2004. Since the withholding of financial support can now be a criminal act, there are sanctions and penalties that will apply. Check out R.A. 9262 and see where your case falls under – i.e. the reason for you ex-husband’s failure to give support.

 

For “Peace’s Sake”

However, before you hire a lawyer and demand your husband to give his support, maybe it’s better to try and talk about it in a more peaceful manner. Do your homework and study the above laws and list down what you want to accomplish during the talk.

 

It would be helpful if you have a list of all the expenses you’ve incurred in relation to supporting your children.

 

An example:

I remember a story of a female friend who was also earning more than her husband and you may get a tip from what she did. She listed down all the expenses of her children – tuition, etc. and had the list ready when the husband (who was then already separated from the family but still legally married to her) came to claim his share of the sales proceeds of their house. The list was her proof that he didn’t have any share to claim anymore, and in fact, still owed her some money.

If you haven’t, you may want to start recording your child support expenses. But if you feel uncomfortable doing that, may I suggest that you just record your total monthly expenses? Then make notes as to which ones accrue to child support. This way you hit two birds with one stone. You’re able to keep tab of your total expenses and you have a ready proof for child support if the need arises.

 

Help from Behavioral Economics Principles:

Although we think we make our decisions rationally, we actually tend to do so based on emotions. And your issue on financial support from your ex-husband is definitely emotional. Here are some Behavioral Economics principles that can help you.

1. Endowment Effect - the tendency of people to ascribe more value merely because they belong to them. When you and your children separated from their father, there must have been a profound loss that altogether made him feel detached from your children; thus, giving him the psychological excuse not to support them anymore. Maybe if the relationship continues, he would get back that “endowment” effect and would be more willing to set aside financial support. One way is to ask your kids to communicate with their father either in person or via mail and update him on their whereabouts – school, love life, etc.

2. Save More Tomorrow – This was a program done by Behavioral Economists Richard Thaler and Schlomo Bernatzi. The basic idea is this: Instead of asking people to save more now, ask them to save more in the future. The program was successful in making people save more by asking them not to do it now, but in the future. This may be applied to your ex by asking him to give financial support in the near future instead of right now, but agree on the amount (preferably one that increases) and the manner now.  

3. Choice Architecture – give him choices presented in a way that you nudge him towards your preferred option. Let’s say choices a, b, c. Make choice A quite expensive for him to give, B is what you want him to opt for, and C is the minimum choice that would make him feel less of himself.

 

Non-financial matters:

More than the shared financial support, your children also need your shared parenting. I don’t know if they maintain a relationship with their father, but may I suggest that you don’t vilify him in your children’s eyes? This may be very hard to do if your ex is really a villain. The problem is that if your kids see their father as a villain, they will always feel that they too are villains. Why? Because they’re 50% their father. What if even without you doing or saying anything, their dad is just so good at showing his not-so-good side? Well, I guess you just have to convince your kids that they won’t necessarily grow up to be their father. It’s true, their father will still have an effect on their lives, whether you like it or not, so it’s best for you to have a good relationship with him, and if you can, help him become a better person.

Both parties should re-state the ultimate goal of all these – i.e. for the benefit of your children. No matter what happened to your marriage, your children are still your shared responsibility. And no matter what your irreconcilable differences are, I’m sure you’re united in one goal: To raise your children to their fullest potential, happy and significant contributors to this world. And you can only do that when you move in unison, even if apart.

  

Still, I wish you both happy parenting!

Rose

 

 ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. FAMILY FQ WORKSHOP by the Faustos (Finance Made Fun!) - SAVE THE DATE: MAY 9, 2015, 1-5pm at SM Aura SMX Convention, Taguig City. You may wish to drop in your suggestions on how to make this fun for you. Email FQMomm@gmail.com.
  2. CADS presents Stills – The Company of the Ateneo Dancers presents Stills on February 27, 2015 at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater at 7pm, Tickets at 250.
  3. Happy 120th Anniversary to Sun Life in the Philippines, and 150th global anniversary! To celebrate this milestone, Legacy: The Sun Life Story will be staged at the Palacio de Maynila, Malate, Manila on February 27, 2015.

************************

(Rose Fres Fausto is the author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys (download free book sample) and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (a story and activity book for kids from 1 to 92). Click this link to watch the Book Trailer.

To read her other articles go to Author Archive of PhilStar.com, FQMom.com and RaisingPinoyBoys.com. Send your questions and comments via email to FQMomm@gmail.com. To watch her interviews and other videos, go to FQ Mom you tube channel.)

Attribution: Photos from nomommysperfect.com and pinterest.com put together by the author to help deliver the message of the article.

This article is also published in FQMom.com and PhilStar.com

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YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

To start a topic thread and ask the Raising Pinoy Boys community a question, please Sign Up.

By Rose / Her Boys | The Community (Topic Thread)

By Rose / Her Boys

To Ask Rose or Her Boys a question go to the Ask Question Page.

Guest Feb 02, 2015
Hi Ms. Rose, Were can i get the free download excel file to show kids how they can become millionaires with regular savings. Thanks

Answered by Rose last Feb 18, 2015 / 03:25pm:

Hi, it's on the right hand side under Chapter 6, go there and look for the link: http://www.raisingpinoyboys.com/book/chapter/NgRPBRPB/Q0hBUFRFUiA2IC0gTU9ORVkgTUFUVEVSUyAoT3VyIFNvbidzIEZRKQRPBRPB

Ghurl Vacaro Jul 18, 2013
Hi Ms. Rose, I read your articles in Philippine Star and I'm quite interested on your topics about financial literacy. I just turned 25 and currently working in Riyadh, I'd like to make my savings grow while I'm still young and single, can you give me advice on how or where is the wisest way to save or invest? Thanks a lot! God bless you!

Answered by Rose last Apr 23, 2014 / 02:41pm:

Hi Ghurl Vacaro. I hope you read my article that tackled your question. I'm happy to inform you that it received a lot of hits both in this website and PhilStar.com. It was also shared many times. This means that your question helped enlighten a lot of people. Here's the link: http://www.raisingpinoyboys.com/dashboard/showArticle/MTYy

Raymund Camat Nov 25, 2012
For the boys, will you also consider financial literacy as a quality that you will look for to your future gf/wife?

Answered by The Boys last Nov 30, 1999 / 12:00am:

It would be ideal if she were but it's not something we would really "require" so to speak because it's not very common. I guess as long as she's not too much of the "magastos" type because financial literacy is something that you could learn.

Guest Aug 30, 2011
Why the title "Raising Pinoy Boys?"? Its culture specific and middle class ideologue ..care to explain? thanks

Answered by Rose last Aug 31, 2011 / 09:33pm:

@Guest Aug 30, 2011. The title is Raising Pinoy Boys because it's a compilation of a mother raising her Pinoy sons. Yes it's culture specific and middle class because that's where I belong. In my over 2 decades of parenting I have always learned a lot from specific stories of book authors, parenting seminar speakers and even conversations with other parents and educators of boys. Thus, I thought it would be worthwhile to share my specific stories and those of the parents of the successful Pinoy men I featured in the book. Thank you very much for your question.

Guest Aug 10, 2011
Can we invite you to talk in our school during a parenting seminar?

Answered by Rose last Aug 10, 2011 / 09:19pm:

@Guest Aug 10, 2011 - Yes you may. I would be glad to. Just send me an email specifying your needs for the talk - the audience, the topic, etc. You may send your email to RaisingPinoyBoys@yahoo.com or through this website. Be sure to leave your name and email address. Thank you.

Guest May 15, 2011
du u know chris tiu?

Answered by Rose last May 27, 2011 / 11:39am:

I first heard of Chris Tiu when he became a UAAP basketball player of the Ateneo team. I learned about his other admirable traits later on and decided to include him in the book. Fortunately, his mom is a friend of my co-parent so I was able to interview her. He and his parents attended the book launch (see pics in a previous article on the book launch - Jan 2011).

The Community (Topic Thread)

To ask the Community a question go to Topics page. You have to be a Signed up member of the community to start a topic thread. ( Sign Up )

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