Parental Maltreatments

LAW EACH WEEK

What can parents do to their children who have maltreated them?

Disinheritance is an option for a parent who has suffered maltreatment from his children, who are his compulsory heirs. Article 915 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines provides that a compulsory heir may, in consequence of disinheritance, be deprived of his legitime, for causes expressly stated by law. Article 919 specifies some of the sufficient causes for disinheritance which includes among others the maltreatment of the testator by word or deed, by the child or descendant.

How can disinheritance be made?

Article 916 of the NCC provides that disinheritance can be done only through a will which states and specifies the legal grounds for such disinheritance. The Civil Code (Art. 848) provides that disinheritance shall only take place for one of the causes expressly fixed by law. Furthermore, Article 849 of the Civil Code provides that the disinheritance can only be effected by the testament, in which shall be mentioned the legal grounds or causes for such disinheritance. Also, the courts have the right inquire into the causes raised in the disinheritance and whether there was sufficient cause for the disinheritance or not. Article 850 provides that “the proof of the truthfulness of the reason for disinheritance shall be established by the heirs of the testator, should the disinherited person deny it. Hence, the person disinherited should deny the truthfulness of the cause of disinheritance and he might be permitted to support his allegation by proof.

How a disinheritance be made not effective by the parent himself; or a judicial declaration is needed?

A court order or a judicial declaration is not necessary to render disinheritance ineffective or invalid. Article 922, NCC states that a subsequent reconciliation between the offender and the offended person deprives the latter of the right to disinherit, and renders ineffectual any disinheritance that may have been made.