Friday, December 22, 2017

Free ebook on ACCESS TO JUSTICE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY, available now for 2 days only

For two days only, from today December 22 and December 23 (4 pm Phil. time), you can download my ebook for free at Amazon. Click on this LINK.

This promo runs from December 22 to December 23 Pacific Time (midnight to midnight).

Get your copy now!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wife discovered that her husband has a child by another woman. Can she have her marriage nullified?

  • Dear Attorney,

    What must I do to have my marriage nullified? I discovered that my husband has a child by another woman, so I would like to have my marriage declared void. We have one child.

    - An overseas Filipino 


    There are limited reasons for having a marriage declared null and void. One of these is psychological incapacity to comply with the essential obligations of marriage, according to Article 36 of the Philippine Family Code. 

    Mere sexual infidelity, as in your husband's case, does not make him psychologically incapacitated for marriage. There must be evidence of a personality disorder that completely prevents him from carrying out his marital obligations.

    According to the Philippine Supreme Court in the case of MIRASOL CASTILLO, Petitioner, v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND FELIPE IMPAS, Respondent, G.R. No. 214064, February 06, 2017:

    "Irreconcilable differences, sexual infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity and irresponsibility and the like, do not by themselves warrant a finding of psychological incapacity under Article 36, as the same may only be due to a person's refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage. In order for sexual infidelity to constitute as psychological incapacity, the respondent's unfaithfulness must be established as a manifestation of a disordered personality, completely preventing the respondent from discharging the essential obligations of the marital state; there must be proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor that effectively incapacitated him from complying with the obligation to be faithful to his spouse. It is indispensable that the evidence must show a link, medical or the like, between the acts that manifest psychological incapacity and the psychological disorder itself."

    Based on your email, I do not see any basis for having your marriage declared null and void in a way that meets the requirements of the law. You can file an action for legal separation based on sexual infidelity. If you present sufficient evidence and the trial court decides in your favor, a legal separation decree will have four results: your husband will no longer be able to inherit from you; his share in your community property will be forfeited favor of your common child; you are entitled to live separately from him, and you will have custody of your minor child. However, your marriage bond remains and you cannot marry another.

    (Note: This reply is based only on the limited facts given, and is not meant to be applicable to all situations. It is provided for information only. For specific situations, you must consult legal counsel.)

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Ebook on PWD rights now available on Amazon

In this ebook, I discuss the importance of the social model in pushing for access to justice for persons with disability. I emphasize that access to justice is an essential aspect of human rights.

Now available on Amazon. Just click

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Are you thinking of going to law school? Prepare yourself with these 11 success tips.

by Atty. Rosario Olivas

I wrote this ebook for those of you who are thinking of going to law school, or are already first year law students. Maximize your time and effort by knowing these 11 tips on how to succeed in law school. I'd also like to hear from you soon, so if you have questions, feel free to post them on the comments portion.

God bless you.

To get your copy now, click here:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Can any employer hire an employee as an apprentice?

Dear Atty.,

I am planning to put up a company  to run a transport business in which we hire drivers and helpers. Can we first hire them as apprentices, pay them 75% of minimum wage, and then after three months, put them on probationary status for six months to receive minimum wage, and later on make them regular employees?

Prospective Trucker

Dear Prospective Trucker,

I am glad you would like to know the right thing to do before putting up your trucking business. The brief answer to your query is no, you cannot do as you plan. There are certain types of work that can be given to apprentices, and that does not include the work of truck drivers and helpers.

What you can do is to put them on probationary status and pay them at least minimum wage, but you must observe the requirements of the law on probationary employment including standards of employment.

(This response is based only on the bare facts that you have given me. The response may vary depending on detailed facts).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Coming to America - A Seminar on April 29, 2017, Saturday, 8 am to 1 pm

Friday, February 17, 2017

Changing child's surname to dad's, after mom and dad marry

Dear Atty. Chato,

My boyfriend and I had a child four years ago. Because we were not married, I registered my son's birth certificate under my surname. Three years ago, we got married, and we now want our son to use my husband's surname. How do I go about this?


Dear M.Y.,

The simplest way is for the father to prepare a document, in his own handwriting, recognizing the child as his own. He should submit this to the civil registrar where the birth certificate was registered, together with an "Affidavit to use the surname of the father."

The basis of this is Republic Act No. 9255 issued on February 24, 2004 which amended Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines as to read:

"Article 176. Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. However, illegitimate children may use the surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father..."

For details, check out the website of the Philippine Statistics Authority at