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Atty. Connie Aquino knows what she provides to the table. An skilled in authorized separation, annulment and custody, she guides us as a result of women’s rights underneath the guidelines of Violence In opposition to Girls and Small children (VAWC), prenuptial agreements, adoption, guardianship and estate scheduling. Considering the fact that passing the bar in 2005, she has excelled underneath the mentorship of Atty. Howard Calleja. Her early nullity and custody conditions had been of close friends and relations. These felt personal, and it was only a subject of time just before she transformed her sympathy into the ambition to give her clients what they deserved.
She tells us handling these circumstances entails “Not just a working know-how of the law, but adeptness at being familiar with how human relations perform. There is no templated way of managing these situations.”
As she goes as a result of separation proceedings, she encourages ladies to have a excellent perspective. “Women should really remind them selves that this system will not very last endlessly. Separation proceedings will constantly be difficult and it is not a gain-or-eliminate fight.” A veteran specialist in family members law, Atty. Connie shares with us how gals (and also gentlemen) can be empowered beneath the eyes of the legislation, with attention and regard to their humanity.
1. Know your standard rights
Atty. Connie encourages women not to be frightened, “Specially if they are in abusive associations — they can get out of it and begin about. Even if they are economically dependent on their associates, they can talk to the courts to oblige their spouses to provide them with the economic support they have to have. Marital infidelity is also now deemed psychological abuse and is punishable underneath RA 9262 or Violence Against Females and Kids Act. Note guidelines below RA 9262 safeguard women of all ages even in illicit associations.
The standard rights of women of all ages in the spouse and children context incorporate the suitable to spousal help, appropriate to workout parental authority above small children (if any), appropriate to retain their maiden identify, right to workout their preferred profession, proper to have home, and proper to take part and be read in conversations involving spouses involving family daily life.
Apart from expert assistance from their legal professionals, gals should seek out enable and emotional help from family members and buddies. I also refer them to psychiatrists if needed to aid them cope with these types of an psychological course of action.”
2. Get ready for legal separation charges and processes
Even though Connie herself does pro-bono do the job as her obligation to give again, she also accepts payments as a attorney via installments or phrases. In consideration of costs, she claims her range 1 suggestion is to, “Get an economical attorney, simply because the shorter the scenario will be, the much less expensive it will be for you.
Due to the fact annulments and lawful separations and situations of this variety are litigious and extended-drawn, I would suggest shoppers examine the estimated expenditures with their attorneys.
Authorized separation has what they simply call a “cooling down period” whereby the get-togethers are necessary to wait around for 6 months from the filing of the petition right before the case should carry on.”
3. For women working with VAWC
“If there are abuses, I commonly endorse filing a scenario of VAWC – Violence Towards Gals and Children because beneath that legislation is a series of other offenses like sexual abuse, psychological abuse, psychological abuse and bodily abuse. So we have legal laws should really there be any other commission of crimes like rape, annoyed parricide, an endeavor on the women’s daily life.”
For tricky spouses who refuse to honor write-up-separation terms, she suggests, “A girl can continue to file other situations against the spouse not confined to invocation of aid for their frequent young children or VAWC circumstances if there are abuses committed.”
For females who have professional physical violence, drug dependancy or a little something more grievous this sort of as an attempt towards the woman’s daily life, she endorses seeing psychiatrists and or doctors to professionally help restoration.
4. Navigating custody
Custody is maybe a single of the more challenging features of lawful separation. Regardless of age or loved ones set up, the child requires to be listened to in a harmless house, from how they want visitation legal rights of the non-custodial mother or father to soaring earlier mentioned this highly psychological time. Atty. Connie asserts, “The paramount welfare of the children need to be thought of. They have to be associated with this,”
She informs us that “Below the age of 7, females are automatically presented custody. Until there is a persuasive motive for them to drop custody of the child like bodily abuse or trafficking. Custody can be threshed out early on, just before likely into the nullity proper. I would recommend my customers to communicate to their children beforehand so their most effective passions are viewed as. The information that will come out of this would tutorial the female in choosing her way forward — in a way that is equally healthier for her and her small children.”
5. Break the prenup taboo
“Before it was very taboo to go over prenups due to the fact you are discussing revenue when you haven’t gotten married. But now a large amount of youthful partners are opting to do that mainly because it will save them difficulties later on. There is very little improper with it, you’re just expressing how your funds are going to go when you are married.
For illustration, when they split up, it is previously fixed. The belongings you introduced in right before the marriage are not touched. I’ve often described to my purchasers that prenups do not mean you really don’t belief the person – Of course not! It’s also to preserve the local community assets. If your partner commits a crime or is sued, your legal responsibility will not be joint. Less than the regulation, spouses are jointly liable, besides in the absence of a prenup.
Often there are abundant small children supplied houses or loads of funds even right before they get an inheritance. It also applies to plain Janes. What if your partner accumulates credit card debt? Without the need of a prenup, you’re heading to spend for those debts. But with a prenup, you are excused.
Your prenup need to be registered. Not just notarized. You offer your prenuptial settlement when you file your marriage license. You should really also have affidavits in all the registers of deeds where by you have properties.”
6. A number of phrases on adoption and estate instances
In addition to authorized separation and annulment, Atty. Connie has taken care of adoption circumstances each domestically and inter-state. She notes there is distinctive focus specified to the peculiar situation, and reminds us of the fact of human emotions—like how some carry hope as a solitary mother provides an orphan a house, even though other folks are trickier, like adoption as a signifies to take out a youngster from a neglectful partnership.
In the course of our discussion, Atty. Connie reminds us in so many words and phrases that “Nothing is particular besides death and taxes.” She endorses more mature girls and adult men prepare disposal of their belongings by means of preparation of final will and testomony, as very well as transfers of properties–while reducing taxes.
“When you die you are automatically taxed for your certain estate. If you really do not prepare it thoroughly, you can inherit a good deal of houses but if you really don’t have the hard cash, the penalties and surcharges will just go up and you will be trapped with these properties.” She also informs us about other solutions these types of as lifetime coverage.
When requested about the ripe time to prepare your estate, she claims, “We can not inform with loss of life. I have had younger persons inquiring me to draft wills for them appropriate now. Just to guarantee that everything is appropriately taken treatment of need to they pass.”
7. Preserving your independence and the keys to a fantastic marriage
Atty. Connie shares with us how she keeps herself brimming with vitality to pursue her brings about – concerning a follow of 2 times-a-week pilates, a few-times-a-week strength coaching, running, boxing, and a extensive-distance bicycle route from Alabang to Tagaytay and back again each individual weekend, it is no speculate she maintains her bodily self-treatment (a idea she endorses to all her female clientele, as well) preserving the blood flowing, mind pumping, so she can get treatment of herself and empower ladies in return.
“I highly suggest self-care,” she suggests, “Because if you get treatment of your bodily, psychological and non secular facets, you can operate correctly. You can be a greater mom, a superior spouse. A greater worker. At this age, I really don’t want to stereotype females that they are just meant to be at house. We’re earlier that. We are in the 2020s now.”
Getting witnessed a lot of nullity and legal separation conditions and a wife herself, she has a handful of stable words of information on how to nurture a great marriage: “Have your have individual life. Just since you’re married doesn’t indicate you have to stick to every thing your spouse does. You shed your individuality and it gets dull, a routine. When you have different life you convey in one thing contemporary. Go on all-ladies vacation. Do things with your friends. Don’t just comply with the shadow of your husband. Or if you’re in a profession, never give it up. It’s all about harmony.
And of course to have a prosperous relationship, get married when you are sure – when you’ve entirely gotten to know your husband or wife, and you see that he’s another person you can reside with as a companion, a friend, a lover, anything! Not just a financier.
Throughout Atty. Connie reminds us that it is not an Us. vs. Them scenario, and that although most of her clients are girls, “In our legislation firm, we also have male clientele, so we don’t discriminate from the other sex. It just so takes place that there are a ton much more women of all ages now who are more aware of their legal rights. If they are in abusive marriages, they get out,” showing the rise of awareness and action for women’s legal rights.
There are a couple of more factors we check with Atty. Connie. We replicate on church legislation, which she reminds us is not dealt with by civil attorneys, but canonical legal professionals, clergymen who focus in marriage annulment in the Vatican.
On the topic of divorce, she tells us it is about time it really should be legalized, but also that she is “Not for it totally. I’m however for the sanctity of marriage, given the correct safeguards,” she claims, “It just should not be made use of to conveniently get out of any marriage.”
Sporting a Dior laser-reduce belt, Atty. Connie provides us one particular very last bonus idea on how a girl can show up for herself in proceedings, “I explain to my clientele, glance pretty! Have a change of hairstyle. Glimpse match, appear pleasant. Never inform me pag iniwan ka, you’re heading to search unhappy, bugbog. No, go out! Seeking very good is a variety of self-empowerment. When you are fit and you really feel good, you appear fantastic, you can deal with anything. It can be quite superficial but it helps.”
Just last yr, Atty. Connie cycled very long-distance in the Pyrenees mountains from Spain to France. She finished the final leg of the tour de France, referred to as Col du Tourmalet, just one of the greatest-paved and most dangerous mountain passes. Just after several years of a career in legislation serving to gals declare their power, Atty. Connie Aquino has demonstrated us how a female can demonstrate up for herself and go beyond society’s expectations–all the whilst shining boldly and wanting great, too.
Images by JT Fernandez
Innovative Path by Sophia Ysabel Concordia
Generated by Angela Manuel Go