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Atty. Connie Aquino is aware of what she delivers to the table. An skilled in lawful separation, annulment and custody, she guides us as a result of women’s legal rights less than the legal guidelines of Violence Against Women of all ages and Youngsters (VAWC), prenuptial agreements, adoption, guardianship and estate arranging. Given that passing the bar in 2005, she has excelled underneath the mentorship of Atty. Howard Calleja. Her early nullity and custody scenarios had been of pals and relations. These felt private, and it was only a matter of time prior to she reworked her sympathy into the ambition to give her consumers what they deserved.
She tells us dealing with these situations involves “Not just a doing work knowledge of the regulation, but adeptness at comprehension how human relations operate. There is no templated way of handling these conditions.”
As she goes through separation proceedings, she encourages women of all ages to have a fantastic point of view. “Women need to remind them selves that this system will not very last eternally. Separation proceedings will constantly be difficult and it is not a earn-or-reduce battle.” A veteran skilled in spouse and children law, Atty. Connie shares with us how gals (and also adult men) can be empowered beneath the eyes of the legislation, with interest and respect to their humanity.
1. Know your standard rights
Atty. Connie encourages women not to be fearful, “Particularly if they are in abusive interactions — they can get out of it and start more than. Even if they are monetarily dependent on their partners, they can ask the courts to oblige their spouses to supply them with the money support they want. Marital infidelity is also now considered psychological abuse and is punishable beneath RA 9262 or Violence Versus Women and Small children Act. Observe legislation under RA 9262 shield women of all ages even in illicit relationships.
The basic legal rights of women of all ages in the household context include things like the appropriate to spousal assistance, suitable to workout parental authority around small children (if any), correct to keep their maiden title, correct to workout their picked career, right to very own home, and appropriate to participate and be heard in discussions involving spouses involving loved ones everyday living.
Apart from skilled advice from their attorneys, women ought to find aid and emotional assistance from spouse and children and buddies. I also refer them to psychiatrists if essential to aid them cope with these an emotional procedure.”
2. Put together for authorized separation costs and processes
While Connie herself does professional-bono get the job done as her responsibility to give back again, she also accepts payments as a attorney as a result of installments or conditions. In thing to consider of fees, she claims her selection just one tip is to, “Get an productive law firm, due to the fact the shorter the scenario will be, the less costly it will be for you.
Considering the fact that annulments and lawful separations and instances of this form are litigious and extensive-drawn, I would suggest clientele explore the believed expenses with their attorneys.
Legal separation has what they phone a “cooling down period” wherein the get-togethers are required to hold out for 6 months from the submitting of the petition in advance of the situation ought to proceed.”
3. For gals dealing with VAWC
“If there are abuses, I ordinarily recommend filing a scenario of VAWC – Violence Against Ladies and Youngsters for the reason that underneath that legislation is a collection of other offenses like sexual abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse and physical abuse. So we have legal regulations need to there be any other fee of crimes like rape, pissed off parricide, an endeavor on the women’s lifetime.”
For difficult spouses who refuse to honor publish-separation phrases, she claims, “A woman can even now file other situations from the husband or wife not confined to invocation of guidance for their typical young children or VAWC situations if there are abuses committed.”
For females who have skilled physical violence, drug habit or anything much more grievous this sort of as an endeavor towards the woman’s existence, she suggests seeing psychiatrists and or doctors to skillfully support restoration.
4. Navigating custody
Custody is most likely one of the extra difficult elements of lawful separation. Irrespective of age or family members set up, the little one needs to be listened to in a protected space, from how they want visitation rights of the non-custodial father or mother to climbing above this very psychological time. Atty. Connie asserts, “The paramount welfare of the children have to be viewed as. They have to be associated with this,”
She informs us that “Below the age of seven, females are mechanically provided custody. Except there is a powerful rationale for them to drop custody of the child like actual physical abuse or trafficking. Custody can be threshed out early on, in advance of heading into the nullity suitable. I would recommend my clients to converse to their small children beforehand so their finest pursuits are regarded. The information that comes out of this would manual the lady in selecting her way ahead — in a way that is both of those healthful for her and her youngsters.”
5. Crack the prenup taboo
“Before it was incredibly taboo to focus on prenups because you’re speaking about funds when you have not gotten married. But now a ton of youthful partners are opting to do that simply because it saves them difficulties later on on. There is almost nothing erroneous with it, you’re just stating how your finances are heading to go when you’re married.
For case in point, when they split up, it’s by now fastened. The assets you introduced in prior to the marriage are not touched. I’ve usually described to my consumers that prenups never necessarily mean you really don’t trust the individual – Of study course not! It is also to conserve the community home. If your wife or husband commits a crime or is sued, your legal responsibility will not be joint. Beneath the legislation, spouses are jointly liable, apart from in the absence of a prenup.
Occasionally there are rich young children provided houses or hundreds of money even just before they get an inheritance. It also applies to simple Janes. What if your partner accumulates credit card debt? Without the need of a prenup, you are going to shell out for those debts. But with a prenup, you are excused.
Your prenup have to be registered. Not just notarized. You present your prenuptial agreement when you file your marriage license. You ought to also have affidavits in all the registers of deeds exactly where you have houses.”
6. A few terms on adoption and estate cases
Moreover authorized separation and annulment, Atty. Connie has managed adoption circumstances each domestically and inter-nation. She notes there is distinctive consideration provided to the peculiar conditions, and reminds us of the fact of human emotions—like how some carry hope as a one mom presents an orphan a home, although other individuals are trickier, like adoption as a implies to remove a little one from a neglectful romance.
In the course of our conversation, Atty. Connie reminds us in so several phrases that “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” She recommends older females and adult males prepare disposal of their belongings as a result of preparing of last will and testomony, as well as transfers of properties–while minimizing taxes.
“When you die you’re instantly taxed for your selected estate. If you do not prepare it appropriately, you can inherit a great deal of homes but if you don’t have the hard cash, the penalties and surcharges will just go up and you will be stuck with individuals qualities.” She also informs us about other possibilities this kind of as daily life insurance.
When requested about the ripe time to prepare your estate, she suggests, “We simply cannot inform with dying. I have had more youthful folks asking me to draft wills for them ideal now. Just to be certain that all the things is adequately taken care of ought to they go.”
7. Preserving your independence and the keys to a great marriage
Atty. Connie shares with us how she keeps herself brimming with vitality to go after her triggers – involving a apply of two times-a-7 days pilates, 3-periods-a-week toughness teaching, running, boxing, and a prolonged-distance bike route from Alabang to Tagaytay and back again every single weekend, it is no marvel she maintains her actual physical self-treatment (a tip she endorses to all her female customers, also) holding the blood flowing, brain pumping, so she can acquire care of herself and empower women of all ages in return.
“I extremely advocate self-care,” she suggests, “Because if you consider care of your actual physical, psychological and non secular facets, you can perform effectively. You can be a far better mother, a better wife. A much better worker. At this age, I really don’t want to stereotype females that they are just meant to be at home. We’re earlier that. We are in the 2020s now.”
Possessing witnessed lots of nullity and authorized separation cases and a wife herself, she has a couple of sound phrases of tips on how to nurture a good marriage: “Have your have individual life. Just mainly because you’re married does not signify you have to adhere to all the things your spouse does. You get rid of your individuality and it gets uninteresting, a regime. When you have independent lives you convey in a little something fresh new. Go on all-ladies vacation. Do items with your buddies. Really do not just follow the shadow of your spouse. Or if you’re in a profession, really don’t give it up. It is all about stability.
And of class to have a thriving marriage, get married when you are sure – when you’ve fully gotten to know your lover, and you see that he’s someone you can stay with as a companion, a close friend, a lover, everything! Not just a financier.
During Atty. Connie reminds us that it is not an Us. vs. Them situation, and that when most of her shoppers are ladies, “In our law firm, we also have male consumers, so we never discriminate towards the other sex. It just so occurs that there are a whole lot additional women of all ages now who are a lot more informed of their legal rights. If they are in abusive marriages, they get out,” demonstrating the increase of consciousness and motion for women’s legal rights.
There are a couple of more points we inquire Atty. Connie. We mirror on church regulation, which she reminds us is not dealt with by civil attorneys, but canonical attorneys, clergymen who focus in relationship annulment in the Vatican.
On the subject matter of divorce, she tells us it is about time it ought to be legalized, but also that she is “Not for it entirely. I’m still for the sanctity of relationship, provided the right safeguards,” she states, “It just should not be applied to conveniently get out of any relationship.”
Sporting a Dior laser-reduce belt, Atty. Connie provides us a single past bonus tip on how a lady can present up for herself in proceedings, “I convey to my customers, look pretty! Have a transform of hairstyle. Search match, seem good. Really do not convey to me pag iniwan ka, you are likely to search sad, bugbog. No, go out! On the lookout very good is a type of self-empowerment. When you’re match and you sense superior, you search superior, you can deal with just about anything. It can be pretty superficial but it will help.”
Just very last yr, Atty. Connie cycled very long-distance in the Pyrenees mountains from Spain to France. She concluded the previous leg of the tour de France, named Col du Tourmalet, a single of the highest-paved and most dangerous mountain passes. Just after years of a career in regulation aiding gals declare their toughness, Atty. Connie Aquino has demonstrated us how a girl can demonstrate up for herself and go outside of society’s expectations–all the whilst shining boldly and seeking superior, way too.
Images by JT Fernandez
Innovative Route by Sophia Ysabel Concordia
Made by Angela Manuel Go