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Atty. Connie Aquino is aware of what she provides to the table. An skilled in legal separation, annulment and custody, she guides us by women’s rights underneath the legal guidelines of Violence From Gals and Young children (VAWC), prenuptial agreements, adoption, guardianship and estate preparing. Considering that passing the bar in 2005, she has excelled beneath the mentorship of Atty. Howard Calleja. Her early nullity and custody cases ended up of friends and kinfolk. These felt personalized, and it was only a subject of time just before she reworked her sympathy into the ambition to give her shoppers what they deserved.
She tells us managing these scenarios involves “Not just a doing work information of the law, but adeptness at comprehending how human relations operate. There is no templated way of dealing with these scenarios.”
As she goes by separation proceedings, she encourages gals to have a superior standpoint. “Women must remind on their own that this course of action will not very last for good. Separation proceedings will normally be tricky and it is not a win-or-eliminate fight.” A veteran specialist in loved ones legislation, Atty. Connie shares with us how women of all ages (and also guys) can be empowered less than the eyes of the legislation, with focus and respect to their humanity.
1. Know your simple rights
Atty. Connie encourages women of all ages not to be afraid, “In particular if they are in abusive interactions — they can get out of it and start out about. Even if they are financially dependent on their associates, they can inquire the courts to oblige their spouses to present them with the fiscal support they need to have. Marital infidelity is also now regarded psychological abuse and is punishable below RA 9262 or Violence Towards Women and Youngsters Act. Note rules below RA 9262 safeguard females even in illicit interactions.
The standard rights of gals in the household context consist of the appropriate to spousal assist, appropriate to exercise parental authority in excess of little ones (if any), appropriate to keep their maiden identify, correct to work out their preferred job, ideal to very own house, and suitable to take part and be read in discussions between spouses involving relatives lifestyle.
Aside from experienced assistance from their legal professionals, ladies ought to request enable and emotional assistance from spouse and children and buddies. I also refer them to psychiatrists if required to assistance them cope with this kind of an emotional method.”
2. Prepare for legal separation expenditures and processes
Although Connie herself does professional-bono perform as her duty to give again, she also accepts payments as a attorney as a result of installments or conditions. In consideration of prices, she suggests her selection 1 tip is to, “Get an effective law firm, simply because the shorter the scenario will be, the less expensive it will be for you.
Considering the fact that annulments and authorized separations and situations of this variety are litigious and prolonged-drawn, I would counsel clients discuss the approximated prices with their legal professionals.
Authorized separation has what they connect with a “cooling down period” wherein the parties are needed to hold out for 6 months from the submitting of the petition ahead of the case must move forward.”
3. For gals dealing with VAWC
“If there are abuses, I typically endorse submitting a circumstance of VAWC – Violence In opposition to Women of all ages and Small children due to the fact underneath that law is a sequence of other offenses like sexual abuse, psychological abuse, psychological abuse and bodily abuse. So we have felony laws should there be any other commission of crimes like rape, disappointed parricide, an try on the women’s lifestyle.”
For complicated spouses who refuse to honor put up-separation terms, she claims, “A woman can nevertheless file other instances towards the partner not confined to invocation of aid for their prevalent children or VAWC circumstances if there are abuses fully commited.”
For women of all ages who have seasoned physical violence, drug addiction or a little something additional grievous this sort of as an attempt against the woman’s existence, she recommends looking at psychiatrists and or doctors to professionally aid recovery.
4. Navigating custody
Custody is perhaps a person of the additional challenging features of lawful separation. No matter of age or family members setup, the boy or girl desires to be listened to in a protected area, from how they want visitation rights of the non-custodial mum or dad to mounting previously mentioned this remarkably psychological time. Atty. Connie asserts, “The paramount welfare of the young children have to be considered. They have to be involved with this,”
She informs us that “Below the age of 7, girls are immediately offered custody. Unless of course there is a compelling motive for them to reduce custody of the youngster like bodily abuse or trafficking. Custody can be threshed out early on, in advance of likely into the nullity correct. I would recommend my consumers to discuss to their kids beforehand so their most effective pursuits are regarded. The awareness that will come out of this would guidebook the woman in determining her way forward — in a way that is the two healthier for her and her youngsters.”
5. Split the prenup taboo
“Before it was really taboo to talk about prenups for the reason that you are talking about dollars when you haven’t gotten married. But now a lot of youthful couples are opting to do that since it will save them issues later on on. There is nothing at all improper with it, you’re just saying how your funds are going to go when you are married.
For instance, when they break up up, it is currently fastened. The assets you introduced in right before the marriage are not touched. I have normally described to my shoppers that prenups really do not suggest you do not trust the person – Of study course not! It’s also to save the local community house. If your spouse commits a crime or is sued, your liability will not be joint. Less than the legislation, spouses are jointly liable, besides in the absence of a prenup.
From time to time there are wealthy young children presented homes or hundreds of cash even ahead of they get an inheritance. It also applies to simple Janes. What if your husband or wife accumulates credit card debt? Without the need of a prenup, you are going to shell out for these money owed. But with a prenup, you’re excused.
Your prenup ought to be registered. Not just notarized. You provide your prenuptial agreement when you file your relationship license. You need to also have affidavits in all the registers of deeds wherever you have attributes.”
6. A handful of terms on adoption and estate cases
Apart from legal separation and annulment, Atty. Connie has managed adoption instances both equally domestically and inter-place. She notes there is exclusive notice specified to the peculiar situations, and reminds us of the truth of human emotions—like how some have hope as a single mom offers an orphan a house, even though other individuals are trickier, like adoption as a indicates to clear away a kid from a neglectful connection.
Through our discussion, Atty. Connie reminds us in so numerous text that “Nothing is particular apart from loss of life and taxes.” She endorses older women of all ages and men get ready disposal of their belongings by means of preparing of past will and testomony, as nicely as transfers of properties–while reducing taxes.
“When you die you’re quickly taxed for your particular estate. If you never prepare it thoroughly, you can inherit a great deal of homes 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 qualities.” She also informs us about other alternatives these types of as life insurance.
When questioned about the ripe time to get ready your estate, she states, “We simply cannot inform with death. I’ve had more youthful individuals inquiring me to draft wills for them proper now. Just to make sure that everything is appropriately taken treatment of should they move.”
7. Keeping your independence and the keys to a great marriage
Atty. Connie shares with us how she retains herself brimming with vitality to go after her brings about – concerning a observe of 2 times-a-7 days pilates, a few-occasions-a-week energy training, operating, boxing, and a long-distance bicycle route from Alabang to Tagaytay and again every weekend, it is no wonder she maintains her physical self-treatment (a tip she endorses to all her female customers, much too) preserving the blood flowing, mind pumping, so she can acquire care of herself and empower females in return.
“I extremely suggest self-care,” she claims, “Because if you consider treatment of your physical, psychological and religious areas, you can function effectively. You can be a superior mother, a better spouse. A greater employee. At this age, I do not want to stereotype ladies that they are just intended to be at dwelling. We’re previous that. We are in the 2020s now.”
Owning witnessed many nullity and lawful separation cases and a spouse herself, she has a few strong terms of suggestions on how to nurture a superior relationship: “Have your individual individual life. Just since you’re married does not indicate you have to comply with everything your wife or husband does. You eliminate your individuality and it results in being tedious, a schedule. When you have independent lives you provide in something fresh. Go on all-ladies vacation. Do points with your mates. Don’t just stick to the shadow of your partner. Or if you’re in a vocation, really do not give it up. It’s all about stability.
And of system to have a prosperous marriage, get married when you’re guaranteed – when you’ve totally gotten to know your spouse, and you see that he’s another person you can stay with as a companion, a buddy, a lover, all the things! Not just a financier.
All through Atty. Connie reminds us that it is not an Us. vs. Them condition, and that although most of her purchasers are gals, “In our law company, we also have male customers, so we really do not discriminate towards the other intercourse. It just so comes about that there are a great deal more ladies now who are more informed of their legal rights. If they are in abusive marriages, they get out,” showing the rise of awareness and motion for women’s legal rights.
There are a number of additional points we inquire Atty. Connie. We replicate on church regulation, which she reminds us is not managed by civil legal professionals, but canonical legal professionals, priests who focus in relationship annulment in the Vatican.
On the subject matter of divorce, she tells us it is about time it should be legalized, but also that she is “Not for it fully. I’m continue to for the sanctity of marriage, presented the suitable safeguards,” she states, “It just shouldn’t be used to conveniently get out of any relationship.”
Sporting a Dior laser-lower belt, Atty. Connie presents us a single very last reward suggestion on how a woman can demonstrate up for herself in proceedings, “I explain to my shoppers, glance rather! Have a alter of hairstyle. Glimpse match, seem nice. Do not tell me pag iniwan ka, you are heading to appear unfortunate, bugbog. No, go out! Searching excellent is a type of self-empowerment. When you are suit and you experience good, you look good, you can tackle anything. It can be pretty superficial but it will help.”
Just final year, Atty. Connie cycled lengthy-distance in the Pyrenees mountains from Spain to France. She concluded the final leg of the tour de France, called Col du Tourmalet, a single of the highest-paved and most dangerous mountain passes. Following a long time of a job in law helping ladies claim their power, Atty. Connie Aquino has demonstrated us how a lady can demonstrate up for herself and go over and above society’s expectations–all the while shining boldly and on the lookout excellent, too.
Pictures by JT Fernandez
Creative Course by Sophia Ysabel Concordia
Created by Angela Manuel Go