Title VIII. – PATERNITY AND FILIATION
CHAPTER 1 > LEGITIMATE CHILDREN
Art. 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.
Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the physical impossibility of the husband’s having access to his wife within the first one hundred and twenty days of three hundred which preceded the birth of the child.
This physical impossibility may be caused:
(1) By the impotence of the husband;
(2) By the fact that the husband and wife were living separately, in such a way that access was not possible;
(3) By the serious illness of the husband. (108a)
Art. 256. The child shall be presumed legitimate, although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. (109)
Art. 257. Should the wife commit adultery at or about the time of the conception of the child, but there was no physical impossibility of access between her and her husband as set forth in Article 255, the child is prima facie presumed to be illegitimate if it appears highly improbable, for ethnic reasons, that the child is that of the husband. For the purposes of this article, the wife’s adultery need not be proved in a criminal case. (n)
Art. 258. A child born within one hundred eighty days following the celebration of the marriage is prima facie presumed to be legitimate. Such a child is conclusively presumed to be legitimate in any of these cases:
(1) If the husband, before the marriage, knew of the pregnancy of the wife;
(2) If he consented, being present, to the putting of his surname on the record of birth of the child;
(3) If he expressly or tacitly recognized the child as his own. (110a)
Art. 259. If the marriage is dissolved by the death of the husband, and the mother contracted another marriage within three hundred days following such death, these rules shall govern:
(1) A child born before one hundred eighty days after the solemnization of the subsequent marriage is disputably presumed to have been conceived during the former marriage, provided it be born within three hundred days after the death of the former husband:
(2) A child born after one hundred eighty days following the celebration of the subsequent marriage is prima facie presumed to have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within the three hundred days after the death of the former husband. (n)
Art. 260. If after a judgment annulling a marriage, the former wife should believe herself to be pregnant by the former husband, she shall, within thirty days from the time she became aware of her pregnancy, notify the former husband or his heirs of that fact. He or his heirs may ask the court to take measures to prevent a simulation of birth.
The same obligation shall devolve upon a widow who believes herself to have been left pregnant by the deceased husband, or upon the wife who believes herself to be pregnant by her husband from whom she has been legally separated. (n)
Art. 261. There is no presumption of legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child born after three hundred days following the dissolution of the marriage or the separation of the spouses. Whoever alleges the legitimacy or the illegitimacy of such child must prove his allegation. (n)
Art. 262. The heirs of the husband may impugn the legitimacy of the child only in the following cases:
(1) If the husband should die before the expiration of the period fixed for bringing his action;
(2) If he should die after the filing of the complaint, without having desisted from the same;
(3) If the child was born after the death of the husband. (112)
Art. 263. The action to impugn the legitimacy of the child shall be brought within one year from the recording of the birth in the Civil Register, if the husband should be in the same place, or in a proper case, any of his heirs.
If he or his heirs are absent, the period shall be eighteen months if they should reside in the Philippines; and two years if abroad. If the birth of the child has been concealed, the term shall be counted from the discovery of the fraud. (113a)
Art. 264. Legitimate children shall have the right:
(1) To bear the surnames of the father and of the mother;
(2) To receive support from them, from their ascendants and in a proper case, from their brothers and sisters, in conformity with Article 291;
(3) To the legitime and other successional rights which this Code recognizes in their favor. (114)