Author Topic: Legal articles on the Family Code and other topics written in Plain English  (Read 8762 times)

Gerry T. Galacio

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I started my “Legal Updates” blog at in 2005; as of January 2019, my website trackers reported that the blog has reached more than 1.53 million unique visits and more than 4.87 million page views. The blog posts are free, meaning that they’re not behind a paywall; without the need for registering, anyone can read the blog posts or download the PDF files that I have provided. (I have, however, closed the comments section, and any website admin or blogger must obtain my permission before reposting any of my blog posts.)

As of 2011, I began writing and rewriting my blog posts in Plain English, which means, among others, (1) using short and simple words, except for legal terms of art, and (2) using sentences that are short, simple, clear, and strong. By “clear sentences,” I tried to avoid what Bryan Garner (editor of Black’s Law Dictionary) refers to as “interruptive phrases” that come between the subject, verb, and object. By “strong sentences,” I tried to follow the “old-new” structure that was propounded by Joseph Williams (author of “Style, Towards Clarity and Grace”) and by George Gopen (professor of practical rhetoric at Duke University and author of “Reader Expectation Approach to the English Language”).

In Plain English, the word “shall” is now only used to refer to futurity; “must” is now used to mean obligation. (As Prof. Joseph Kimble has noted, the ambiguity of “shall” has led to more than 6,000 cases in US courts; Kimble was the consultant for the Plain English revisions of the US Federal Rules of Court). For the texts of Philippine laws that I cited, however, I had no choice but to keep the “shall.”

At its heart, Plain English writing is reader-centered, not author-centered. Or as journalism teachers tell their students, “Write to express, not to impress.”

For resources and more than 800 free interactive exercises on Plain English, please surf to “Plain English, Plain Language, or Clear Writing for journalism, law, business, science, academic and general writing” at


                      IMAGE CREDIT: SLIDESHARE.NET

“Adultery, concubinage, marital infidelity, and psychological violence” at

“Can a mother be deprived of custody of her child?” at

“Custody battles over children: what determines fitness of a parent over another?” at

“Financial support for an abandoned woman and her family” at

“Divorce obtained abroad by a Filipino citizen against alien spouse recognized in the Philippines” at

“Miss, Ms, or Mrs? Philippine law on surnames for married women” at

“Visitation rights over illegitimate children” at

“What surname should illegitimate children use?” at

“Did the Supreme Court order all credit card companies to reduce their interest rate of 3% monthly and penalty fee of 3%?” at

Heirs and inheritances

“If your spouse dies without a last will, who will inherit?” at

“Legitimes, free portions, and intestate shares” at

“Rights of illegitimate children when their parent dies without a last will” at

“Who inherits from an illegitimate child?” at

“The right of legitimate children to inherit” at

“Settle the estate of your deceased spouse before marrying again” at

“Is property acquired before marriage the exclusive property of each spouse or does it belong to both spouses?” at

“Do inherited properties belong exclusively to the spouse who inherited them or to both spouses?” at

“Last will must be probated; Preterition (when a compulsory heir is omitted in a last will)” at

“Can nephews and nieces inherit from their grandparents, unmarried aunts or uncles?” at

“Disinheriting children and descendants, legitimate as well as illegitimate” at

“Disinheriting your spouse” at

“When a man is married to or living in with several women successively or simultaneously, who has the right to inherit from him?” at

“Article 176 of the Family Code: how to compute the inheritance of legitimate and illegitimate children; an illegitimate child gets only 50% of what a legitimate child is entitled to” at

“Who inherits from a man or woman who died single and with no last will?” at

Primers on the Family Code of the Philippines

Primer on marriage at

Primer on void and voidable marriages at

Primer on paternity, filiation, and legitimate children at

Primer on illegitimate children at

Primer on legitimation at

Primer on legal separation at

Primer on rights and obligations between husband and wife at

Primer on the family and family home at

Primer on the property relations between husband and wife at

Primer on absolute community of property at

Primer on donations by reason of marriage at

Plain English revisions of some government documents

“BSP Circular No. 702, Series of 2010 on protection of credit card holders” at

“DepEd Order No. 88 s. 2010” at

“DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors” at

“Pantawid Pasada Program guidelines” at

“PDIC notice to Banco Filipino depositors “at

“Public Attorney’s Office guidelines” at

“PVAO educational benefits” at
“RA 9994 Expanded rights of senior citizens” at

“Senate rules of procedure in the impeachment of Chief Justice Corona” at

Legal procedures in civil and criminal cases

Legal Procedures 01: Jurisdiction of trial courts MTC, RTC at

Legal Procedures 02: Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court at

Legal Procedures 03: Katarungang Pambarangay at

Legal Procedures 04: Cases not subject to Katarungang Pambarangay at

Legal Procedures 05: Preliminary investigation at

Legal Procedures 06: Arrest and bail at

Legal Procedures 07: Search and seizure at

Legal Procedures 08: Rights of the accused at

Legal Procedures 10: Pleadings and motions before arraignment at

Legal Procedures 11: Arraignment and pre-trial at

Legal Procedures 12: Trial procedure in criminal cases at

Legal Procedures 13: Motions during trial of a criminal case at

Legal Procedures 14: Criminal cases subject to Summary Procedure at

Legal Procedures 15: Summary Procedure in criminal cases at

Legal Procedures 17: Promulgation of judgment in criminal cases at

Legal Procedures 18: Remedies after conviction at

Legal Procedures 19: Duration of penalties at

Legal Procedures 20: Extinction and prescription of the crime; civil liability at

Legal Procedures 22: Filing of complaint and answer in civil cases at

Legal Procedures 23: Default or failure to answer at

Legal Procedures 24: Motion to Dismiss at

Legal Procedures 25: Kinds of pleadings and motions in civil cases at

Legal Procedures 26: After the last pleading or motion at

Legal Procedures 28: Pre-trial conference in civil cases (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 30: Trial procedure in civil cases (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 31: Civil cases under Summary Procedure (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 32: Summary Procedure in civil cases (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 33: Modes of discovery (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 34: Provisional remedies, injunction, TRO (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 35: Promulgation of judgment in civil cases (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 36: Motions and petitions for losing party (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 37: Execution of judgment in civil cases (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 38: Appeal from MTC to RTC (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 39: Appeal from RTC to Court of Appeals (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 40: Appeal to the Supreme Court (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 41: Special Civil Actions (PDF) at

Legal Procedures 42: Special Proceeding (PDF) at

Ad cautelam: filing of pleadings as precaution or appearing in court even as you question its jurisdiction at

Other topics that I have written about are guidelines in effective legal writing. You might also be interested in my post “Plain English, Plain Language or Plain Writing for government offices and private companies in the Philippines” at

Complete text of the Family Code of the Philippines at

Title I. Marriage at

Title II. Legal Separation at

Title III. Rights and Obligations Between Husband and Wife at

Title IV. Property Relations Between Husband and Wife at

Title V. The Family at

Title VI. Paternity and Filiation at

Title VII. Adoption at

Title VII. Support at

Title IX. Parental Authority at

Title X. Emancipation and Age of Majority at
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 03:30:42 PM by Gerry T. Galacio »