Records & identity of parties in a family court


QUESTIONS: [1] How should the records of child and family cases in the Family Courts or RTC designated by the Supreme Court to handle Family Court cases be treated and dealt with?

[2] Under what conditions may the identity of parties in child and family cases be divulged?

ANSWERS: [1] The records of child and family cases in the Family Code to handle Family Court cases shall be dealt with utmost confidentiality.

Under the Family Courts Act of 1997, "All hearings and conciliation of the child and family cases shall be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's and the family's dignity and worth, and shall respect their privacy at all stages of the proceedings. Records of the cases shall be dealt with utmost confidentiality and the identity of parties shall not be divulged unless necessary and with authority of the judge." (Section 12)

The reason for this is that the State seeks to protect the rights and promote the welfare of children in keeping with the mandate of the Constitution and the precepts of the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child. The State also seeks to provide a system of adjudication for youthful offenders which takes into account their peculiar circumstances. (Section 2)

[2] Based on Section 12 of said Act, the identity of parties in child and family cases shall not be divulged unless necessary and with authority of the judge.

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