Marriage, Separation, Divorce in Italy

The break-up of a relationship or family can be one of the most stressful experiences anyone may have to face. Obtaining good advice about the italian divorce is key to making the right decisions and we are here to alleviate the stress and confusion.

Our lawyers have an outstanding reputation built up over years of practice in this field, with a particular attention and understanding towards the client needs.

Family Law has changed thanks to the Legislative Decree 2014/1323. With this new legislation, has been added in Italy the possibility of “Collaborative Divorce Proceedings”. 

This new Decree introduced “Assisted Negotiation” as a compulsory step for separation and divorce proceedings in Italy; the new procedure is similar, in broad terms, to divorce through mediation rather than via the judicial proceedings courts, although lawyers are required to represent each party. Any agreement reached through “Assisted Negotiation”  needs approval by the court but does not require a  hearing. 

Govoni provides legal assistance in the following cases:  

  • Divorce and separation;
  • Italian child abduction;
  • Forced marriage cases;
  • Custodial parent rights.

Our aim is to offer is to provide solutions that attempt to limit the distress that accompanies a marriage break-up. According to Italian law, the formal prior separation is obligatory and lasts at least 6 months, if both spouses decide to get divorce by mutual consent, or 12 months, if there is no agreement between spouses.

Before the recent amendment of Civil Code, separation last at least 3 years. So in fact, the dissolution of a marriage is a result of two separate proceedings taking place one after the other (first separation and than divorce).

Consensual Separation in Italy

The consensual separation, pursuant to Italian Law, is a legal proceeding that rules the end of a marriage (matrimonio) between two spouses who agree to split, obtaining the authorization by the Court to live separately, in the mutual respect.

To be enforceable, the agreement must be homologated (omologato) by the President of the competent Court or undersigned before an Italian qualified lawyer during a proceeding of “negoziazione assistita” (advised negotiation) or before a “Ufficiale di Stato Civile” (a public officer).

The consensual separation is much more convenient in comparison with the judicial one, because it is quicker and cheaper and also because it allows the parents to agree upon personal and patrimonial matters in a way which may be very close to their personal needs. In particular, husband and wife could agree upon how to pay the sum due as alimony (assegno di mantenimento) to the weaker spouse or about the sum due as child(ren) (figli) custody, upon the assignment of the family house as well as about the sharing of the owned assets (bank accounts, stocks, shares, bonds, real estate assets and other assets).

Necessary Documents for the Consensual Separation

  • Copy of the deed of the wedding to be requested to the Municipality where the wedding took place or to the Municipality of residence of the spouses at the date of the wedding;
  • Certificate of “stato di famiglia” (good standing) and of residence which may be included in the same certificate. Some Courts may accept also a declaration under oath (autocertificazione);
  • Copy of the ID card or of the passport and of the fiscal code of both spouses;
  • Declarations of income of the latest three years concerning both spouses.

Fiscal Aspects of a Divorce

A sum due as alimony in case of a divorce may be deduct from the income (“reddito”) of the payer, pursuant to Italian fiscal Law (“Fisco italiano”), while for whoever receives it, this sort of income could be assimilated to the income arising out of labour agreement and, consequently, shall deserve a specific declaration of income of purpose. The situation is a bit different in case of a lump-sum payment, as we will see later.