Hello Reader Kabinetrakyat and Welcome to Italy Divorce Law Guide

Divorce is undoubtedly a difficult and heartbreaking process, and it becomes even more complicated when it involves different countries and legal systems. Italy, home to some of the most stunning romantic spots in the world, also has its unique set of divorce laws. If you’re seeking information on Italy divorce law, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of Italy divorce law and frequently asked questions related to the topic. Let’s begin.

italy divorce law


When it comes to divorce laws, Italy stands out from the rest of Europe with its traditional approach to family values and Catholic roots. Italy’s divorce law, which was formulated in 1970, is known as the Law on Separation and Divorce. At the time of its creation, the law was a symbol of progressiveness, as it allowed couples to divorce based on mutual consent. However, it wouldn’t be until 2014 that Italy introduced the law of “quick” divorce, allowing separations to be processed with minimal delays. However, Italy is one of the few countries in Europe that still maintains fault-based divorce grounds.

A fault-based divorce is where one member of the couple is held “at fault” for the divorce. Common reasons for fault divorce include adultery, cruelty, and abandonment. If no such reasons can be found, couples may opt for mutual consent divorce, which requires a two-year separation period or four years exclusion from conjugal life before being granted divorce.

Another unique aspect of Italy’s divorce law is its firm stance on family values. Italy’s legal system believes in the sanctity of the family and aims to maintain it at all costs. Therefore, couples with children are required by law to attend mediation sessions before the divorce is granted. This is to ensure that couples have done everything to reconcile before proceeding with the divorce.

Despite its traditional outlook on family, Italy has adapted to changing societal attitudes towards divorce. Moreover, with the introduction of new laws, such as the law of “quick” divorce, Italy has become a more amicable place to divorce.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Italy’s Divorce Law

Strengths of Italy’s Divorce Law

1. Minimal Delay in Legal Proceedings: The law of “quick” divorce has reduced the waiting period from three years to as little as six months.

2. Taking the Sanctity of Marriage Seriously: By holding marriages as strongly valuable and making couples undergo mediation sessions before granting divorce, Italy is sending a positive message on the importance of marriage commitment.

3. Competitive Legal Fees: Italy offers legal fees that are more economical compared to other European countries.

4. Mutual Consent Divorce: Italy’s mutual consent divorce option removes the concept of fault entirely allowing divorce for irreconcilable differences and cessation of family relations.

5. Chance of Reconciliation: Holding couples to mediation sessions can lead to a reconciliation if the couple wants to work out their differences.

6. Alimony Payments: In Italy, there are no fixed amounts for alimony. Judges establish the amount and modalities on a case-by-case basis, which is fairer for both parties.

7. Shared Custody of Children: Italy has adopted shared custody of children, ensuring that the children’s best interests are taken care of, and both parents are responsible for their upbringing.

Weaknesses of Italy’s Divorce Law

1. Fault-Based Divorce Grounds: Italy still has fault-based divorce grounds, which is a hindrance on the path of divorce.

2. Conflict Arising from Disagreement Over Alimony: Italy’s flexible approach to alimony payments might lead to disagreements between the two parties.

3. Protracted Legal Proceedings: Although the law of “quick” divorce exists, there are still instances of delays in divorce proceedings due to backlog in the court’s availability.

4. Mandatory Mediation Sessions: The requirement of mandatory mediation sessions, while mostly a good thing, can add additional stress to divorce proceedings and can also add additional hours of legal costs too.

5. People from Different Nationalities May Face Additional Challenges: when different cultures and laws are involved.

6. Limited Scope for Property Division: Italy’s divorce law only applies to the assets acquired during marriage, leaving couples with little scope for property division if they decide to separate.

7. Modifying Custody Arrangements is Difficult: Although the shared custody policy is in place, making changes to the custody arrangement later on can be challenging to overturn in a court of law.

All You Need to Know About Italy’s Divorce Law

Point Details
Grounds for Divorce In Italy, a divorce can be brought based on fault grounds such as adultery, cruelty, and abandonment, or mutual consent. These grounds can be used in court if either spouse files for divorce and doesn’t want to live together as couples separated with artificial obstacles.
Legal Representation Italians contemplating divorce have the right to be represented by a qualified divorce attorney or can appoint a qualified legal representative abroad.
Mediation Sessions Before granting divorce, Italian law requires couples to attend mediation sessions with a professional mediator, aiming towards reconciliation and a mutual solution.
Property Division Policy Only the assets acquired during a marriage can be part of the property division policy.
Child Custody The Italian court favors joint custody, wherein both parents share custody equally, with decisions in the child’s best interests.
Duration of the Divorce Process The duration of the divorce process varies depending on the complexities of each case, but the average time is generally between six months to one year.
Alimony Payments Alimony payments are based on mutual agreement or at the court’s discretion to be fair to both sides if an agreement cannot be reached. There are no fixed amounts. Spouses will be awarded payments based on case-by-case circumstances and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1. Can I get a divorce in Italy?

Yes, you can. You can file for divorce in Italy if you are a citizen or resident, have a legitimate marriage, and provide legal grounds for divorce.

Q.2. What are the valid grounds for divorce in Italy?

Valid grounds for divorce in Italy include mutual consent or fault-based divorce grounds that include adultery, cruelty, and abandonment

Q.3. What is the duration of the divorce procedure?

The average time for a divorce procedure in Italy takes around 6 months to one year, and it depends on a case-by-case basis.

Q.4. Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce in Italy?

It’s not necessary to have an attorney in the mediation process, but you are highly advised to seek legal advice and attorney assistance throughout the process.

Q.5. What are the mandatory mediation sessions?

Mandatory mediation sessions require the couple to undergo counseling with a professional mediator to try and reconcile. Only then can the divorce proceedings proceed.

Q.6. Can I get child custody if I am not Italian?

Yes, non-Italian citizens can get child custody in Italy provided they comply with Italian jurisdiction and laws and offer the child’s best interest and wellbeing’s guaranteed environment.

Q.7. How is alimony calculated in Italy?

Alimony is awarded based on case-by-case circumstances and requirements. Payments will be made, taking into account the standard of living, salary, and the couple’s background.

Q.8. Is adultery a punishable offense in Italy?

Although adultery is still considered a valid fault-based divorce ground in Italy, it is not recognized as a criminal offense under Italian law.

Q.9 Can I get a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want one?

In cases where one spouse refuses to consent to divorce, fault-based divorce grounds can be used, if evidence can be presented in court to claim guilt or if you have been separated for at least three years.

Q.10 Is it necessary to show evidence of fault for a divorce?

If spouses decide to go for a fault-based divorce, evidence of the spouse’s fault must be presented in court, such as proof of extramarital affairs, cruelty, or abandonment.

Q.11. Do I have to be present at the trial physically?

If the divorce is mutual, you might not have to be physically present for the trial. But if there are disputes or matters to be resolved regarding child custody, division of assets, and alimony, the court may require your physical presence.

Q.12. What happens if a spouse draws unilaterally joint accounts?

It depends on a case-by-case basis. The Italian court would decide considering the spouse’s financial status and the benefits acquired by withdrawing the joint account.

Q.13. How does Italy’s law recognize prenups?

Italy recognizes prenuptial agreements signed before marriage if the agreement is made before a priest or a civil registrar, notarized, and the spouse’s constitution does not violate Italy’s civil code. However, Italy prohibits prenups that waive spousal support obligations.


Italy’s divorce law is unique, traditional, and progressive all at the same time. With its emphasis on holding the sanctity of marriage and the family together, Italy’s approach to divorce is certainly different from many other European countries. However, there are strengths and weaknesses to every legal system, and Italy’s divorce law is no exception. Whether you are an Italian citizen or someone else residing in Italy, it’s essential to be informed about the legal implications of Italy’s divorce law. Hopefully, this guide provided you with plenty of answers to your questions about Italy’s divorce law. We urge readers seeking divorce in Italy to seek advice from legal professionals in Italy to guide them through this difficult time.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended as general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for legal counsel in specific situations.


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