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in Italy

  • First of all, if children are born during the marriage, the parent with whom the children continue to live after the separation or divorce will receive a child support allowance, which the other parent is obliged to pay in proportion to their income and the needs of the children, assessed according to the family’s standard of living prior to the separation.

  • In addition, during the period of separation, the weaker spouse (i.e. the spouse who has considerably less income and assets than the other spouse) is entitled to receive a monthly maintenance allowance. Such allowance, at least in theory, is intended to balance the economic situation of the spouses. Even after the divorce, the law provides that the economically weaker former spouse can continue to receive a monthly allowance. Recently, Italian case law has stated that the main function of this right is to compensate the economically weaker spouse for the sacrifices made during the marriage in favour of the other spouse and the family.

  • The court may not, however, award the economically weaker spouse a share of the other spouse’s assets or a lump sum.

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