Divorce process in Italy: all news

Divorce process in Italy: assisted negotiation 

With the entry into force of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 162/2014, both short and ordinary divorce procedures in Italy have become much quicker and easier.

Indeed, the Legislative Decree mentioned above has introduced in legal separation/divorce procedure the so called “assisted negotiation”, as an alternative to legal action.

In particular, in Italy assisted negotiation was introduced in order to simplify procedures of separation by mutual consent, as well as to simplify the requirements for joint petitions of dissolution of marriage or termination of civil effects of marriage and for amending divorce or legal separation conditions. 

Assisted negotiation implies first of all the subscription of a covenant (and of an agreement between the parties). Another possibility is to send an optional invitation to negotiation, specifying the subject matter of the dispute as well as the deadline for replying, with the warning that failure to respect the deadline will be interpreted as a rejection.

The covenant has to be in written form (otherwise becomes void) and give the time limit (not less than 30 days and not more than 3 months) by which the agreement has to be concluded and subscribed by both spouses. It has also to include a statement of authenticity of the spouses’ signatures by their lawyers.

Once the covenant is concluded, an agreement has to be written, specifying terms and conditions (relating to property settlement and other issues) of the legal separation/divorce.

Depending on whether the parties have (minor, protected adult, disabled or dependent) children, the agreement will be finalised as follows:

If no children were born to the parties during the marriage, the agreement will be sent to the Court where the marriage took place, to the attention of the Public Prosecutor of the Republic. This latter, after checking the agreement’s compliance with all the requirements listed above, will have to issue a permit and to inform the parties that the agreement has been transmitted to the competent Registrar in order to be transcribed on the certificate of marriage;

If the parties have children, the Public Prosecutor of the Republic, after having established that the agreement is in the best interest of the children, will authorize its transmission to the competent Registrar. Otherwise, the Public Prosecutor of the Republic will send the agreement to the Presiding Judge of the Court, in order to set a hearing.

With the authorization or permit of the Public Prosecutor of the Republic, the agreement acquires the same force and effect of a judgement of the Court.

The assisted negotiation agreement, moreover, can also provide for real estate conveyance or settlement of property rights, which anyway can be recorded on Public Records only upon subscription by a Notary Public.

Divorce process in Italy: divorcing at the municipality office 

Pursuant to the Italian Legislative Decree no. 162/2014, it is possible to legally separate or to divorce also at the municipality offices, provided that the parties have no minor, protected adult, disabled or dependent children.

In this case, the agreement between the parties can include neither provisions on property conveyance nor impose obligations of maintenance.  

Applications can be submitted to the municipality of residence of one of the two spouses, to the municipality where the marriage was celebrated or where the marriage celebrated abroad or according to Canonical Rites has been recorded on Public Records.

With the decision of 19 January 2016, the Court of Milan has established that legal separation or divorce per power of attorney is possible both at the municipality office and at the office of the local Registrar.

Divorce process in Italy: how Arnone&Sicomo Law Firm can assist you 

Arnone&Sicomo Law Firm has a branch specialized in family law and divorce procedure. Our collaborators scrupulously take care of all divorce or legal separation cases, even when they involve Italian and foreign citizens, who have married in Italy.

By means of a special power of attorney to act, our lawyers can perform any action relating to the divorce without any need for the interested person to be physically present in Court.

Further, we can provide legal assistance in different languages, such as English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and French.

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