17 September, 2017

The divorce proceeding held in another country is effective also in Italy

We often hear talking about a globalized world and we often wonder what this fact could change in our life. If we think about it, having economic, commercial, sentimental or politic relationships with more countries in the world means also the need to speed up not only our connections with other people, but also in fields like economy and justice, in particular to allow that Courts’ decisions will be, not only quicker, but also easily applicable to the other countries.

With the specific purpose of meeting these needs, some Regulations have been issued in the European Community in order to establish how to obtain the recognition and enforcement of a foreign sentence.


The recognition and enforcement of foreign sentences


Generally speaking, regarding separation (separazione) and divorce (divorzio) the respective sentence – adequately translated – is immediately filed by the Ufficiali di Stato Civile (Italian public officers) without further necessary steps, unless there is a dispute upon its recognition. In this latter case or in case the decision does not formally contain all the necessary requirements for the immediate recognition, it is necessary to turn on the legal proceeding before the competent Court of Appeal considering the place of residence.

We may think about the case of a mixed couple, where she is Italian and he is foreigner that after years spent in Italy decide to move abroad but, finally, get a divorce. If the wife would like to come back to Italy, she would find herself still officially “married” therefore she should request the transcription of the foreign sentence on our registers of the Stato Civile (Municipality offices).

In order to obtain the automatic recognition, among other things, it has to be ascertained the competence of the Court that has issued the sentence as well as the fact that, during the legal proceeding, the rights of defence of both parties have been fully respected and, finally, that the effects of the sentence are not against the compulsory internal public laws and regulations. For example, the divorce sentence issued abroad concerning a citizen who repudiated his wife shall not be recognised, as well as the sentence obtained by one spouse without having communicated to the other spouse the beginning of the legal proceeding.

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