The marriage in Italy (Italia), also if it is a short one, can give rise the right of alimony (assegno di mantenimento) to the wife. The chances of ruling the economic situation of the spouses, allowed under the Italian (Italiana) law, are several and must be taken into consideration during the separation proceeding or during the divorce proceeding.
If the spouses live abroad or are foreigners, they must be advised by an Italian qualified lawyer (Avvocato italiano) who has a deep knowledge of Italian family law and therefore is able to advise them properly about the proper legal instruments, which are more adequate for an agreements taking into consideration all their interests.
Different standpoints, irreconcilable habits, cultural differences. The cohabitation established during the marriage can highlight features concerning the personality, the character and the cultural experiences of the spouses which may have not been highlighted before the marriage, especially in case of a multi-cultural couple.
It may happen, for example, that the husband (marito) and wife (moglie), a multi-cultural couple, realize how much the different cultures and traditions are inconsistent with the ordinary life of the couple. Without shared fundamentals and without a common family perspective, affection alone is not enough to guarantee to the family a happy future. After a few months of family life, therefore, the two spouses decide to initiate the separation proceeding (separazione). Each one goes for her/his own road and the wife decides to come back home, in her country of origin.
The life of the two spouses proceeds on parallel tracks, very far one from another, until the husband, who in the meantime has moved outside Italy, decides to get married with another woman. However, in Italy exists the status of “separated” which is intermediate in comparison with the status of divorced, because the separation does not dissolute the matrimonial tie and, therefore, during the period of separation the possibility of getting married with another person is not allowed. That is why the husband decides to request the divorce to the wife.
The consequences of a short marriage under Italian law
Although the marriage has been very short, pursuant to Italian law the wife could request and obtain alimony. It is of course essential that all the necessary assumptions to request alimony are in effect at the time of the request.
The duration of the marriage is not considered by itself as a criterion to obtain alimony (assegno). It may however be considered as a parameter which may influence the evaluation of its amount.
However, we need to point out two different aspects of the matter at stake.
The “real” duration of marriage under Italian law
Pursuant to Italian law, the duration of the marriage does not expire by means of the end of the cohabitation, and it does not expire after the separation decree. The marriage shall terminate only by means of the divorce sentence. Therefore, until that moment, even if the spouses are separated they nevertheless remain restricted to the matrimonial tie.
To the purpose of obtaining alimony (and of calculating its amount), therefore, the separation period shall be also taken into consideration.
The spiritual and material sharing under Italian law
The marriage in Italy provides for the spiritual and material sharing between the spouses. If this sharing, during the matrimonial cohabitation, does not realize, due to will or fault of the spouse who requests alimony, this request could be rejected by the Court. For example, the spouse who did not want to have an intercourse with the other spouse could very hardly obtain alimony (assegno di divorzio). In the case we mentioned earlier, therefore, the spouse who moved abroad, who is willing to request the divorce in Italy, could face a request of alimony by his ex-spouses.
Marzorati Law Firm is specialised in family law, also internationally, and its lawyers usually deal with separations, divorces, child support and family support. To advise all its clients all over Italy and worldwide, Marzorati Law Firm has also developed a network, made of at least a barrister/solicitor, an attorney-at-law, an abogado, and an avocat à la cour, all qualified in their respective country of practice