Child support in Italy

Child support in Italy is regulated by the Civil Code and by several international regulations.

Parents have to provide financially for their children, each one according to his or her economic means and working capacity.

Child maintenance is an ongoing, periodic payment that a parent has to make to support his or her child, whether born in or out of wedlock.

JURISDICTION

Jurisdiction (the official power to make legal decisions) lies with the Italian Court:

- each time the latter is competent to entertain proceedings concerning parental responsibility if the matter relating to maintenance is ancillary to those proceedings, provided that jurisdiction is not based solely on the nationality of one of the parties [1];

- if the defendant or the creditor is habitually resident in Italy.

 

APPLICABLE LAW

Child support obligations are governed by [2]:

- the law of the State of the habitual residence of the creditor or

- in case of a change, the law of the State of the new habitual residence, from the moment when the change occurs.

When the Italian Court is seized for a proceeding in matters of parental responsibility, Italian law shall apply.

Italian Law

In Italy, parents are legally obliged to support their children until they are economically independent, that is to say, even when the children are major of age and no longer live with their parents.

The child support obligation may be suspended by a judge when parents prove that their adult child is not actively looking for a job.

Child support proceedings in Italy

When contrasts arise between parents in matters of child maintenance, each of them can petition the Court to establish the amount of the periodic allowance due by the other one. Usually, the non-custodial parent is obliged to pay child support to the other parent or, in some cases, directly to the child.

 

Since child support is usually related to the exercise of parental responsibility, in most cases, the competent Court emits measures concerning child support within the context of:

 

- procedures for legal separation, divorce, and any marriage dissolution or,

- child custody proceedings, in case of children born out of wedlock.

 

In child support proceedings, the Court determines the amount of the periodic allowance based on:

- the actual needs of the child;

- the previous standard of living if the child ever lived with both parents;

- the time each parent spends with the child and takes care of him or her;

- each parent's financial resources;

- each parent's contribution to household chores and child's care.

 

[1] according to Council Regulation no. 4/2009, art. 3, d);

[2] Hague Convention, november 23, 2007, art. 3.