Let us clarify how to get divorced in Italy.
Divorce in Italy is regulated by Law No 898/1970, the civil code and different European Council Regulations.
On issues on legal separation or divorce the jurisdiction, meaning the official power to make legal decisions, lies with the Italian Courts when:
- the spouses are habitually resident in Italy; or
- the spouses were last habitually resident in Italy, so long as one
of them still resides there, or
- the respondent is habitually resident in Italy.
The jurisdiction also lies with Italian Courts if the applicant is an Italian citizen and resides in Italy for at least six months before the application for separation or divorce was made.
In the event of a joint claim, the power to make the legal decision about separation or divorce lies with the Italian Court if the applicant is habitually resident in Italy if he or she resided there for at least a year immediately before the application was made.
In case of a joint application for separation or divorce the spouses can choose the applicable law that is:
- the law of the State where the spouses were last habitually resident, in so far as one of them still resides there at the time the agreement is concluded;
- the law of the State of nationality of either spouse at the time the agreement is reached.
In the absence of choice by the parties, divorce and legal separation will be subject to the Italian law.
According to Italian law, the spouses can obtain a divorce on one of the following grounds:
- when one spouse has been sentenced for certain crimes;
- when the marriage has not been consummated;
- when one spouse has sentenced for sex and name change;
- when one spouse is a foreign citizen and has obtained a divorce or has married abroad;
- after six months of consensual separation;
- after one year of judicial separation.
The divorce cases after separation are those statistically most frequent.
Note that in case of a joint claim the spouses may agree to designate the law applicable to legal separation and divorce; often the spouses that are foreign citizens or the spouses of different nationalities can file for divorce in Italy without a separation period because it is allowed by their national law.
One of our clients' frequent question is "how long does it take to get a divorce in Italy?"
In Italy, the spouses can apply for divorce after six months of consensual separation or after one year of judicial separation.
The time needed to have the final judgment of divorce depends on the separation and divorce proceedings.
The divorce proceedings in Italy are identical to separation proceedings.
The proceeding may be by mutual consent if the spouses find an agreement about divorce's terms and conditions (uncontested divorce), or by litigation in front of the Court (contested divorce).
The procedures of mutual divorce are the fastest and simplest way to get a divorce in Italy.