Fidelity and Separation Charge

Pursuant to Article 143 of the Italian Civil Code spouses have the duty of fidelity. Spouses are required not only to abstain from extramarital love affairs and sexual intercourses, but also not to betray mutual trust, intended, more generally, as loyalty and solidarity. 

The violation of this duty could determine the impossible continuation of cohabitation between the spouses, thus causing the disintegration of the family unit and, therefore, the separation and divorce.

In Italy, in the case of judicial separation, separation can be declared with charge on one of the spouses. The consequences of a charged separation are that the charged spouse may not be entitled to the allowance and may lose any inheritance rights. The fault of the separation, however, needs to be proved and the evaluation needs to be carried by the competent Court.

If the Court finds that the separation was due to the breach of the duty of loyalty, then it may declare the separation with charge.      

It is essential, however, that the violation took place at a time prior to the request for separation and that, above all, the connection between the breach of the duty of loyalty and the intolerability of cohabitation, is fully proved.  

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