Separation and Divorce with a Single Petition

Separation and Divorce with a Single Petition

Under the new Article 473 bis.49 of the Italian Civil Procedure Code (c.p.c.), parties initiating personal separation proceedings can also request dissolution or cessation of civil effects of marriage and related matters. This innovation applies to contentious marital crisis resolutions. The Court of Cassation ruled (Judgment No. 28727, October 16, 2023) that spouses can jointly seek personal separation and divorce. They can submit a single agreement covering both, processed concurrently in court.

Cumulation of Requests in the Cartabia Reform

Article 473-bis.49 of the Cartabia reform allowed cumulating requests for separation and divorce in contentious proceedings. However, it didn’t explicitly address joint requests. Supporters argued for admissibility, citing procedural efficiency. The Court of Cassation clarified that divorce by joint request is recognitive; thus, cumulation doesn’t conflict with premarital agreements ban. Some disagreed, citing lack of reference to Article 473-bis.49.

The Position of Divorce Lawyers

The Italian Association of Divorce Lawyers, led by Lawyer Professor Matteo Santini, expressed concerns about economically weaker spouses. The reform didn’t address their protection in joint petitions. This contrasts with Civil Code Article 160 on nullity of divorce-related agreements. Despite the Court of Cassation’s support for cumulation, concerns persist regarding the rights of vulnerable spouses

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