Separation Petition in Italy: The Innovations of the Cartabia

Separation Petition in Italy The Innovations of the Cartabia

The Cartabia reform introduces significant changes to separation petitions, allowing for a simultaneous request for separation and divorce. Under Article 473 bis no. 49 of the Italian Civil Procedure Code, individuals can now file for divorce alongside a separation petition. While the Milan Tribunal has interpreted this provision broadly, permitting the consolidation of requests even in cases of consensual separation and joint divorce, the Florence Tribunal has taken a different stance, deeming certain simultaneous petitions inadmissible.

The timeframe between separation and divorce varies, with either six or twelve months required, depending on the nature of the proceeding. Once this period has passed and the separation judgment is final, petitions become actionable.

Spouses have the option to file a joint petition or individually. If one spouse initiates proceedings for separation only, the other party can request a divorce decree in response. This new process streamlines procedures by eliminating the need for a presidential hearing, which previously necessitated additional submissions before the judge.

However, one operational challenge is the requirement to submit all necessary documentation with the initial filing, including financial disclosures and arrangements for child custody. In cases involving minor children, a parenting plan outlining daily responsibilities, educational plans, extracurricular activities, and vacation schedules must be attached to the petition.

The Cartabia reform also empowers the entitled party to request adequate guarantees if there are concerns about the obligor’s compliance with maintenance payments. Additionally, it introduces the option for direct payment of maintenance by the employer.

Furthermore, the reform allows for the enforcement of economic support orders through judicial liens and imposes personal or real guarantees to ensure compliance. Creditors can pursue asset seizure if the obligor fails to meet payment obligations.

In instances of significant non-compliance by one parent or actions detrimental to the child, the court has the authority to modify existing orders and penalize the non-compliant parent. Overall, the Cartabia reform aims to expedite separation and divorce proceedings while safeguarding the interests of all parties involved, especially vulnerable children.

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