Italian legal frame for separation, divorce, and child custody

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This report examines the legal framework with regards to couple separation, divorce and child custody in Italy, and offers a useful guide for international audiences and social sciences researchers interested in those issues. 

The first section presents, in a chronological perspective, the various legislations that concern family matters and especially the questions regarding couple unions, separation and the custody of eventual children. It helps understand how the spirit of the law evolved and has been impacted by religious, as well as cultural, normative views and how policy advocacy has influenced the formulation of various articles over the years. 

The second section clarifies central legal and administrative terms and procedures inherent to separation, divorce and child custody, especially with regards to proper translations from Italian to English. It emphasizes the various steps that married and non-married couples must undertake when separating, and the particular nature of “legal separations” in this context, explains the confusion that translating affidamento condiviso to “joint custody” represents, and details the implications of collocation, child support and alimony in the Italian context. 

The last section states the art of the various surveys and studies that have analyzed the effects of these legislations on today’s family practices, further specifying the impacts on recomposed families and the advent of family mediation.

The report concludes by highlighting the importance for future studies on separation, divorce, and child custody, to include a more precise description of the distribution of residential times between parents; to pay attention to jurisprudence and how judges actually make use of these laws; and to document the everyday practices of people engaged in civil unions, free unions, legal cohabitants, or recomposed families.

The report can be downloaded here

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