What is, Direct Maintenance of children in Italy?

The Italian Legal System…

….and the so-called “Direct Maintenance”​ of the children

A strong movement of divorced fathers in Italy – who are supported mainly by some right wing parties (not by all: not by the far extreme right, for instance)- is promoting a reform of child maintenance

As per a common definition child maintenance is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child (or parent, caregiver, guardian, or state) following the end of a marriage or other relationship.

However in Italy the rule is that of “Shared Custody” even though this has never meant -except for extraordinary cases- joint physical custody of the children (which is called Alternate Custody, in case).

The norm, instead, is that of a (i) primary caregiver (obligee) and (ii) a paying parent on the other side (obligor).

As generous as an order of Shared Custody may be, this has never exceeded 40% of the time with one parent 60% with the other, in order to provide a minimum stability to the children.

The above said movement (see https://www.padri.it/) is now fighting to have the support paid in the hands of the ex-partner totally abolished (where “ex-partner” stands for the wife: we all know that the legislation is gender neutral. However, who could deny that it’s the fathers who pay for alimony to the mothers, normally?).

A prospect law is going to introduce equal parenting time 50/50 and direct maintenance for the time that the children spend with either parent; the abolition of the idea of primary caregiver, of course, comes as a consequence.

I don’t think this Statute will ever be approved, however precedents have already been established by the Courts for direct maintenance (I even had one case! Very rare, the father lived in Rome and had to fly every other week to the French border to spend 3 days with his children because of the unapproved relocation of the wife: the Court did not order the return of the mother to Rome but ordered the direct maintenance, probably only to counterbalance the financial effort of the father).

We will see what happens: demonstrations against the DDL Pillon (this is the name of the MP who proposed the law) have already been called all over Italy for November 10, 2018-

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