Divorce: The Supreme Court Is Changing The Maintenance Allowance Regulations

Author:Mr Calogero Boccadutri
Profession:Boccadutri Internationalm Law Firm

Maintenance allowance

On 10 May 2017 a new page was written in the history of divorce. Supreme Court ruling no. 11504 established that a self-sufficient ex-spouse does not have the right to ask for maintenance allowance from the other, even if they are well-off, because you cannot expect to maintain the same standard of living as you were accustomed to whilst married.

A revolution in Family Law, the Supreme Court is redrawing the maintenance allowance.

With an historic sentence, the criterion of quality of life, which in some cases has meant substantial monthly allowances to fortunate beneficiaries, whilst supplanting as a parameter for defining the assignment of contributions, the loss of self-sufficiency.

Those who are independent enough to be able to provide for themselves do not need money from their ex-spouse. Sentence no 11504 from 10 May 2017 issued in the first civil section was clear about this proposal.

Marriage reviewed by the Court

Getting married is not a constriction but an "act of liberty and self-responsibility", judges have observed, once the marital bond has dissolved, the sentence implies, the ex-spouses end up being individuals, without a need for assistance.

The accumulation of wealth on the part of the ex-spouse will no longer be possible for those who already have the means to provide for themselves.

Furthermore it is undeniable that having to pay a lavish allowance to the ex-spouse could compromise the formation of a new family or could simply hinder one of the two to make another life, thereby violating their rights.

The casus belli: how the sentence came to pass

The marriage between an ex-minister and an entrepreneuse, whose marriage came to an end in 2013, gave life to the ruling.

Notwithstanding the "severance pay" of two million euros, pending separation, the ex-wife claimed that the husband had paid a divorce allowance to her.

Milan's Supreme Court in 2014 denied her the allowance, basing their refusal on documentation that didn't show income.

Furthermore it had emerged that the assets of the ex-husband were no longer as fluid as they were during the marriage.

The woman had reacted to the ruling by making recourse to the Supreme Court.

If the result were similar to that of the Milan Court, it was this that led to the verdict.

The highest judges have corrected this, underlining how times have changed and that marriage cannot mean "life accommodation" for the spouse that is in an economically weaker situation.


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