Italy was one of the last
countries to enact a law on
divorce, together with Spain,
Eire and Malta. Having been
largely influenced by the
strong presence of the
Catholic Church, the Italian
Parliament started to draft a
divorce law only after World
War II. In 1965 the Radical
Party raised public awareness
thanks to mass
On 1 December 1970, the law on divorce was approved by the 53%
of MPs. Reviewed over the years, the law pays particular attention to
the financial needs and the rights of children.
It used to be common for Courts to give children’s custody to
mothers, while fathers had to take charge of the maintenance
allowance. This was due to the fact that mothers had fewer chances
to work and so to maintain the family.
Today, thanks to social and cultural changes, women are no more
regarded as the weaker sex. However they are still largely preferred
in the custody of children.
Separated fathers often suffer a condition of mistreatment, being
considered not as important as mothers in educating their children,
and being forced to pay high alimonies.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 9.3) states
that: “Parties shall respect the rights of the child who is separated
from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct
contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary
to the child’s best interests.”
Separated fathers in Italy often turn to the European Court of
Human Rights to have theirs respected.
In Italy there are many associations to help separated fathers .One
of the most important is the Separated Fathers’ Association (APS).
Created in the 1990s, it operates all over the country and helps
fathers to go through divorce trials.