Divorce in Italy

Specialist international family lawyers

If you are living and/or working in Italy it can be hard to know where to go for clear and reliable advice. Language barriers and complex foreign laws contribute to the difficulty of divorcing abroad.

Our team of specialist international divorce and family lawyers based in the UK advise British expats living in Italy, Italian individuals married to UK nationals and Italian families living in the UK.

We take the time to understand your personal circumstances and work with you to develop the best course of action. We always communicate with our clients in the way that suits them best, responding quickly at all times. Visiting an office or travelling to the UK is not necessary as all meetings can take place via video conferencing and telephone.

Choosing where to divorce – England or Italy?

The divorce process, spousal maintenance and the division of assets are treated differently in Italy and England and deciding where to divorce can have a significant impact on your financial outcome. It is essential to get expert advice from your divorce solicitor quickly as the first party to issue proceedings is likely to determine which country the case will be heard in. Although the choice of jurisdiction may later be challenged it is very difficult to switch jurisdictions once divorce proceedings have started.

In Italy, the usual situation is that couples need to go through a period of separation before they can obtain a divorce. The period of separation is one year unless both parties are in agreement and in which case, the period of separation is reduced to 6 months.

British expatriates seeking a divorce in Italy need to apply for a court order from a local court in order to commence the separation process. Different rules apply to the splitting of finances and the arrangements for children. Nuptial agreements are enforceable thus protecting parties who have brought a greater share of wealth to the marriage.

London is known as the divorce capital of the world because the court system provides for a forensic examination of the assets, spousal maintenance and a starting point of sharing the assets equally. English courts will make additional allowances if the spouse has custody of any children.

Next Steps

To arrange a call back to discuss your circumstances, please call our international family law team on +44(0)20 7426 4915 or complete the call back form. Please note we do not offer legal aid.

International family law team

Our team of international lawyers is headed by Anthony Kiernan who has extensive experience of cross jurisdictional divorces, custody disputes and disputes involving the Hague Convention. Anthony is supported by Martina D’Avino, a family solicitor in our International team who speaks fluent Italian and specialises in divorce.