- Posted by Francesca Dimunno
Under Italian law what kind of obligation do parents have towards children after the age of 18?
Both the Italian Constitution and the Civil Code establish that parents have an obligation towards their children, to look after them and ensure they receive adequate education; in short, parents have a general obligation to morally and physically assist their children, taking into account their personal inclinations and aspirations.
On the basis of the above principles it may seem that this obligation will cease when the children become of age, but in accordance with set jurisprudence on the matter by the Supreme Court of Justice, it should be noted that the obligation will continue to exist until the children reach economic and financial independence.
So, the parent support obligation will not automatically cease when their children become 18, but will go on until their children become independent. In the event the parents believe that it is time their obligation should come to an end, it will be up to the parent to apply to the Court and ask for termination of the financial support. It is essential in order to achieve a positive outcome that the parent prove that the son/daughter has achieved the possibility of becoming financially independent and that failure to meet his/her own needs is due only to total inertia and an unjustified refusal to embark on building an independent life. It will be necessary for the parents to prove they have provided the necessary education and professional background for the son/daughter to become independent and self-sufficient and therefore their parent-child support must come to an end as the son/daughter is the only one responsible for their own failure to become actively independent.
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