Divorce, separation rates rise in Italy

by Zita Baron, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Jul 17 2012 12:28 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2012 08:28 PM

MILAN, Italy - Divorces and separations in Italy have increased in 2010, the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) reported.

ISTAT revealed a +2.6% and -0.5% increase in separations and divorces respectively, compared to the previous year.

Both cases showed constant growth with 88,191 separations and 54,160 divorces recorded in 2010.

In 1995, the institute has recorded 158 separations and 80 divorces for every 1000 marriages.

Studies showed that the average duration of marriages at the time of separation/divorce proceedings being filed is 15 years for separations and 18 years for divorces.

The average age at separation is around 45 for husbands and 42 for wives; for divorce it rises to 47 and 44, respectively.

Consensual separation is the most common proceeding filed by couples. In 2010, 85.6% of separations and 72.1% of divorces ended by mutual consent.

Judicial separations (14.5% on average), on the other hand, is higher in the South and Islands area and in cases where both spouses have low level of education.

About 68.7% of separations and 58.5% of divorces involved couples with children born during their marriage.

Separation agreements provided for joint custody, which has become far more common a procedure since the introduction in 2006 of Law 54/2006 recorded an 89.8%.

There are 20.6% of separation agreements provided for spousal maintenance payments (in 98% of cases payable by the husband). This share was higher in the Islands (24.9%) and the South (24.1%) while in the North it settled at 17%.

The average amounts, however, is higher in the North (520.4 million) than in the rest of the country (447.4 euros).

In 56.2% of separations, the matrimonial home was assigned to the wife while only in 21.5% to husbands while 19.8% of separation agreements provided for two different and separate houses, other than the matrimonial one.

While Filipinos make up the largest number among the foreign residents in this city, there is no official record of separation cases. However, there are obvious cases of separation without filing proper proceedings.