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Child Custody in Italy

Child Custody in Italy

Updated on Monday 14th December 2015

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The custodial duties in Italy are allocated and divided by the court in the most suitable manner. Articles of the Civil Code regulate matters of child custody. After separation or divorce, the minor has the right to maintain a continuous relationship to each parent and to receive schooling, education, care etc. from both parents. In these delicate matters, it is advisable that you seek help from an experienced lawyer in Italy.

Types of child custody in Italy

Italian law provides three types of child custody in this country, namely:
  • exclusive custody which grants the custody to one of the parents, who has the right to decide on everything with regard to the child's daily life and thus, to exercise full parental responsibilities (unless a judge gives other provisions); the non-custodial parent has limited responsibilities;
  • joint custody means that both parents are entitled to the custody, to parental responsibilities, even though the child may live with one of the parents; theoretically this seems to respect the most interests of the child (having both parents);
  • alternating custody implies that each parent has the right to exercise exclusively his/her parental responsibilities for the period of custody granted to them; each of them has the custody of the minor for predetermined periods.
Our lawyers in Italy can provide you with further details on the implications of child custody, on the differences between each type and other legal family matters.

Courts in charge with Italian child custody

Italian law states that the court handling child custody and parental responsibility is to be decided by the status of the two parties: if the parents are married or unmarried.
When dealing with married parents, the ordinary court is the competent authority (also handling procedures of separation, divorce etc.). 
For unmarried parents though, the competent authority is the family proceedings court.
You can seek counsel from our Italian law firm in family issues or other legal matters and we can offer you guidance and advice.

Key factors of child custody in Italy

The key factors that courts consider when awarding child custody to parents are as follows:
  • - the minor's mental and physical health, age, sex;
  • - the parents' physical and mental health;
  • - the parents' lifestyle and whether there is a history of child abuse;
  • - the minor's preference (if he/she's above the age of 12);
  • - the parents' ability to provide for the child;
  • - the emotional bond between the child and the parents.
Feel free to contact our law firm in Italy for more information and/or assistance in child custody issues in Italy.


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