The Italian Marriage: Crisis or Tradition?  

by Rossella Fadda

Numerous reforms of Italian family law have been enacted in recent years regarding marriage, which reinforce the freedom of the spouses and which have provoked a crisis of the institution itself. The tendency emerging from the new laws reveals an accentuation of the married couple’s autonomy and of the public authority’s limited role in the different phases of marriage. During the formation of the marital bond, the prospective spouses have greater freedom while the officiating public functionary has a role of mere certification and control. During the marriage itself, the spouses have greater freedom in regulating their personal relations and their property rights. In the event of dissolution, new procedures allow the spouses to separate or divorce without going to court. The ‘crisis’ of the marital relationship may be also caused by the introduction of laws which provide other models for couples (civil unions between persons of the same sex and cohabitation). Nevertheless, in noting the few yet significant differences in the law between marriage and civil unions, it appears that the legislative intent is to preserve certain ‘traditional’ aspects of marriage.

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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