Jurisdiction is the Court’s legal authority to hear your case and issue legally enforceable orders and judgments.

What are the grounds of Italian jurisdiction for family proceedings? Residence, nationality, domicile?

EU Regulations apply to determine the legal grounds for separation / divorce. According to such regulations “habitual residence” is the main grounds to determine jurisdiction.

Specifically the Italian Courts will retain jurisdiction when:

  • the spouses are habitually resident in Italy or the spouses were last habitually resident, insofar as one of them still resides there, or the respondent is habitually resident
  • in the event of a joint application, either of the spouses is habitually resident
  • the applicant is habitually resident if he / she resided there for at least six months immediatly before the application was made and is either a national of the Member State in question
  • both spouses are of Italian nationality

As you can see the main criterion the Italian Courts consider to retain jurisdiction is residence; nationality is basically immaterial

In case none of the above criteria applies, jurisdiction is dtermined by Italina rules of Internationall law ad, therefore, Italian Courts will retain jirisdiction if one of the parties is of Italian nationality or the marriage has been celebrated in Italy.

Can separation / divorce proceedings be stayed in Italy if there are proceedings in another country? 

  • in case there are divorce proceedings in another European country that have been started firs, the Italian Judge must stay the Italian Proceeding
  • in case the other divorce proceeding has been started in a non-European country, the Italian Judge may stay the Italian proceeding if he belives it appropriate