The child maintenance obligation

2023/09/27 Type of resource National judgements Topics Family law Legal separation and divorce Titles Topical issues Activities Legal review
Cover obbligo di mantenimento in favore dei figli

The child maintenance obligation. What are the criminal consequences of its non-fulfillment?

The obligation of maintenance in favour of children finds its basis in the Constitution (art. 30) and in the civil code. In particular, the law (art. 315 bis, paragraph 1, cc) states that the child has the right to be: maintained, educated, instructed, morally assisted.

This obligation exists for the sole fact of having generated them and is independent of the type of relationship between the couple; in fact, it exists in the case of children born of marriage or cohabitation and remains in the case of separation, divorce or termination of cohabitation.

With the Ruling of 18 April 2023, no. 16465, the Fourth Criminal Section of the Supreme Court of Cassation returns to deal with the criminal aspects relating to the violation of the obligation to maintain a minor, providing guidance to the interpreter not only in a "substantial" assessment of the facts aimed at establishing whether or not the case provided for by art.  570 of the Criminal Code, but also - and this is a fundamental point at a practical level - what are the burdens of proof on the prosecution (and - if constituted - on the plaintiff) and on the defense.

An in-depth study of the case law on The child maintenance obligation.

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