A bill winding through the Italian legislature will make any couple seeking divorce with minor children go through mandatory mediation to create a child custody parenting plan to decide all custody and time-sharing issues – from the child’s residence to schooling.

Child Custody

That’s Not Amore

The bill also would require that any parenting plan must stick to prescriptive shared custody measures that require children to spend at least 12 days a month with each parent and class them as resident at both parents’ addresses, rather than one as is currently the case.

“Shared custody already exists,” Assunta Confente, a lawyer and representative of the Camera Minorile children’s rights group, told the protest in Turin. If the law passes, she added, “children will be forced to live two lives.”

The bill would also take away monthly child support and replace it with directly paid maintenance, whereby parents pay for children’s needs as and when they arise instead of handing over a fixed sum in advance.

Florida Parenting Plans

I’ve written on Florida’s attempts to legislate the parenting plan concept before, including equal timesharing and other issues.

In Florida, a Parenting Plan is required in all cases involving time-sharing with minor children, even when timesharing is not in dispute.

A “Parenting plan” is a document created to govern the relationship between the parents relating to decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and the child.

The issues concerning the minor child include the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parents, including their historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors are taken into consideration.

The Parenting Plan must be developed and agreed to by the parents and approved by the court. If the parties cannot agree to a Parenting Plan or if the parents agreed to a plan that is not approved by the court, a Parenting Plan will be established by the court with or without the use of parenting plan recommendations.

‘Avere un diavolo per capello!’

Women from Milan to Naples, women’s associations, trade unions and more joined together to request that the bill be withdrawn amidst fears that it risks turning the clock back 50 years for women, children and survivors of domestic abuse

The bill has attracted criticism from the United Nations. Last month its special rapporteurs on violence and discrimination against women wrote to the Italian government to express concerns that the bill was one of several signs in Italy of a “backlash against the rights of women and attempts to reinstate a social order based on gender stereotypes and unequal power relations”.

The imposed mediation process would be “very damaging if applied in cases of domestic abuse”, they wrote. If the bill becomes law, “the child, even if they are a victim of violence, will be obliged to meet the violent parent”.

As well as scrapping child support, the bill redefines allocation of the family home. Where the house is in both names, the parent who remains in it will be required to pay a fee to the one who moves out. The bill also reverses the current right of the child and primary caregiver (usually the mother) to continue living in the family home unless they own or rent it.

The Local it article is here.

 

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