Divorce rates in Italy appear to be skyrocketing, along with the divorce rates in the rest of the world, fueled by the coronavirus, the quarantine, financial stress and many other factors. The news out of Italy is consistent with what is happening in Florida too, as more people begin filing for divorce.
According to Italy’s National Divorce Association (l’Associazione nazionale divorzisti italiani) the divorce rate increased by 60% in 2020. The requests for separation have increased a lot, mainly due to forced coexistence,” the association’s president, family lawyer Matteo Santini, told Sky TG24.
In 40 percent of cases, the divorces were due to the fact that lockdown made it more difficult to hide infidelity and “double lives”.
Another 30 percent of separations were due to domestic violence, and the remaining 30 percent were listed as being down to other causes.
“It’s one thing to share weekends and evenings but another to share the whole day, with all the problems related to the health emergency: health stress due to illness, lack of work, living with children with difficulties related to distance learning. This causes an emotional explosion that leads to the desire for separation and the request for separation.
I’ve written about no-fault divorces before. Historically in Florida, in order to obtain a divorce one had to prove the existence of legal grounds such as adultery.
This often required additional expenses on behalf of the aggrieved party, only serving to make the divorce process more expensive and cumbersome than it already was.
In the years leading up to the enactment of “no-fault” divorce, courts often granted divorces on bases that were easier to prove, the most common being “mental cruelty.”
Over time, the “no-fault” movement expanded to other states, although interestingly it only reached the typically progressive state of New York in 2010. Whether or not it is intimacy or communication, you do not need to list a reason for a divorce other than an irretrievable break in the marriage.
Divorce Law Change
As with many sets of statistics in Italy, there was a marked difference between the north and south of the country. There were more than twice as many separations recorded in the north in 2020, with 450 per thousand couples in the north, and 200 in southern Italy.
Italy, where more than 80 percent of people describe themselves as Catholic, has long had one of Europe’s lowest divorce rates, with only Ireland, Slovenia, and Malta reporting lower figures.
Divorce numbers in the country however surged in 2015 after the enactment of legislation making it easier and quicker to end failed marriages.
The 2015, “fast divorce law”, which the lower house approved with an overwhelming vote of 398 for and 28 against, cuts the time Italians have to wait for a divorce to six months in uncontested cases and a year in contested ones.
Several Italian studies have confirmed that the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis is having a major impact on families, with national statistics agency Istat finding that Italy’s already record-low birth rate was plunging even further due to “the climate of fear and uncertainty and the growing difficulties linked to employment and income generated by recent events.”
The Local Italian article is here.