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Press release

Separations and divorces in Italy

In 2011 separations were 88,797 and divorces 53,806; compared to the previous year a substantial stability is observed (+0.7% and -0.7%, respectively).

Total separation and divorce rates show that both phenomena are constantly growing: while in 1995 there were 158 separations and 80 divorces every 1,000 marriages, in 2011 they rose to 311 and 182, respectively.

The average duration of marriages at the time of separation/divorce proceedings being filed is 15 years for separations and 18 years for divorces.

The average age at separation is around 46 for husbands and 43 for wives; for divorce it rises to 47 and 44, respectively. These figures are on the increase due to both the postponement of marriage to more mature ages and to the increase in separations with at least one spouse aged over sixty.

The type of proceeding mainly chosen by couples is the consensual separation: in 2011, 84.8% of separations and 69.4% of divorces ended by mutual consent.

The share of judicial separations (15.2% on average) is higher in the South and Islands area and in cases where both spouses have low level of education.

72% of separations and 62.7% of divorces involved couples with children born during their marriage. 90.3% of separation agreements provided for joint custody, which has become far more common a procedure since the introduction in 2006 of Law 54/2006.

19.1% of separation agreements provided for spousal maintenance payments (in 98% of cases payable by the husband). This share was higher in the South and the Islands (24% and 22.1%, respectively) while in the North it settled at 16%. The average amounts, however, are higher in the North (562.4 million) than in the rest of the country (514.7 euros).

In 57.6% of separations, the matrimonial home was assigned to the wife while only in 20.9% to husbands. 18.8% of separation agreements provided for two different and separate houses, other than the matrimonial one.

Reference period: Year 2011

Date of Issue: 27 May 2013

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Statistics on demographic structure and dynamics
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