Child support constitutes family law institute aiming to contribute to education and wellbeing of children within the context of unsuccessful marriage. Child support is a corner stone of divorce or separation procedures and it is the natural extension of a landmark principle: the interest of the child. In fact, according to this parameter, children shall be guaranteed a peaceful context where growing up with adequate economic and emotional help.


Generally speaking, child support lies on spouse’s sense of duty and responsibility. However, in particular cases, spouses are not in the position to fulfil child support payment. What happens in that case? Italian Cassation Court (Sentence No. 14951/2020) confirmed that spouses’ direct ascendants (Grandfather in this case) are obligated to support grandchildren in the event the father culpably refuse to pay and the mother cannot cover child support with her revenues.


The Court of Cassation rejected grandfather’s appeal arguing that spouses have the primary obligation to support the children. However, the Court confirmed that, a subsidiary order to support spouses’ children lies on direct spouses direct ascendants. Secondly, given the insufficient amount of mother’s revenue, the Court confirmed grandfather responsibility to support the grandchild.