Divorce allowance and burden of proof

According to the recent ruling of the Italian Supreme Court, the spouse applying for the divorce allowance has the burden of proving the lack of an adequate income.

The divorce allowance does not only aim at restoring the previous standard of living during the marriage, but the divorce allowance must also be sufficient for an adequate standard of life.      
However, it is not enough to prove the lack of an appropriate income, but it is also necessary to prove that this lack is caused by the common life choices of the couple, which have led to the sacrifice of his/her professional and financial expectations, to devote himself or herself to family life. Therefore, there must be an imbalance between the economic choices due to marriage and those that would have undertaken without marriage. The proof of this imbalance is on the spouse who applies for allowance.     

According to the judgement of the Supreme Court, the divorce allowance is based on the principle of post-marital solidarity, which is a principle of the Italian Constitution. For this reason, the professional and financial sacrifice of the former spouse shall be protected by the solidarity of the other spouse, by means of a divorce allowance, provided that this cause-effect link is fully proven.

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