If the spouse refuses to leave home

The legal separation judgement, once issued, has an immediate effect, with the consequence that the former spouse must leave the house immediately. If, however, he or she refuses to leave the marital house then there are several legal instruments that can be used through the assistance of a lawyer.

The first step to be taken is the letter of formal notice. The letter is not mandatory, but it is recommended, because it is extra-judicial and quick. It consists of sending a registered post to the formerly cohabiting spouse, inviting him to implement the separation judgment, by going to live elsewhere. Specifically, the letter shall include a request to leave the house, giving a deadline. In lack of such implementation, then enforcement will be considered, by serving a writ of enforcement, with the order to leave the house within 10 days. After 10 days, the bailiff will draft a report in which he reports his further order to leave the house.  In lack of compliance, the bailiff returns with the house, accompanied by the public force, which will physically expel the spouse out of the house.

In addition to these civil law instruments, criminal charges may also be brought, which are less rapid but more effective. In fact, according to Article 388 of Italian Criminal Code, any failure to comply with the separation judgement is a crime (Art. 388 of Italian Criminal Code), which can lead to imprisonment or to a fine. 

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