Italian child custody and parental alienation: case commentary
In the context of separation or divorce proceedings, the assessment of the relationship between spouses and children is widely relevant. Child custody regimes involve different solutions for children care while taking in consideration only minor’s best interest. In such context, child custody might be affected by external behaviours made by one of the spouses toward the child.
Parental alienation describes a process through which the child becomes estranged from a parent as consequence of psychological manipulation. Such alteration of parental relationship is motivated by one parent’s desire to exclude the other spouse from child’s life. However, due to the lack of diagnostic criteria for parental alienation, it determination is not easy. Moreover, the abuser parent may also convince a court that child’s behaviour is the direct consequence of the other parent’s misconduct and obtaining the custody of the child.
Rome Court of Appeal decree has cancelled a previous decree through which the child had been removed from other parent’s custody. The decree confirmed that shared custody regime shall never be imposed. Moreover, it confirms that custody regime landmark is always the best interest of the child. Moreover, the previous decree did not take into consideration father’s parental skills and it promoted a monitoring of father-son relationship that was judged unfeasible.
The Court of appeal has cancelled the child removal due to the non-gradual nature of the measure which resulted disproportionate. Therefore, an undue child custody decision – child removal – shall always be perceived as extrema ratio while taking into consideration other child custody measures.
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