Italian separation and virtual infidelity
Separation might be the initial step in the divorce process or it may serve the purpose of re-determine marriage perspectives. A separation process can be informally initiated, or there can be a legal separation certified by formal separation agreement filed with the court. As for a divorce separation may include provisions for alimony, children custody regimes, and the amount of child support.
However, according to the Italian Law, “fault” in separation process is a landmark parameter to quantify alimony, child support and child custody regimes. In this process, the “fault” in the separation process might be determined by inappropriate behaviours carry out by one of the spouses. In this context, infidelity is one of the most relevant inappropriate behaviour that, according to the Italian Law, can determine separation “fault” and its marital and financial consequences.
Given these points, is the virtual betrayal able to determine separation responsibility for one of the spouses? How Italian Courts should evaluate a virtual relationship that risk to damage the marital relationship? For instance, Italian Judges confirmed that infidelity takes place where individuals express the will to meet more closely. On the contrary, intimate and private conversations would not automatically constitute infidelity because of the subjective nature of these declarations.
The Italian Cassation Court has clarified the nature of virtual infidelity by confirming its blurred structure. A friendly relationship, however deep and intimate can be, may not constitute infidelity. On the contrary, in the event friendly relationships characteristics may encourage infidelity frustrating other spouse’s dignity and honour, this might constitute infidelity with subsequent separation responsibility.
Perugia Court of Appeal confirmed this last interpretation. The Court stated that in the event the relationship is revealed with public and visible behaviours, this might constitute infidelity especially in the light of dignity and honour offense suffered by other spouse