Italian Supreme Court confirmed the existence of the wife’s right to maintain the standard of living enjoyed when she used to live with her partner. By judgement no. 9294/2018 the Court has confirmed the appeal outcome recognising spouses separation together with alimony and the assignment of the family house. 

The husband had challenged the Court claiming to take into consideration the woman’s earning capacity besides the income she used to receive in the context of an employment contract. However, the Court stated that, in the context of legal separation, material assistance obligations find their implementation in spouse maintenance. 

In fact, contrary to the divorce, legal separation does not remove the marriage link. Then, the judge must assess the couple’s living standard during their domestic relationship and then verifying whether or not the spouse may have the economic means to maintain the previous living standard. 

In order to assess spouses’ economic conditions, it would be enough to verify their financial and income situation. In this case, the court has recognised the husband’s relevant income capacity and, on the contrary, an unstable economic condition of the wife. Under these circumstances, after the assessment of a relevant economic difference between former spouses; the court has adopted a special economic treatment towards the wife.