Social distancing rules will still apply for many countries. In this context, several legal proceedings shall respect social distancing provisions in order to protect public health. However, such emergency period shall not prevent to ensure protection to the family as stated by the Italian Constitution.

The Italian Bar Association released extraordinary measures that will be in force when social distancing rules still apply. The Bar Association also confirmed that family proceedings are urgent and there is no need to postpone the hearing in the light of protecting children interest involved in a family proceeding.

In the context of consensual legal proceeding, files lodging will take place online and parties’ lawyers may opt for a written proceedings procedure in order to respect social distancing provisions. In such cases, conciliation attempts (even though are considered important in normal situations) are not necessary whenever spouses do not find useful. In these cases, parties’ lawyer shall notify that spouses do not want to proceed with conciliation.

In the context of judicial separation or divorce proceedings, the law requires that parties should be personally heard in court and conciliation shall be attempted. In this case, the Bar Association confirmed that these types of proceedings might take place through electronic means. However, the judge may decide that electronic proceedings may not be accurate due to the difficulty to evaluate children needs and parental skills