The economic regime of the Italian household
According to the Italian Law, the economic regime (“regime patrimoniale”) regulates the economic distribution and wealth created during the marriage. In fact, both spouses shall decide the economic regime of their cohabitation while it is possible that family members undertake economic relationships with other family members. Based on that, Italian Law regulates several scenarios where property relations and familiar relationships are interconnected.
Joint ownership of property
Joint ownership (“comunione dei beni”) is that regime that aim for the sharing of wealth generated by both spouses or one of them in the context of familiar cohabitation. In addition, the joint property regime constitutes the standard economic regime unless otherwise specified. In this context, the following goods fall under the joint ownership regime:
– Purchases made by spouses during the marriage, with the exemption of those purchases in connection with personal goods;
– Profits coming from personal good;
– Profits coming from the private activity from one of the spouse;
– Companies managed and controlled by spouses.
In addition, the joint ownership of property allows the sharing of debts contracted by the other spouse.
Separated ownership of property
The separated ownership regime, contrarily to joint ownership one, ensures that spouses retain the property of their personal good. In addition, spouses will not share any eventual debt contracted by one of them.
The separated ownership regime is characterised by two main principles:
– Each spouse is the exclusive owner of all goods personally purchased before the marriage;
– Each spouse is the exclusive owner of all goods personally purchased during the marriage.
However, under the separated ownership regime spouses are still compelled to contribute to the wellbeing of the family.