It will be for the economic contingency or for the social change in progress but increasingly often among the ex-spouses arise heated discussions not only on the expenses for the children but also on the cessation of the obligation to pay the maintenance.
Many people ask me if there is a rule. Some are convinced that the obligation ceases with the completion of the eighteenth year of children, others with the end of university exams, the most cautious think that you have to keep children until they have a permanent job contract!
In the absence of clarity, the litigation is growing even more at the Court of Milan.
Let's see a specific case recently solved by the Court of Cassation.
Before the Court of Treviso a mother asked for the increase of the maintenance allowance paid by the father for the university son.
The father, in the same procedure, asked for his termination or, in the alternative, for the reduction. The Court rejected the claims of both parties and confirmed the allowance in its amount: it did not consider the child economically or evaluated an increase in its needs that would justify the modification of the maintenance allowance,
Both parties appealed before the Venice Court of Appeals, which rejected the claims of both parties confirming the Court's judgment.
So the parents both used to appeal to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and referred to the jurisprudence of legitimacy, which, even recently, reiterated that the termination of the obligation to maintain non-self-sufficient adult children must be based on a factual assessment of age, to the actual achievement of a level of professional and technical competence, to the commitment towards the search for a job occupation and, in particular, to the overall personal conduct held by the person entitled, from the moment of reaching the age of majority .
As for the continuation of the course of study, the Court of Appeal considered that this was a choice aimed at a useful inclusion in the working world corresponding to the personal inclinations of the young daughter of the applicant and compatible with his age at the time of the decision ( twenty-six years) and with the socio-economic conditions of his family.
According to the Cassation the termination of the obligation to maintain non-self-sufficient adult children must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, since the child's right to maintenance during the studies is justified within the limits of the pursuit of an educational project and a training path, respecting its ability, inclinations and aspirations as long as they are compatible with the economic conditions of the parents. (Civil Cassation Section VI-1 26 April 2017, No. 10207).
To conclude, there is no rule, it is necessary to evaluate on a case-by-case basis, following the principle that children must be maintained until economic independence verifying with prudent appreciation, on a case by case basis and with proportionally increasing criteria of rigor in relation to the age of the beneficiaries, the circumstances that justify the continuation of the maintenance obligation, it being understood that this obligation can not be extended beyond reasonable time limits; of measure, since the right of the child is justified within the limits of the pursuit of an educational project and of a path of formation, respecting its abilities, inclinations and aspirations as long as they are compatible with the economic conditions of the parents.
Armando Cecatiello, Lawyer Milan and Rome.
Law Firm Cecatiello, specialized in family law, matrimonial lawyer, divorce lawyer, minor maintenance / custody.