Family Law

Diritto di famiglia

The Pillon e Napoleoni law firm offers legal advice and assistance in the field of Family Law, in relation to:

  • Marriage
  • Matrimonial property regime
  • Filiation and Adoption
  • Joint custody and sole custody
    • LThe lawyer Simone Pillon is one of the most well-known experts in the field of joint custody with particular reference to shared custody. See his speeches to the European Parliament ( link ) e aand to the University of Milano-Bicocca ( link ).
  • Paternity recognition and disclaimer
  • Prohibition and Disqualification
  • Wills and the Law of Succession
  • Separation
  • Annulment


Contact the Perugia office to request quotes, legal advice and detailed information about our services.

Matrimonial Property Regime

At the time of the marriage, the couple can choose which property regime to adopt for management of financial resources; unless otherwise agreed, the regime adopted will be “community of property.

Joint community of property: all possessions, fruits, income and businesses purchased, received or created during the marriage are part of the communion, with the sole exclusion of personal property.

Separation of property: each spouse is the exclusive owner of the property acquired during the marriage.

Family trust fund: is a mix of the two schemes referred to above. With the family trust fund, one or both spouses or even a third party may allocate some assets to meeting the needs of the family. It is a very complex system and has now fallen into disuse.

The firm offers advice to help you choose the system that best meets the needs of the family and also advises on how to change the regime during the course of the marriage.

Filiation: recognition and disclaimer

In addition to the issues brought up concerning the marriage bond, the firm has also occasionally dealt with sensitive issues involving the parent-child relationship. Recognition or judicial declaration of paternity or maternity and, even more so, denial of paternity increasingly contribute to changes and disruption in the relationships of the individuals involved.

It is easy to see how an action for denial of paternity (Art. 235 of the Italian Civil Code), where the status of a legitimate child is crushed, inevitably causes an emotional, as well as legal, rift. With this in mind, the firm has adopted a particularly careful and attentive line of conduct with regard to all the interests at stake, particularly those of children.

In the first instance, the legal consequences of such an action will be examined and advanced. In second place, fulfillment of the requirements for the admissibility of the application will be assessed, to then move to finally define, by mutual agreement, the most appropriate modus operandi for the specific situation. Over the course of the various stages, the firm will rely on the help of specialist professionals in the field for formulation of useful diagnoses, opinions and appraisals.

Who can adopt?

The firm offers advice and help with international adoption procedures, in collaboration with authorised organisations.

The requirements for international adoption are the same as for domestic adoption, and are set forth in Art. 6 of Law 184/83 (as amended by Law 149/2001) which governs adoption and foster care, and which we consider useful because its content affects couples more than anyone else.

"Adoption is permitted to spouses who have been married for at least three years, or who reach this period by adding the duration of the marriage to the period of cohabitation before marriage, and provided that there is no personal separation, not even de facto, and that they are fit to educate, guide and maintain the children they wish to adopt."

Regarding age, according to the law:

- the minimum difference between the adopter and the adoptee is 18 years;

- the maximum difference between adopters and the adoptee is 45 years for one of the spouses, and 55 for the other. This limit may be waived if the couple adopt two or more siblings, and even if they have a natural or adopted child under 18 years of age.

This means that if the future mother is 47 years old and the future father is 56, the couple may not adopt a child who is younger than 2 years old. If the future mother is 54 years old and the future father is 63, the couple may not adopt a child who is younger than 8 years old. If the future mother is 50 and the future father is 68, the couple can adopt a child of 13.

Age limits introduced by law are designed to ensure that the adopted parents are fit to raise the child and accompany him/her until he/she reaches adulthood, in a condition similar to that of a natural parent.

This is what our laws say, but since Authorities abroad match the child with the adopter, the limits that our legislature has put forward in order to allow couples who are no longer young to adopt have little efficacy in reality, because most foreign countries favour young couples.

Therefore, to adopt you

must: be a couple;

be married at the time of submission of the availability statement; 

where the marriage is less than 3 years old, prove its continuity, stability and prolonged cohabitation prior to celebration of the marriage for a period of at least three years, using documentation or testimony evidence; 

not have any separation proceedings in course, including de facto separation. 

Finally, would-be adoptive parents must be able to educate, instruct and maintain minors they wish to adopt

It is clear that for these latter requirements it is not possible to proceed with a simple formal verification, and that a more complex merit-based assessment of the content and nature of the couple's relationship is required. This is carried out by the local Juvenile Courts and social welfare services of local Bodies, working with the local health authority. This is due to the fact that an interdisciplinary approach is necessary in order to properly document the couple's relationship and whether they are truly available to adopt a child, and of the resources at their disposal to meet any difficulties during entry.

Source: Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Procedure for international adoption

The firm offers advice and help with the international adoption procedure, in collaboration with authorised organisations.

International adoption allows children from other countries, with different cultures, languages and traditions, to become an integral part of the family. In order to protect their rights, the legislation becomes more complex, but today it offers in return the security of the status of child welfare, more thorough preparation and better support for couples who have decided to take this path.

International adoption is the adoption of a foreign child which takes place in his/her country, before the authorities and the laws that operate there.

In order for such an adoption to be valid in Italy, special procedures established by Italian and international laws must be followed. Alternatively, the foreign adoption will be void, and the child will not be able enter Italy. Moreover, in some cases, failure to observe the adoption laws may constitute an offence.

These provisions may seem excessive, but they are necessary to ensure prospective adoptive parents of abandoned children follow a proper legal adoption process which respects the rights of all those involved.

International adoption has experienced rapid growth in recent years. In 1982 pronouncements of adoption of foreign children made by the Italian Juvenile Courts stood at less than 300. In the same period, over 1000 national adoptions were registered. In 1991, more than 2700 foreign minors entered Italy for adoption purposes, while less than 1000 Italian children were declared adoptable.

The increasing trend in international adoptions has been constant, and 1999 saw 3000 adopted foreign children arrive in Italy, while there were more than 7000 applications for suitability to adopt.

The extremely rapid development of this phenomenon is not found only in our country, but is also detected in all economically developed countries. In said countries, improvements in socio-economic conditions has resulted in a reduction in the number of abandoned children, while on the other hand the low birth rate has increased requests for adoption. Accordingly, said requests began to focus on the only possible path, the international one.

The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption is the main tool to ensure all children's rights and the rights of those who want to adopt them, and to overcome any child trafficking that may take place for adoption purposes. Italy joined this agreement with law no. 476 of December 31, 1998, whose regulations changed law no. 184 of May 4, 1983 and now regulate international adoption procedure.

The spirit of the Convention and Italian law is based on the principle of subsidiarity of international adoption: that is, the adoption must be the last path to go down to meet the needs of a child, when there was no opportunity to help him/her within his/her family (if any) and in their country of origin.

International adoption therefore has great civic importance, and is a tool for enriching the multicultural and multiracial aspect of our modern society. It also constitutes a kind of solidaristic choice towards abandoned children in the world's poorest countries. But this is not all: Italian law calls for institutions authorised to carry out international adoption to also practically deal with other projects to help and support children in the foreign countries in which they operate.

Prohibition and Disqualification

The need to protect the weak from being possible victims of fraud or scams, or to simply better protect their rights, including property rights, has led to the legislator calling for provision of the figure of a prohibited person and a disqualified person. In both cases it is a reduction - in full or in part - of the ability of the person to protect, supporting him/her with a guardian or administrator.

In the event of prohibition, the guardian will oversee in full the affairs of the person entrusted to him/her, while the disqualified person will be responsible for ordinary administration and must work with the administrator to perform actions that have a substantial financial impact.

The firm oversees prohibition and disqualification processes for the protection of elderly persons no longer in possession of all their faculties, individuals with severe psyche impairments and the handicapped.

Share by: