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Italian parents are no longer obligated to financially support their adult children, according to a new ruling by the Italian Supreme Court.
The ruling came in July after the closing of a five-year case, in which a 35-year-old part-time teacher demanded his parents’ financial support because he could not get by on just his annual income. The local court of Tuscany agreed that the man’s salary was not enough and ordered his parents to pay him a monthly stipend.
However, Supreme Court Judge Maria Cristina Giancola reversed the local court’s decision, saying that parents are not responsible for their children’s financial situation for the rest of their lives. She added that young adults should learn to become financially independent.
While protection of adult children with physical or mental disabilities is covered by the Italian law system, parents’ support does not have to continue if their adult children are capable of looking for and getting a job.
According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), nearly 65% of Italians aged 18 to 35 still reside with their parents. In this group, around 36% are students, 38.2% are employed, and 23.7% are looking for a job. ISTAT added that Italy has a 30% unemployment rate in the 15 to 24 age group.
The court ruling stirred controversy in the country. Many citizens welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision, but some also acknowledged that Italy’s current labor market is difficult for younger Italians to enter. The head of the Italian Association of Matrimonial Lawyers, Gian Ettore Gassani, supports the court’s decision. He believes that the ruling will encourage young people to take risks and fend for themselves.