Coppie di nazionalità diverse: Matrimonio

aggiornamento: 27 marzo 2020

Last updated on 27 March 2020 by the Ministry of Justice

 

LIVING IN A COUPLE WITH DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES: MARRIAGE

 

What are the conditions for a foreign national to marry in Italy?

The legal capacity to marry and the other conditions for marrying are governed by the national law of each spouse (Article 27 of Law No 218/1995). A foreign national wishing to marry in Italy must submit to the civil registrar a declaration, issued by the competent authority of his/her home country, of no impediment, under the laws of such country, to contracting the marriage (Article 116 of the Civil Code).

Any impediments relating to the sex of the parties are not relevant for the purposes of this declaration. (Article 32-ter(2) of Law No 218 of 1995, as amended by Legislative Decree No 7 of 2017)

However, the foreign national must also comply with certain conditions laid down in Italian law:

  • the foreign national must not have been declared to lack mental capacity (Article 85 );
  • must not already be married or in a civil partnership with a person of the same sex ( Article 86 );
  • must not be
  1. the father, mother, son or daughter of the spouse;
  2. the brother or sister of the spouse;
  3. the son-in-law, daughter-in-law or parent-in-law of the spouse, even if the marriage from which the in-law relationship arose was annulled or dissolved;
  • must not have been convicted of the murder or attempted murder of the spouse’s husband or wife;
  • for women, three hundred days must have elapsed since the annulment or dissolution of the previous marriage, with some exceptions;
  • if resident or domiciled in Italy, the foreign national must ask the civil registrar to publish the notice in his/her place of residence.

There is no express provision requiring the foreign national to comply with the Italian legislation on minimum marriage age, which is eighteen years, or sixteen years subject to the authorisation of the family court. In any case, application of the national law of the foreign national, including with regard to minimum age, is subject to the condition that such application is not contrary to public morality and public order.

 

What is the procedure for marrying when the spouses are of different nationalities?

In Italy, marriage is valid if it is considered such by the law of the place of celebration or by the national law of at least one of the spouses at the time of celebration or by the law of the State of their common place of residence at that time (Article 28 of Law 218/1995).

For marriages celebrated in Italy, a notice must be posted in the municipalities in which the future spouses reside at least four days before the marriage (Article 99 of the Civil Code); the notice must remain posted at the city hall for at least eight days (Article 55(3) of Presidential Decree No 396 of 2000). The marriage must be celebrated publicly at the town hall, by the civil registrar that was asked to post the notice (Article 107 of the Civil Code). The marriage may be celebrated in a different municipality where this is necessary or convenient (Article 109 of the Civil Code) and outside the town hall if one of the spouses is unable to travel to the town hall because of disability or other justified impediment (Article 110 of the Civil Code).

In Italy, marriage may also be celebrated by a priest of the Catholic Church, with the rite provided for by the Concordat with the Holy See (Article 82 of the Civil Code) or by ministers of other religions authorised in Italy (Article 83 of the Civil Code).

For marriages abroad, if one or both of the future spouses are Italian nationals, the marriage can be celebrated either by the competent Italian diplomatic or consular authority or by the local authority in accordance with local law (Article 16 of Presidential Decree No 396/2000). If the marriage is celebrated by the local authority, a copy of the marriage record, duly legalised and translated, must be sent by the spouses to the diplomatic or consular authority, which will forward it to Italy for transcription in the civil status registers of the competent municipality. Alternatively, the duly legalised and translated marriage record can be presented directly to the Italian municipality to which the spouse belongs (see Article 12(11) of Presidential Decree No 396/2000).

Marriage contracted abroad by Italian citizens of the same sex produces the effects of a civil partnership governed by Italian law (Article 32-bis of Law No 218 of 1995).

 

What are the legal effects of marriage?

By marrying, the two spouses acquire the same rights and duties. The spouses have a mutual obligation to be faithful, provide each other with moral and material support, cooperate in the interest of the family and live together.

Both spouses are required to contribute to the needs of the family, in proportion to their respective means and according to their capacity for paid work or housework.

The wife adds her husband’s surname to her surname and keeps it if she is widowed, until she remarries.

The spouses plan the course of family life together and establish the family residence according to the needs of both and the overriding interests of the family. In the event of disagreement, either spouse may request, without formalities, the intervention of the judge who, after hearing the views of the spouses and, where appropriate, of their cohabiting children aged sixteen or older, will attempt to reach a mutually agreed solution. Where the spouses are unable to reach an agreement on the place of residence or other essential affairs, the judge, on the spouses’ express joint request will issue an unappealable final decision deemed to best meet the requirements of family unity and family life.

Marriage imposes on both spouses the obligation to maintain, raise, educate and morally assist their children, respecting their abilities, natural inclinations and aspirations.

 

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