La cessazione del diritto al mantenimento del figlio maggiorenne tra legittime aspirazioni, autoresponsabilità e costi sociali

Di Valerio Brizzolari -
The essay focuses on the problem of adult child support in Italy. According to Italian Civil code (artt. 315-bis and 337-ter), the parents have to maintain the offspring until it is economically independent, notwithstanding the age. A recent intervention of the Court of cassation provides for a different interpretation of the law. The Court argues that the duty to maintain the child ends when he turns eighteen years old and for older children it is up to the judge to decide whether the parents are obliged to maintain them. Starting from the new judgement, the paper summarizes the relevant Italian case law on this topic and makes a comparison between Italian and North American systems. The purpose of the comparison is to show that the adult child support, as it happens in common law systems, has to aim to a specific purpose: finishing education or acquiring a specific expertise. When this happens, the adult child cannot demand a full maintenance and he has to seek an employment to make himself independent, even if that employment does not fit to his expectations.